Outlet burned on inside!

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Old 03-20-20, 07:24 PM
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Outlet burned on inside!

What do you think happened here?
Here's the back story.... Bottom outlet was running an oil space heater (1,500 watts max I believe) for my Airbnb guest suite. For the top outlet I had one of those plastic covers plugged in to prevent anyone from plugging into that top outlet. I discovered that this space heater was not turning off when both switches were flipped down in the off position and the temperature dial turned all the way to the right. This thing may have been running for 2 days straight. Yes, the outlet was still working after all of this melting. https://www.costway.com/1500-w-7-fin...4aAosMEALw_wcB
I was trying to unplug the outlet cover on top and noticed that the plastic inside the prong hold was literally melted stuck. In fact, the plastic around the left side of the outlet was quite melted, such that part of the metal inside was leaning forward and poking through the outlet. See side view picture below.
This is a standard 15 amp outlet. White wire (common running to the left side when looking straight at the outlet) looked burned. About 2 inches of the casing of the wire had turned black. The black wire on the other side looked fine. 12 gauge wiring inside.

 
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Old 03-20-20, 07:35 PM
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You can see exactly what happened..... the screw for the black wire wasn't tight and that connection got hot enough that the plug blade melted the receptacle. I see it all the time.

Buy good quality receptacles to reduce those problems.
 
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Old 03-20-20, 08:27 PM
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It's actually the common (white) wire and that side that was burning. I think you're seeing the black plastic from the outlet casing that melted.

The hot side was not burned.

Is this one not good enough quality? https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-15-Am...4263/203728050
 
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Old 03-21-20, 01:19 AM
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Even a commercial grade device will have issues if the connection is not secure and a high load is placed on it.
 
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Old 03-21-20, 07:07 AM
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You need to get serious. Somebody could have lost their life due to your negligence. A plastic plug in an outlet is to prevent a child from getting a shock from unknowingly sticking something into the hot side of the outlet. It is not adult proof. Even if you had a warning near the outlet, guests can be stupid. You don't know if a guest used the upper outlet while the heater was operating. You believe the heater is 1500 watts. Could it be more? You didn't state if the breaker tripped. If you plan on staying in the BNB trade, make sure your rooms are safe, even better than required by local jurisdiction.
 
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Old 03-21-20, 09:51 AM
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@ beelzebob......
This is the reason we put smoke detectors in a sleeping room.
No one could have foreseen what happened to that receptacle.
If a heater plugs into a standard 120v receptacle it cannot be larger than 1500w.

If this were me and I was renting.... there would be no plug in heaters in use or allowed.


 
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Old 03-21-20, 12:01 PM
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Link in original post. 1500 watts.
No children stay at my guest suite. I do have a note on the outlet (only the heater or portable AC connects to this outlet).
Believe me, after I discovered that this space heater was turned "off" yet was still running, I decided to remove it. I will just have to coordinate with guests to adjust the central heat if anyone may stay during colder weather. Generally I am only open during the warm weather season.
 
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Old 03-21-20, 12:36 PM
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You could dedicate that receptacle by installing a single receptacle.

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Old 03-21-20, 02:39 PM
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Is this one not good enough quality? https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-15-Am...4263/203728050
I wouldn't buy a GE light bulb much less a wiring device, who really makes them? GE got out of the wiring device business long ago, but I do remember the crap they used to sell. GE was one of the first to manufacture wiring devices in Mexico back in the late 1970s and of course, they were the cheapest. If you want to use a commercial grade use a name brand such as Leviton, P&S or Eaton/A-H. Hubbell used to be the Cadillac, but today I wouldn't even use their Residential line like Lowes now sells, but I do still like their Commercial and Industrial devices.
 
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Old 03-21-20, 04:48 PM
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Andy Rooney, post 1 says "1500 watt max I believe", so you still haven't answered my question.
PJmax, you stated "If a heater plugs into a standard 120v receptacle it cannot be larger than 1500w." How many people know this and who checks for violations. If I was in a freezing room and there was an electric heater with a 120 vac plug, I doubt my first thought would be to verify the heater rating for 1500 watt or less before using it.
 
 

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