Clothes iron plug stuck in receptacle

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  #1  
Old 01-06-20, 07:56 AM
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Clothes iron plug stuck in receptacle

Hello, we have an iron plug stuck in a bathroom outlet. It looks like the larger prong is the one stuck. It slides out enough to disconnect the connection to the iron but won't pull out any further. I assume any further troubleshooting would start with cutting the power to the receptacle but I'm confused how or why this could happen. Thanks in advance.
 
  #2  
Old 01-06-20, 08:15 AM
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1. The receptacle might have been an older receptacle that did not accept the wider neutral prong and you forced it in.
2. Due to wear and tear, or due to overheating from a bad electrical contact of a loose fitting plug (maybe some time ago), the innards of the receptacle became misshapen so as to trap the plug prong.
3. A foreign object might have gotten inside to lock the plug prong inside.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 08:35 AM
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Thanks, my wife uses this daily and said nothing unusual occurred today. Any suggestions for troubleshooting? Start with removing the face-plate and try to get a better look at the receptacle? I'd like to do what I can myself before contacting an electrician which I suppose would be right around when I have to consider cutting the cord of the iron and replacing the receptacle.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 08:39 AM
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Worst case scenario... shut off the breaker, ensure the power is off, then remove the outlet and replace it with a new one.
 
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  #5  
Old 01-06-20, 09:00 AM
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I would get a new receptacle.
And perhaps a face plate if there is a chance you will break the existing one.

Make sure the breaker is off.
Then remove the face plate and receptacle.
Replace the receptacle.
Be sure to take note of where on the receptacle the wires go.
Also check for any overheating of the insulation on the wires.

Once you have the receptacle out then you can use more force to try and pull the plug out.
If you do get it out then carefully check it for pitting/arcing damage.
Sometimes if there is minor damage clean up the plug with a fine file and/or emery paper will do.
But it sounds like the plug welded itself into the receptacle so odds are you will have to replace the plug on the iron.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 10:27 AM
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Sounds like a plan. Its odd because I can almost remove the plug so its not stuck, per se, its like its hitting against something right at the end.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 11:56 AM
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Label the wires before unhooking them

Even after you get the receptacle removed, do not use tremendous force trying to pull the plug out. The receptacle has sharp edges that can slash your fingers.

You might want to smash the receptacle little by little with a hammer rather than cut the iron cord. But if the problem was due to overheating you don't know whether the problem started at the back of the plug where the cord wires got frayed or whether the problem started in the receptacle.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 12:26 PM
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For what it's worth, i generally have better luck with stuff like that securing the sword and working on the stone, if i may use the sword in the stone as an analogy. I'd likely remove the receptacle, secure the plug in a vice, and try to just lift the receptacle away rather than secure the receptacle or leave it in the wall and reef on the plug.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 03:53 PM
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Here's a pic. Notice the burnt looking area on the right middle which is the side that's stuck.
 
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  #10  
Old 01-06-20, 04:47 PM
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I would turn off the breaker.
Remove the receptacle.
Smash it to get the iron plug out.
Install new receptacle.

Carefully inspect iron plug for possible damage that caused it to get stuck.

Receptacle definitely looks to have a loose melted connection.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 04:55 PM
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Any risk of further "fire" after replacing since it looks like the wires on that side are "burnt" at least a bit?
 
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Old 01-06-20, 05:02 PM
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Any risk of further "fire" after replacing since it looks like the wires on that side are "burnt" at least a bit?

I can't see the wires from the picture, but they may be burnt near the ends. If so, cut off the burnt ends, strip the proper amount of insulation and install the new receptacle. You said this was a bathroom outlet. It needs to be a GFCI receptacle unless you have a GFCI breaker.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 05:03 PM
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Be sure you tighten the wires up on the sides when you put it back together. Do not backstab the outlet... use the screws on the sides. A loose connection will cause an outlet to overheat like that.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 07:05 PM
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Sorry, not following...this is not a GFCI outlet and there is not one in that bathroom.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 08:05 PM
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The wire is probably OK. It's the insulation that will be burnt back. As long as the wire is still long enough cut back just enough to get good insulation.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 06:59 AM
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Since you're already getting into a recepticle replacement a GFI enabled one is a good idea.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 07:57 AM
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Yes it should be a GFI.
But just because this receptacle is not a GFI does not mean that is is not protected.
It may be on the load side of a GFI in another bathroom or somewhere else.
So if you trip that one and loose power to this one then you know that is how it is connected.

Note finding it can sometimes be a royal pain.
I had one instance that they lost power to the bathroom receptacle. It was a fairly confident that the receptacle was on a GFI. Ended up after an hour of hunting that the GFI was in the attached garage.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 06:55 PM
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I've played that game. Couldn't get power to a powder room and after pulling my hair out for 2 hours found a tripped outdoor GFI on the front patio that was on the same circuit.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 03:07 PM
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Sorry, not following...this is not a GFCI outlet and there is not one in that bathroom.
In your first post you said this was a bathroom outlet.

Hello, we have an iron plug stuck in a bathroom outlet.
So, is this or is this not a bathroom outlet?

Just remember this:

You said this was a bathroom outlet. It needs to be a GFCI receptacle unless you have a GFCI breaker.
 
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Old 01-12-20, 08:33 AM
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Yes, this is in the bathroom but there is no GFCI outlet in this bathroom. The nearest GFCI outlet is in another bathroom on that floor. The replacement I bought is a standard 2 outlet receptacle. Are you saying I should (must?) change what was there to GFCI? I'm confused why how the GFCI wiring is configured affects me replacing this receptacle? I was planning to dive in to this today...

I also did some testing regarding my vague breaker labeling. It turns out both outlets in this bathroom are on their own breaker labeled "Bath". Another breaker shut off everything in that bedroom and bathroom except those outlets. So seems there is no GFCI protection for them.
 

Last edited by weigojmi; 01-12-20 at 09:17 AM.
  #21  
Old 01-12-20, 10:11 AM
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Are you saying I should (must?) change what was there to GFCI? I'm confused why how the GFCI wiring is configured affects me replacing this receptacle? I was planning to dive in to this today...
No, not at all. I am just simply saying that this outlet must be GFCI protected. It might be protected by the GFCI outlet in the other bathroom. Do a test trip on the GFCI outlet in the other bathroom and then see if that kills the power to this receptacle you want to replace. If it does, replace this one with a new duplex receptacle. If not, check to see if you have a GFCI breaker feeding the circuit. If not, then you need to replace the duplex receptacle with a GFCI receptacle.
 
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Old 01-12-20, 11:36 AM
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OK, I test tripped the GFCI in the other bathroom and the problem outlet did lose power. So this means I can continue with my plan to replace that receptacle with the non-GFCI duplex one I bought, correct?
 
  #23  
Old 01-12-20, 03:14 PM
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Correct
 
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