Jump to content

110 v recep warm


Recommended Posts

could not find much of this on the web. thought Id ask you folks.

had a plug in flashlight, in a standard wall recep. took it out to use it, found it warm around the plug in prongs.. so I plugged it in somewhere else it was not warm. back to the outlet , still warm between the upper and lower plug in places. , so I said ,maybe a loose wire, pulled it out of the wall box, no loose wires, but it was a feed thru rcep with things downstream, I turned those things off, still warm, almost hot actually, so I replaced the receptacle (20 years old) . then it was cool normal---

ever seen this? wonder how much its cost me in heating it for all the years

Link to post
Share on other sites

could not find much of this on the web. thought Id ask you folks.

had a plug in flashlight, in a standard wall recep. took it out to use it, found it warm around the plug in prongs.. so I plugged it in somewhere else it was not warm. back to the outlet , still warm between the upper and lower plug in places. , so I said ,maybe a loose wire, pulled it out of the wall box, no loose wires, but it was a feed thru rcep with things downstream, I turned those things off, still warm, almost hot actually, so I replaced the receptacle (20 years old) . then it was cool normal---

ever seen this? wonder how much its cost me in heating it for all the years

20 years ago, a builder-grade 15-amp duplex receptacle cost about 21 cents. Even today, you can find them for about 35 cents. They're a cheap commodity item and I find it amazing that they don't fail more often than they do. You got your money's worth out of it.

It's a good thing that you were alert enough to spot the problem. Most people wouldn't have.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The wires were stabbed in to holes in the back? The little jaws in there don't make good contact. Google 'back-stabbed connection'.

There is a resistance in the wire at those connections when there is current flowing through the circuit. Resistance draws energy and releases it as heat.

It is a fairly common failure and could actually lead to fire, if the wire insulation gets hot enough to ignite.

If you find old back-stabbed connections in your house, change them to screw connections. A properly made screw connection should never get hot like that.

The proper and safest way to wire thru connections is with wire nuts. The receptacles are all on pigtails so that they are on their own little branch circuits.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The proper and safest way to wire thru connections is with wire nuts. The receptacles are all on pigtails so that they are on their own little branch circuits.

I disagree for a few reasons.

1. wire nuts are bulky-adding three nuts and the extra wire plus a device, crams things in the box- just the act of installing the device worries the connections in the wire nut. GFCI's and dimmers make it that much worse.

2. Even on builder grade receptacles, a wire properly secured below a screw is a more dependable connection than nuts. I use spec grade receptacles and switches and there is no doubt that the connections provided through the crushing action of the articulated platen are very, very secure. I wire my devices in series. They're designed to be wired in series. Just because it takes longer to wire in parallel, doesn't mean it's a higher quality method.

3. Anecdotally, my failure experience is #1 back-stabbed receptacles #2 defective connections at wire nuts #3 a failure within the device itself

Link to post
Share on other sites

no back stabbing just terminals. so. something inside the recep fAiled but what

It could have been any current-carrying part. There are lots of little bits of metal in there. Something worked itself loose or developed a small fracture or something like that.

It's also possible, but very unlikely, that there was actually arcing going on inside the receptacle. Did you save it?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The proper and safest way to wire thru connections is with wire nuts. The receptacles are all on pigtails so that they are on their own little branch circuits.

I disagree for a few reasons.

1. wire nuts are bulky-adding three nuts and the extra wire plus a device, crams things in the box- just the act of installing the device worries the connections in the wire nut. GFCI's and dimmers make it that much worse.

2. Even on builder grade receptacles, a wire properly secured below a screw is a more dependable connection than nuts. I use spec grade receptacles and switches and there is no doubt that the connections provided through the crushing action of the articulated platen are very, very secure. I wire my devices in series. They're designed to be wired in series. Just because it takes longer to wire in parallel, doesn't mean it's a higher quality method.

3. Anecdotally, my failure experience is #1 back-stabbed receptacles #2 defective connections at wire nuts #3 a failure within the device itself

OK, I'll go with that. Pigtails is what the muni inspectors here wanted to see in the past but maybe they need to be 'disabused' a bit. [:)].
Link to post
Share on other sites

no back stabbing just terminals. so. something inside the recep fAiled but what

It could have been any current-carrying part. There are lots of little bits of metal in there. Something worked itself loose or developed a small fracture or something like that.

