Hero cat?


Old 02-01-18, 07:18 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,341
Hero cat?

We were watching TV last night when the cat started squawking. She was just sitting staring at the wall and meowing loudly. I'm telling my wife to shut the cat up when she said there's smoke coming out of the wall!

Sure enough, smoke was seeping out from around a baseboard heater thermostat. I killed the power and pulled the thermostat. This is what I found.

We had smelled something hot earlier in the day and I found a coax leaning inside a baseboard heater. The jacket had started to melt and I assumed that was the source of the smell.
After I moved the cable the smell went away. Obviously it wasn't the source.

I've replaced the thermostat and everything seems to be normal but now I am wondering what caused the failure. This thermostat has been in place for at least 15 years. Why now?
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Old 02-01-18, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
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Definitely keep the cat. I'll let the pros handle the thermostat.
Similar story, one of my little Dachshunds was pestering me and running back and forth between me and the kitchen. I finally got the message and went and look. Found my frying pan turning red, turned it on to cook something and then got distracted. I'm older now and need those dogs even more.

Old 02-01-18, 09:39 AM
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Did the cat get a treat/cookie?
Old 02-01-18, 09:50 AM
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Cats get treats, dogs get cookies...lol.

I'd assume that it was just the thermostats time. I mean...as I was told about my shop fridge stat...it's a mechanical device. They wear out. It would make sense that the failure occurred while it was being used. And because of your guys East coast weather....I'd guess it was probably cycling quite a bit recently?
Old 02-01-18, 04:47 PM
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Wires and their connections can corrode over time. This corrosion creates resistance and when current tries to flow through that corroded connection it creates heat. It may have been slowly getting worse for years but finally got to the point where it was hot enough to melt/burn the wire nut.

Oh, and make sure the cat gets a nice bowl of tuna.
Old 02-01-18, 06:26 PM
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Yup, poor connection at the wirenut.

+1 for the cat getting a treat.
Old 02-09-18, 04:56 PM
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Location: Trumbull, CT, USA
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Good kitty
+2 for the cat getting a treat and loving pets.
Also just curious (not that it matters as it was a loose connection, not a fault of the stat) but what was the make and model of the thermostat?

It looks like a line voltage 240 volts double pole thermostat

I have the Honeywell CT410B as that is all the apartment maintenance workers use (The old ones were the T498B but as they fail are being spot replaced with the CT410B)
Old 02-10-18, 07:47 AM
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The thermostat is a CT410B. It was not faulty. I tested it with a meter to make sure there were no shorts and then I reinstalled it and monitored it (left it hanging out of the box) for a day. It worked fine. Then I took it out and tossed it. I think the problem was caused by a loose or corroded connection in a wire nut.

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