Electrical problem with heater


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Old 02-11-15, 10:46 AM
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Electrical problem with heater

I accidently unplugged a working load(spaceheater) from a busbar the other day. It created an arc and melted a little insulation. I plan not to use the female plug on the bar and clean the connections on the male space heater plug but still use the busbar just another female socket. Is this safe? I've attached some photos.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 11:20 AM
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When it arcs that bad it usually pits the metal to the extent that both male and female should be replaced. Toss the plug strip out and get a new one; you can get a replacement male plug for the heater cord at any hardware store. Make sure it is rated for the amp load of the heater (probably 15A / 1800W). This is the very reason space heaters should never be used on extension cords or plug strips -- they start fires.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 11:47 AM
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I also have to comment that you should not be plugging a space heater into an outlet strip, especially one that appears full with other devices. Ideally you should plug a heater directly into the wall socket.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 12:34 PM
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By far one of the biggest reasons we get fire calls this time of year is from space heaters.
They should never ever be plugged into any form of extension cord or strip outlets!
Often times even a back stabbed outlet can over heat and melt because they draw so much amperage.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 07:39 PM
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You had a loose connection between that plug and receptacle (or between the cord wires and plug prongs inside the plug or between the internal wiring and the prong contacts inside the power strip casing) going on for hours. Loose connections tend to heat up and can start fires.

The brief arc when you pulled out the plug did not cause all that damage.

The plug looks okay to me. I would feel free to try it again in a new receptacle. But I would not just plug it in and turn on the heater and go away. For at least ten minutes I would feel the plug to see if it is getting warm and if so then the plug ;robably suffered some damage.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 08:04 PM
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Sorry Allan... I disagree. That plug needs to be replaced.

Leviton makes a perfect replacement for heaters. The plug is held together with a screw and the wire is attached to the prongs with screws. You don't want one of those plugs that uses the pins that pierce the wire. Loews and Depot carry them and they are easy to install.

amazon/Leviton-Straight-Residential-Polarized-Non-Grounding/dp/B000FPAN84
 
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Old 02-12-15, 07:52 AM
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I'm also going to side with replacing the plug. While the most likely cause of the heating was a poor connection to the socket it's also possible the male spade to the cord's wire. In either case the plastic housing was damaged by the heat and may allow the spade to loosen which could cause trouble in the future. Spend the $5 for a new male plug end.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 08:37 AM
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I am wondering what kind of cheapo electric space heater you have that would only have an ungrounded 2 wire cord/plug. I'd replace the heater with a U.L. Listed heater with a 3 wire grounding cord.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 09:14 AM
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Joe.... most heaters use a two wire rubber cord. I can't remember a single home heater that uses a grounded plug.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 09:45 AM
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(To what Joe wrote.) Not suggesting the O/P does this but I have one of those electric oil filled radiator style hearers with ungrounded plug. The second or third time the plug burned off I replaced the whole cord with a #14 heavy duty cord set (molded plug). Probably been 20 years and no problems since I did that. Not recommending it though because I had to jerry rig the connection inside the heater a bit and I won't recommend the O/P try that.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 02:41 PM
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I would suggest you replace the cord set with with a molded cap on it ,less chance of a loose connection and overheating,and loose that outlet strip.
http://www.amazon.com/Power-cord-fit.../dp/B000A8LL82
Geo
 
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Old 02-12-15, 08:03 PM
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Joe.... most heaters use a two wire rubber cord. I can't remember a single home heater that uses a grounded plug.
I haven't paid much attention to any electric space heater nor have I used one in close to 20 years. That being said, the milkhouse utility heaters used to come 2 ways; a 2 prong plug version and a 3 prong plug version. The one with the 3 prong plug was U.L. Listed and the other wasn't.

Maybe things have changed.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 07:26 AM
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I have a number of quite new 1500 watt portable electric resistance space heaters with built in thermostatic temperature control, fan, and two prong polarized plugs. I checked one and it is labeled as complying with Underwriters Labs standard 1278 "for movable and wall/ceiling mounted electric room heaters."
 
 

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