It's also possible, but very unlikely, that there was actually arcing going on inside the receptacle. Did you save it?

no, I thought about it tho, 1989 house leviton or whoever would probably have blamed it on abuse, or possibly lack of scheduled maintenance in accordance with owners manual (LOL) but to me it was an odd failure. I think it was maybe 120 degrees or so you could hold your finger on it, but it was warmer than warm but cooler than too hot to touch.

another web site said "dirt" will cause this but it was in my hall. house is somewhat clean (using Southern standard of course) note capital S

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I've had an IR imager, this sort of stuff has caused me a fair amount of frustrated investigation. I find electrical components that are a little warmer than they're *supposed to be* all the time. Outlets, breakers, fixtures, appliance control panels, whatever.

I've never been able to track it down to anything. I have no explanations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, sounds like my NOT having an IR imager has saved me all kinds of frustration!

Yes, it has.

IR can take one down more red herring pathways than you can imagine. Or, lead you to something you'd not have found otherwise.

It definitely ups the complication factor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a pigtail proponent until Chad's post. Chad's got a good point on wire nut vs screw connection. I didn't know these devices were designed for feed-thru applications.

As for failure modes/overheating on general purpose duplexes, other than back-stabbing, I'd blame oxidation and loss of tension in the springs that grab the prongs of the plug.

First post on my new MacBook Pro Retina.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a pigtail proponent until Chad's post. Chad's got a good point on wire nut vs screw connection. I didn't know these devices were designed for feed-thru applications.

As for failure modes/overheating on general purpose duplexes, other than back-stabbing, I'd blame oxidation and loss of tension in the springs that grab the prongs of the plug.

First post on my new MacBook Pro Retina.

Marc

what was crazy was that the recep was warm even after I unplugged the flashlight, still days later, something inside it must have "shorted" out in some manner

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never seen a pigtailed installation; everything is in series/feed through.

Is pigtailing common elsewhere?

Nice machine, btw......

Here for the wiring rough-in inspection, the muni inspector wants to see all the boxes wired with wire nuts in place and two pigtails sticking out.

If that passes, the receptacles go in. No small wonder back-stabbing takes place at that stage.

It certainly simplifies the electrical inspection.

The wire nuts have proven to be satisfactory, except yes sometimes a wire pops out and you lose power.

Pigtails allow for easy replacement of receptacles, cheap 'upgrade' for a house flipper.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

I have never seen a pigtailed installation; everything is in series/feed through.

Is pigtailing common elsewhere?

Nice machine, btw......

Here for the wiring rough-in inspection, the muni inspector wants to see all the boxes wired with wire nuts in place and two pigtails sticking out.

If that passes, the receptacles go in. No small wonder back-stabbing takes place at that stage.

It certainly simplifies the electrical inspection.

The wire nuts have proven to be satisfactory, except yes sometimes a wire pops out and you lose power.

Pigtails allow for easy replacement of receptacles, cheap 'upgrade' for a house flipper.

[/quote

Out of curiosity - Is that by chance a Canadian code thing ?

There is no such requirement in the NEC ( other than neutrals on a multi-wire circuit) Then there is the good ole fashioned Local amendment thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here for the wiring rough-in inspection, the muni inspector wants to see all the boxes wired with wire nuts in place and two pigtails sticking out.

If that passes, the receptacles go in. No small wonder back-stabbing takes place at that stage.

It certainly simplifies the electrical inspection.

The wire nuts have proven to be satisfactory, except yes sometimes a wire pops out and you lose power.

Pigtails allow for easy replacement of receptacles, cheap 'upgrade' for a house flipper.

It's basically the same here. However, if you wanted to wire through the receptacles, you could just leave those wires sticking out. There's no requirement to use wire nuts as opposed to the lugs on the receptacle, but if there are going to be wire nuts, then the inspectors like to see them in place. Examples attached.

Click to Enlarge
tn_2014127135237_IMG_0047%20(Large).jpg

43.3 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_201412713530_IMG_0051%20(Large).jpg

46.18 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...