Old two wire system

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  #1  
Old 01-07-12, 10:34 AM
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Exclamation Old two wire system

Hi I hope someone can provide some assistance! We live in a 1945 house and the electrically system is the old two wire kind. My son recently came to stay and plugged in his smart phone to charge in the bedroom. It got so hot that it melted the back of the receptacle and the cover plate! Having issues for the last couple of days in the living room also (he has been staying with us the last week and plugging his phone in to charge i assume every night or so). The cable box in the living room has been losing power off and on. When we turn in on lately it has to reload just like when the power goes out. My husband has checked the power in the wire and it is good but no power registered at the receptacle. He is a carpenter with extensive remodeling experience so he has a basic knowledge of wiring. We are flat broke right here after Christmas and I am worried sick now that while we are at work the house is going to catch on fire! I would so appreciate any kind of advice anyone could provide. Please help!!!
 
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Old 01-07-12, 12:39 PM
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A smart phone charger is a 2 wire device and requires no ground. If you are having problems, it sounds to me like you have multiple loose connections in your home. I would suggest starting at the main service panel and tighten all connections and then proceed to any junction boxes and each and every switch and receptacle box doing the same thing. Replace any receptacles that are questionable or that do not hold a plug tightly. The reason for the excessive heat and melting the receptacle is probably a worn out receptacle that did not hold the prongs on the charger firmly, thus making a poor connection with high resistance. Resistance = heat. You can judge the receptacles for retention by just feeling the resistance when inserting or removing a plug from the receptacle or do it correctly by using a retention tester such as this one.

Electrical Receptacle Retention Tester
 
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Old 01-07-12, 12:45 PM
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I too think you are dealing with a loose connection(s). A cell phone charger should not be drawing enough to cause that sort of heat in a system with no problems.

Unfortunately you might be in for a easter egg hunt trying to find the problem.

Loose connections can lead to fires or wiring damage.
 
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Old 01-07-12, 01:36 PM
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Thanks so much for your replies joe and pcboss. He figured out why the cable box receptacle wasnt working...it was next in line on that same bedroom circuit. The insulation on the wire going to the bedroom receptacle was worn off in a spot and he said it must have touched the metal box on the recptacle and shorted out. I will tell him what you said about the connections through out the house. Thanks again I really appreciate the advice.
 
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Old 01-07-12, 01:53 PM
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Glad you found the problem so easily.
 
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