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If electric space heaters are so dangerous, why don't they.....

If electric space heaters are so dangerous, why don't they.....


  #41  
Old 10-11-09, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bunsorama View Post
I was considering getting an electric fireplace, but these seem to do a better job. Only problem is, they are 110 Volt and draw 12 amps, just like the space heaters. I could not find any electric fireplaces that run on 220 Volt.

I guess it's possible to hardwire a 110 V heater. Anyone know if "Code" allows the use of stranded wire on a wall receptacle? If not, I'm sure it would be easy to rewire it using solid copper.
To hardwired you need to check with the manufacter to see if they will allow it or installment instruction to see what they are allowed or not.

Speaking of 240 volt electric fireplace it can be get it from factory in special order I know two of my customer allready have this format and mention in the order mainfest that want to go hardwired so it was not a issue at all.

Merci,Marc
 
  #42  
Old 10-11-09, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
ecman,
Wind can steal heat from a house. Was it windy last night and relatively calm the night before? What about the humidity? Dry air feels colder than moist air.

Did you measure the temp, or did you just feel cold? Don't overlook that human factor. An active day will keep you warm naturally for hours because circulation is robust -- and carries into the night -- while a sedentary day will lower your metabolism and cause the extremeties to feel cold due to poor circulation.

Coffee or tea one night will warm you. A few beers the next night will freeze the feets.

What, if anything, changed between last night and the night before?
I cannot say for certain anymore all the variables involved outside. But this is what is strange: The temp in the bedroom said 64. Yes, 64, not 46, and I was freezing. I think the bedroom temp was 68 or so earlier when I had the cube heater on high. But after I set the cube heater to low (750 watts, down from the high 1320 watt setting, for overnight safety concerns), the temp dropped to about 64, when it was then that I woke up freezing. And no beers or coffee. I can't recall if I had been outside the covers or not. If this ever happens to me again, I have to try to remember that. Although I suppose it's possible one can wind up outside the covers and then retuck yourself back under without realizing it.

I thought it was about 66 the night before, in my bedroom, when I did not feel like I was freezing.

Many people think those kinds of temps, maybe even less, makes for good sleeping. I was so cold, for some odd reason (I have no circulation issues I am aware of), that I felt like I could go into convulsions. it is like mjy core body temp came down. I was not sick either, nor am I sick now.

My next door neighbor lady had me feel her hands and nose yesterday. It was 72 in their house and she was frozen she said. I walked in their place, after being outside, mowing my grass and my elderly other next door neighbors yard -with my winter coat and gloves on (mid-30's outside and very windy) when I was met by what I thought was hot humid air, in their place. Her husband was slow cooking chili, the windows were steamy even, and all their 4 kids were inside playing, and it just felt real toasty in there, to me. Yet she was truly frozen. She said she will never warm up again til spring.

I told her this maybe is more a women thing because my mom and 50 year old sister, when she comes to visit my folks, sit around squeezing hot water bottles constantly! I told here she probably has low blood pressure, like 70 over 50, or something ridiculous. She is heavy weight also. So is my sister. Go figure.
 
  #43  
Old 10-11-09, 10:54 AM
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184F plug! Replaced the plug = fixed. Cause is ?

After running the space heater for a couple hours on 1200-1220 medium watt heat, the factory cast rubber plug that I previously reported I could fry an egg on it, at 168?, became 184!!!

So I experimented yesterday, as promised I would, and plugged my (even higher draw)1320 watt cube heater into same outlet on high heat setting and the plug never got hot, nor warm. It was cool, even after 45 minutes constant running. To me, this ruled out the outlet or any wiring issue at the outlet.

So I went for it. I went to hardware store, bought a 15 amp plug and wired on a new plug. Tried it out. No more hot plug. Ice cold.

Can't they design those (UL approved no less!)replacement plugs, with more care then what they do, so that you do not have to sweat as a surgeon in trying to get wire around the screw without messing up the strands???
1. You cannot back the screw out far enough to loop the wire over the screw head, and 2. they do not have the screw head right up against the parting wall in the plug, to keep the strands from squirting out when you tighten the screw! Idi......never mind.

