Power point blown, but is it fixed?

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  #1  
Old 04-23-13, 03:17 PM
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Power point blown, but is it fixed?

Hi guys (and gals),

I wasn't sure where to post this but I thought perhaps this thread more relevant here than Entertainment Centre.
A couple of nights ago my power point under the sink blew. It was a double power point and two devices were plugged in; the dishwaser (on the right) and an oldish vcr/dvd/amp/5.1 surround sound system (all-in-one) (but was using for audio only with a 2.1 configuration).
I heard a clicking noise under the sink and saw smoke and sparks. Sparks definitely from the power point itself and smoke from both power point and old vcr/5.1 sound system.
Quickly i dashed outside i turned the mains off, went back inside and pulled the plug out. At the time we think the 5.1 system was off, but it might have been accidentally left on all day, but it didn't particularly feel warm to touch, i think it was off. The dishwasher was connected AND it was actually on doing a cleaning cycle when it happened.
When power was resumed, the dishwasher continued its cycle and spaks/smoke from the power point ceased. The dishwasher only had 5-10mins left till it finished, but after a couple of minutes we decided to stop and unplug it anyway.

Below are pictures that show you the stuffed power point, burnt neutral cable, the stuffed plug of the 5.1 system and a new power point that is actually set off from the wall more than the old one (the old one was more flush against the wall).

Now my electrician can't be sure the fault wasn't the power point itself, but he's pretty confident the amp (even if it was off) was the cause of the fault.

I know having something electrical connected under the sink isn't the brightest idea, I pointed it out to him and he was pretty laid back about it (we live in Australia lol), he said "well yer obviously aware it poses a slight danger, I imagine if at anytime you were doing under the sink repair work you would disconnect to be on the safe side, other than that I don't really see a major problem with it" (or along those lines).
The 5.1 system was only used to provide audio in the kitchen (whilst cooking etc) via 2.1 setup, its placement here suited my purposes better than having it take up bench space etc. I was never fussed about poor ventilation for the 5.1 system/amp as it was only ever on for a couple of hours at most in a 24hr period.

But now I just wanted to get some peoples opinions on what really might have happened here. You see I want to now buy a new 2.1 system, and the current model i have in mind has a large independent reciever/amp, too large for my kitchen bench top, i'd like to place it back under the kitchen sink, but i'm afraid to do so! If this happened when i was at work, bye bye house

Do you think the power point is safe now (by judging from the pics, and that the 5.1 system was the cause of the problem)?
Can i purchase anything I can connect to the powerpoint> to the new 2.1 amp/reciever that will stop this from happening again should the fault lie somewhere else other than the 5.1 system (a safety surge board or something).
 
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  #2  
Old 04-23-13, 04:36 PM
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Do you think the power point is safe now (by judging from the pics, and that the 5.1 system was the cause of the problem)?
Bruce, most of us here live and work in North America, and aren't familiar with the 240V 50Hz power you use in Australia. That said, though, there's simply no way anyone can answer your questions from looking at your pictures. Sorry, but it would require inspecting the new receptacle in person, and testing both it and your old amp with meters, to do that.

It may just be that the prong on the plug failed, or the connection between it and the contacts inside the slot.
 
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Old 04-23-13, 04:38 PM
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Cheers, I just threw it out there incase someone could tell from pics etc. What about a device that might protect from such an event repeating again? Such a thing exist?
 
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Old 04-23-13, 05:00 PM
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What about a device that might protect from such an event repeating again? Such a thing exist?
How about a surge-protecting power strip, at least as a temporary measure? Replacing the breaker with an AFCI - Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter - breaker, if those are available for your system, should provide the best means of preventing it's doing any real harm if something does go awry in the future.
 
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Old 04-23-13, 05:06 PM
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Cheers, i'll look into that.
 
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Old 04-23-13, 07:04 PM
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Replacing the breaker with an AFCI - Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter - breaker, if those are available for your system, should provide the best means of preventing it's doing any real harm if something does go awry in the future.
The picture appears that the receptacle may have had a series fault or arcing. Only a combination arc fault breaker will protect from both parallel and series arcing.
 
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Old 04-23-13, 07:40 PM
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Just for note, we have receptacles (what you call power points) under sinks as well for dishwashers and disposals. Not really a big concern here either. Maybe your electrician is from here.

Just to be clear, the burnt one is for the sound system and not the dishwasher? It appears to be just a bad connection to me (bad connections create heat and arcing) but I would be surprised if it was just the audio system just on standby that would cause that kind of arcing. A running dishwasher I could believe. But then, I'm not from your parts.

In my opinion it is fixed. If you think the 5.1 is OK, I would just install a new cord and/or cap
 
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