So the curious guy I am, I surgically carefully dissected that cast rubber plug with my scalpel-like knife. Interesting. They have the rubber coated wire go into that plug head and yet it is not factory heat-melded to the rubber of the plug, inside as I thought it might be, since both are softer brown rubber. It is tight inside them, but not heat melded together. I then cut the plug different directions to get out the spade with the wires attached for both prongs. They use a crimp connector that is actually part of the end of the spade itself, which is good, actually.

So why then was the plug getting hot? Good question. I noticed 2 things: Some of the crimped 16 ga. wire strands were broke(on one spade only). BUT - I think I broke them from all the flexing I was doing to get the spades out of the rubber. They lock the spades in the rubber plug head by a perpendicular piece on the spade, so it is impossible for the spades to come out, even under force - another good thing. The ends of the wire strand breaks were not discolored and were shiny. They looked like fresh breaks. No sign of heat in the plug, also! But - when I went to ohm the spade itself, I had a hard time getting a reading, without etching the probes into the spade. The spades have this dull shiny petina on them, where rather than having that new either chrome look or bright brass look, they have that dull copper penny-like petina, and had no scratch marks on them either from insertion with the outlet.

Leading me to believe there is a possibility that either the factory mistakenly treats the crimp fitting and spade with some anti-corrosive agent that does not conduct electricity very well, or, perhaps after the years go by, and there is some heat generated through the plug, that either the rubber causes some kind of thin secretion, or other chemical reaction, that causes bad contact of the wire strands, in the crimp, or otherwise become oxidized or otherwise breaks down because of heat after a while, that causes resistance. Now I wish as part of the experiment that I first had sand clothed the 2 spades, to rule out the film on the spades, or if it is in the crimp itself.

Then ontop of the plug repair, coincidently after I ran it for awhile yesterday afternoon, I lost all power through the element! I peered inside a slit and could see where the space connector goes on the element terminal was charred. So I opened up the unit and crimped on a new spade. Well, after a couple hours running last night I started smelling burning plastic!(That is nasty and overwhelming!) I peered in that slot again only to see 2 thing: The plastic around the new crimp connector had melted...because the crimp-on spade connector I installed was glowing cherry hot! , but not the factory one on the outlet side of the terminal. In other words, I either did a lousy job(I crimped the heck out of it, too), or that crimp connector cannot take that kind of amperage. So today I am going to cut out my repair job and buy and install a factory pigtail/spade connector appliance wire piece and not chance anything like this, again. They sell those for that purpose at appliance parts stores for replacing burned wires at dryer elements. I have had to do that very repair many times. I cannot recall if my home center has these. I do know they sell green ground-wire pigtails that have those little round eyelets on them, but can't recall female spade ones.

Never a dull moment in my life(considering no kids). And you should know the bizarre occurance with my vehicle's cooling system! An oddity I bet not too many people have witnessed.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 10-11-09 at 11:20 AM. Reason: fixed words with backwards letters
  #44  
Old 10-11-09, 11:00 AM
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They make special crimp-on lugs for high-heat applications. These do not have any plastic insulators. Also, unless you used a calibrated crimping tool (not likely) you probably did not crimp the terminal to factory specifications.
 
  #45  
Old 10-11-09, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GregH View Post
When setting up to do a heater "experiment" try this....... do as few as 10 jumping jacks, 10 sit ups and run on the spot for 30 seconds and then see how you "feel" about a particular heat source.
I did a lot of mowing yesterday, out in that cold. That really helped warm me up and appreciate even low-to mid 60's temps when I came back in from the mid-30's outside.

I do the HVAC in a hospital of 350 people.....
350 patients, or hospital employees?

..... and I am honestly not interested in anyone's "feelings" when it comes to temperature complaints.
They all know to give me the actual temperature in their area where I will then measure the humidity and only then make an adjustment if necessary.
I sure am glad my hospital had feelings, about my feelings, and put a pre- heated blanket on me, in this otherwsie cold room (subjectively cold, of course) when I had my kidney stone, as I felt miserable (kinda concerned too if I would require surgery) enough the way it was. I think nerves even can constrict the blood vessels, and cause one to be colder in the extremities.

I all honesty it is sometimes a zoo.
A person at one nursing station will complain that it is too cold while someone at the other end of the counter is putting in a work order saying it is too hot!!!
Individual heat pumps throughout a building, can come in handy, for that reason. The outflowing combination of cooled water(from one heat pump that is putting out heat) and heated outflow water(from another heat pump putting out a/c) can offset each other, and make it so neither the cooling tower or boilers have to come on as often.
 
  #46  
Old 10-11-09, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
They make special crimp-on lugs for high-heat applications. These do not have any plastic insulators. Also, unless you used a calibrated crimping tool (not likely) you probably did not crimp the terminal to factory specifications.
I thought of that very thing yesterday -thinking I needed a copalum crimper. But I have done this very crimp procedure in electric dryers, right at their hot elements (before I started buying those pigtails), and have not had call backs. Then again, maybe they too are glowing.
 
  #47  
Old 10-11-09, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
dummy thermostats Greg, dummy thermostats. Solves most of the problems. They adjust all they want and nothing ever changes but they sure think it has.
We put one in a triplex rental, for that reason.
 
  #48  
Old 10-12-09, 06:53 AM
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Don't wait til you get cold to dress warm!

By then it might be too late. like my experience the other night where I froze in bed at moderate temperatures.

Yesterday was only in the 30's all day. I never ran the furnace. Sat with cube heater in front of me while watching football. Temp climbed to 66.6 (for real). I went to bed and it was 58 in bedroom. I already had my winter undergarments on and did not feel cold. I ran cube heater on high (1300-1320 watts) all night. Plug only got a little warm when I felt it this morning.

Never got cold. Woke up to 76 in the bedroom! yet the living room where the furnace stat is said 56. I only spent about 1/2, or less!(comparing 5˘ kwh to say about $1 NG) the energy cost I would have, if I ran the furnace to warm up the whole place

Now this is really interesting: I scanned the bedroom and had 78 up high on various walls and 62 down low. 16 degree difference (but I really did not feel that though!, the way I was dressed. It felt comfortable in there. Maybe if I did not have carpeting on the floor, and it was hardwood instead, might be a different story. And the covers on the bed were at 74-5 no matter where I aimed.

If I had some hundreds of dollars to simply experiment with, I'd buy one of those space heaters they advertise, for the sole reason to see if the heat is a lot more even than the temps I got with the cube heater. I'd love to do that, and then post the results. But I am not big into any energy appliance (or car) plan where you have to spend a lot of money, to save some money, that might take several years for the payback to occur. And actual I do not think I'd actual save money over what I have now. It simply be to see if the floor warmed up just like the ceiling, as they advertise. All the space heaters I have were found or given to me. And obviously, from the temp numbers I have been posting in these threads, seem quite effective. One old lady gave me 2 of the heaters before she went into the nursing home.
 
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Old 10-12-09, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
...So the curious guy I am, I surgically carefully dissected that cast rubber plug with my scalpel-like knife. Interesting...
That is exactly what I would have done! (Take apart the plug and see what was causing the problem.)

Good write-up!

Also have you always owned the space heater and always removed the plug from the wall by gripping the plug?

Or could someone else have removed the plug from the wall by pulling on the wire - thus breaking the strands?

As to the other problems with the space heater, I'm finding these types of problems with *many* products lately. I have to fix or modify brand new things to get them to work properly.

I bought a new window air conditioner which stopped working after a few months. I took it apart and there was a melted spade lug connection for a compressor wire. I soldered it on and it has been working fine for several years since.

We are lucky that we can troubleshoot these things, find the problem, and then fix them! I can't imagine what other people do who can't fix things?
 
  #50  
Old 10-15-09, 12:18 AM
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Here in the UK a 2kw heater draws 8.3 amps. The damned plug still gets hot (hand wired standard 13a all strands connected). Same with the hardwired 2kw electric fires.

What can cause issues, is that we have one circuit for all of the house (loft converted bungalow) and when the boiler breaks (frequently) you got 2 - 3 of these on one circuit, plus 2 kettles (3kw) on and off all day.
 
  #51  
Old 10-15-09, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 07bloomfieldb View Post
Here in the UK a 2kw heater draws 8.3 amps. The damned plug still gets hot (hand wired standard 13a all strands connected). Same with the hardwired 2kw electric fires.

What can cause issues, is that we have one circuit for all of the house (loft converted bungalow) and when the boiler breaks (frequently) you got 2 - 3 of these on one circuit, plus 2 kettles (3kw) on and off all day.
So you have about a 240 volt system there. The cord wire is rated for 13 amps, yet gets hot at 8.3 amp draw? That seems odd. You sure you also do not have issues the way I had issues? You said all strands are connected. #1, how do you know that; and #2, how do you know how well the plug engages in the recepticle and if your recepticle wires connections are good. Have you ever discussed this with your neighbors, friends or relatives, to see if they have the same issue?

I considered that your entire circuit may be overloaded, but you should not have any real noticeable heat issue at any one particular recepticle. If the circuit were overloaded with multiple heaters, and everything else running in the house, only the fuse for that circuit could get warm or hot, depending on the wire size and amp rating of that fuse for that circuit. With one circuit serving an entire house, you must have a large amp circuit.

That sounds dangerous. People here, with our 115-120 volts often talk about how they got 'bit', while working on electricity. I'd hate to get 'bit' where you are. And at that, parents here buy these plastic inserts for their recepticles, out of fear one of their younguns will stick objects in the recepticle. I wonder how many people die over there, per capita, from electrocution, as compared to in the US. ??? What you guys have there sounds comparable to how we have 277 volts, usually for commercial lighting, over here.


French -you out there?
 
  #52  
Old 10-15-09, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
So you have about a 240 volt system there. The cord wire is rated for 13 amps, yet gets hot at 8.3 amp draw? That seems odd. You sure you also do not have issues the way I had issues? You said all strands are connected. #1, how do you know that; and #2, how do you know how well the plug engages in the recepticle and if your recepticle wires connections are good. Have you ever discussed this with your neighbors, friends or relatives, to see if they have the same issue?

I considered that your entire circuit may be overloaded, but you should not have any real noticeable heat issue at any one particular recepticle. If the circuit were overloaded with multiple heaters, and everything else running in the house, only the fuse for that circuit could get warm or hot, depending on the wire size and amp rating of that fuse for that circuit. With one circuit serving an entire house, you must have a large amp circuit.

That sounds dangerous. People here, with our 115-120 volts often talk about how they got 'bit', while working on electricity. I'd hate to get 'bit' where you are. And at that, parents here buy these plastic inserts for their recepticles, out of fear one of their younguns will stick objects in the recepticle. I wonder how many people die over there, per capita, from electrocution, as compared to in the US. ??? What you guys have there sounds comparable to how we have 277 volts, usually for commercial lighting, over here.


French -you out there?
Yeah I am still around here but keep in your mind I am in France so I have diffrent hours than what ya guys are in the States is { GMT+ 1 is my time zone.}


Now let speak one of members here I know he is from UK and yes that is true we have 240 volts Line to Netural however with line to line connection it will be diffrent than what you useally see in the States it will be either 400 or 415 volts depending on what grid and it much easier to get triphase over in European side compared to State side is.

Speaking of electric portable heaters yeah we have same issue in European area as well so kinda nothing new between the two and in France we use diffrent plug/receptale than what UK or North American use and alot of cords for electric heaters are 1.5mm˛ that is simuair to #16 in the states and they do get pretty hot as well.

Sure we do get " bit " from 240 and 415 volts system

However we do have RCD { simauir to GFCI/AFCI } on genral circuits expect couple circuits are not on RCD at all

The Range { cooker or Hob } is not on RCD
Electric waterheater tank type is not on RCD but with tankless it automatically RCD protected { this is French Codes so I am not sure what the UK stand with tankless verison }

Ecman51 you have to understand that the European system they don't have large numbers of circuits like in the states are but we are catching up now French is pretty strict so not excatally parallel with NEC code but very simauir to it { the UK just update thier code so not sure how strict or updated it is }

The other thing about conductor colour codes it is not the same as states are

Let me run my French conductor codes

One of the two is legit set up

Phase A Noir { Black}
Phase B Rouge { Red }
Phase C Marron { Brown }
Netural Bleu
Earth Vert/ Jaune { Green / Yellow stripe}

second part here

Phase A Marron { Brown }
Phase B Gris { Grey }
Phase C Noir { Black }
Netrual Bleu
Earth Vert/ Janue { Green / Yellow stripe }

Those two colour combation it is Legit in France but UK it is Legit on both as well.

Plus the old UK colour is

Phase A Red
Phase B white
Phase C bleu
Netural Black
Earth Green / Yellow stripe

so you can see why that just beiganing of mess of colour codes

If I do list the rest it will take pretty good part of page here so I will leave it out for now

Merci.

Marc
 
  #53  
Old 10-15-09, 04:30 PM
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Worst I ever saw was the Philippines. About half of the receptacles in a house are 110 and half 220. As near as I could see two separate feeds with different fuse boxes. Now the really scary thing all the receptacles be it 110 or 220 were similar to NEMA 1-15R. Most people had some things that were 110 and somethings that were 220. I have actually seen two almost identical table fans, one 110 and one 220 in the same house pluged into different but identical looking receptacles. Maybe the radio was 220 and TV 110. Absolutely nothing to indicate voltage. You had to know which was which or it was plug and pray. That was in the mid 70's maybe it has changed.
 
  #54  
Old 10-17-09, 01:27 PM
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Update of post #43's last big paragraph....

...about how my crimped on spade connector in the heater glowed red hot.

Last night, while I had company over, I wired up in a matter of minutes, a new spade connector pigtail I bought from the appliance store, meant for dryer element replacement. Fixed! No glow. No sparks. Not even after hours of continous use, including on high heat.

No sparks? Did I mention that in post #43? If not, not only was that crimp job I had done glow cherry red, but there were these little tiny sparks. Well, when I sectioned out my crimp job last night, I carefully inspected my work. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with the crimp! Yet the plastic over the crimp ring completely melted from all that glowing heat.

I think I have the answer: I ran the wire into the crimp connector too far, not thinking any harm could come of that. But maybe it can! Now I am thinking that not only was the current trying to pass through the spade, but those 16 ga. factory strands of wire dangling there, resting ON the spade were sparking, causing heat. Since I saw no other cause for why the connection of the crimp was not good, as it looked like a real good crimp!...I have to now suspect that one shouldd never go beyond the sleeve in a crimp connector, as this might happen to you too.
 
  #55  
Old 10-17-09, 04:43 PM
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I would think it more likely that you had some insulation in the crimp which kept the actual copper from getting crimped good. That would explain, possibly, the little sparks as well.
 
  #56  
Old 10-18-09, 09:47 AM
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When you strip the wire for a spade crimp there should be about 1/16th of an inch of bare wire sticking out of the spade end. It should not be long enough to directly contact the mating terminal. The wire's insulation should be stripped back enough so the insulation can't enter the metal inside the spade. After crimping the metal inside the terminal, the terminal's plastic insulation should then be crimped around the wire's insulation.
 
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Old 10-18-09, 09:51 AM
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The other thing I want to add here is all it depending on which type of crimper you use some cheap crimper don't do very good job to crimp it well.

And that go with crimp sleeve as well too if very lousy qualinty it will show up like that.

The key item is make sure you have proper crimper for proper crimp termail device.


Merci,Marc
 
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Old 10-18-09, 09:53 AM
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The "tightness" of the connection is very important with higher amperages!

I used to work on large "computer room" computers. These had a large direct current power supply. And the wires from the power supply were the size of car battery cables.

These wires were bolted on to the power supply with machine screws and nuts. And the nuts on these were tightened "young man in his 20's" tight. (Pretty tight!)

Yet the connections were getting to be quite warm/hot. And because it was low voltage DC, you could safely touch these with your hands to feel how hot the connection was. (DON'T DO THIS WITH AC/HOUSE WIRING, ETC.!)

Engineering investigated the problem. They found that the connections were not tight enough. So their resolution to the problem was to tighten the connections using a torque wrench and tighten to a certain foot pound tightness (I forget how tight it was). Anyway the connections were cool after tightening the nuts more.

And the same thing is required of main circuit breaker panel main wires. Tighten the lugs to a certain "inch pound" typically. Again DON'T TOUCH! (You will be electrocuted!)
 
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Old 10-18-09, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
I would think it more likely that you had some insulation in the crimp which kept the actual copper from getting crimped good. That would explain, possibly, the little sparks as well.
Nope. The crimp I did was perfect. A real tight uniform crush on the wires, without breakign the wires. I do not believe any good crimping tool could have done better. I studied it under a magnifying glass even -mystified. The only theory I could come up with was the bare wire strands were too long, and into the spade area.
 
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Old 10-18-09, 12:56 PM
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Bill,

Also, in your case, if the nuts were reasonably tight, and yet more tightening fixed the problem -maybe there was a non-condutive film on the metal that also had to be overcome.

To all,

My crimp connection could not have been in any better contact with the wire strands had I put that crimp on the train tracks! Something I forgot to tell you guys. I have near super human strength in my hands, and am asked by many people to open stuff for them.

Another possibility is these connectors (in my assortment kit that I got one from) for whatever reason(metal composition type?), are not suited for the amperage, even though everything about them appeared to be thick enough metal, including the crimp ring, as compared to the one I used afterwards(that then did not glow) meant for dryer heating elements.
 
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Old 10-18-09, 03:15 PM
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The connection is more than just crushing the terminal to the wire. Crimp-type connectors come in different quality ranges. I was just looking at two different catalogs today and in one the 100 piece package of terminals was about $3 and in the other catalog they had three different quality levels ranging from about $5 to $9 for the exact same size terminal.

I think that using too much crimping pressure can also be detrimental. For at least the last dozen years I have been using ratcheting crimpers to get a uniform crimp and so far I haven't had any failures. Of course the ratcheting crimpers are considerably more expensive than the simple pliers type.
 
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Old 10-18-09, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Nope. The crimp I did was perfect. A real tight uniform crush on the wires, without breakign the wires. I do not believe any good crimping tool could have done better. I studied it under a magnifying glass even -mystified. The only theory I could come up with was the bare wire strands were too long, and into the spade area.
it wouldn't make any diff if the strands were 12" long. Electricity is going the way of least resistance and arcs take a lot of voltage (which you could not control) or amperage. if there are any places of decent connection, there would be no arcs.


were the arcs where the male and female spade slid together maybe? I have had loose spade terminals that, as they are used, would tend to burn away the area of contact which could possibly result in an arc, I suppose.
 
  #63  
Old 10-19-09, 12:13 AM
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Nope - never been bit. I just tend to use a good dollop of common sense. Just to clarify the cable does not get hot, it is the plug that gets hot. I have observed this in four houses (with different heaters.

As for code in the UK everyone I know couldn't care less about it. Does it work, do I deem it as unsafe. As long as it meats those criteria they really couldn't care less. 99.95% don't have rcds. Hell, most people still use fuse boxes.

Almost everything in the UK is double insulted. (Which works till the insulation brakes, but then it just throws the breaker (if it is a breaker, otherwise people get shocked)).
 
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Old 10-19-09, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
it wouldn't make any diff if the strands were 12" long. Electricity is going the way of least resistance and arcs take a lot of voltage (which you could not control) or amperage. if there are any places of decent connection, there would be no arcs.
All that I was infering to, regarding the long strands, were that I ran the stranded wire beyond the crimp area, (you know, like 3/8ths inch too far).... out into the spade itself. And those loose strands out there were brushing up against the spade.


....were the arcs where the male and female spade slid together maybe? I have had loose spade terminals that, as they are used, would tend to burn away the area of contact which could possibly result in an arc, I suppose.
When I slid on the newly crimped on connector, I could barely get it onto the male spade at the terminal. It was on really tight. And after the thing burned and I redid it the other day, I could hardly get it back off again, even with a needlenose pliers. Oddly though, it did leave like a molten metal nub on the male spade of the element terminal I had to file off, before redoing it. Strange, since the spade connection was on there so tight.

Because of this whole mysterios incident, I think I will hereafter always use those pre-made stranded wire-spade connectors, like I bought, for dryers.
 
 

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