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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    3

    Question Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    Hi everyone I am new to this so please bear with me. I have an older home probably 60 or 70 years old. I have some outlets in the house that don't work. I have never really worried about it I just dont use those outlets. Well here is my problem. Over the past 3 days i have plugged in my vacuum and it stopped working, when I pulled the plug out of the socket it was hot and starting to melt. Next day my dryer stopped working. Checked to see if it was plugged in to find the cord was black and bubbling and heat was coming from the outlet. Last night I plug in my daughter baby monitor and as I am plugging it in I hear a loud pop and an orange glow in the outlet. I immediately stopped trying to plug it in and removed it from the outlet to find the pronges on the monitor black. I called my utility company today. They came out and said my voltage coming into the house is fine. Im so upset at this point. How bad and what could be causing this problem. If anyone has a comment on what it could be please let me no. Thank you
    P.S. I do have an electrician coming out tonite. Im just really worried and I dont understand much about electricity.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    666

    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    It could be that the spring tabs inside of the receptacles are so worn out that they are not making tight contact with the prong on the plug that you are plugging in.

    Think of grabbing your left index finger very tightly between your index finger and thumb. Your left index finger is the prong on the plug and your right index finger and thumb represent the spring tabs in the receptacle.

    If those connections are loose then the resistance in the circuit rises and that creates heat. In some cases lots of it.

    It could also be loose wiring connections between the wiring and the receptacle its self.

    Please let us know what the electrician finds and good call on calling the electrician.

    The theory I provided above makes sense on high amperage draw items like the vac and the hair tools but on a low draw items like the baby monitor does not hold water.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    3

    Smile Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    Thank you very much kent for the information. I will be sure to post what the electrician says tonight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
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    356

    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    If it is multiple outlets you are doing the right thing get a Electrician in right away.I am one but I would have to be able to look at this in person it could be alot of things.let us know

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    Yes it is an electric dryer. In my breaker box I do have a main breaker, and I have a breaker for each room of the house and one for the washer and one for the dryer. But I am not sure what the panel is. I am not sure what a panel is sorry. I am just becoming familar with all of this. I have been reading up today to try and better understand what may be going on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,825

    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    My first suspicion would be that you do not have a good common connection in the breaker box and one of the phases is shorted to the common giving you 220volts to some of your 110 volt outlets. If it were me I would shut off the main until the electrician gets there.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 02-26-2008 at 06:42 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,825

    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    Quote Originally Posted by YukYuk View Post
    .

    Saw no reason to have expanded on my theory in my earlier post, since I indicated the panel and the OP indicated an electrician was due later that day, and Jack addressed the OP's follow-up question by telling her to shut off the MAIN until the electrician arrived (no power, no internet access?). Why scare the pants off the OP when it might have been something less severe when someone qualified was going to be on-site in a few hours? If the OP has a problem with the panel the electrician will tell her - she will quickly learn what a panel is.
    Lets see melting cord on dryer, charred plugs, burnt up vacuum cleaner, all items that the OP can see. How about the wiring the OP can't see. In a few hours there may be no house for the electrician to come and check. Being a little scared and safe beats the alternative in my view.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
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    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    I would have to test a few things first to make a good diagnosis first. It could be numerous things but nothing I would tell a Harry Homeowner to try and test. The first thing come to mind is a lost neutral on a 120 volt circuit. I have seen this before but in commercial applications of 120/208 volts on a Y connected three phase where the neutral was lost. You then get 208 volts on the 120 volt line which will burn anything that 120 volts. But since all home I have worked on where 12/240 Delta connected transformer this should not be the case. To me it sound like there is voltage on the ground and no path to a good ground. I would love to find what it is…. Let us know
    Last edited by Ravens53; 02-27-2008 at 06:05 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,825

    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    The same thing happens with the loss of common in household wiring. Remember that the ground connection is a reference not an absolute value. Add to that the fact that it is a 60 or 70 year old house it may not even have a ground connection.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 02-27-2008 at 06:24 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
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    459

    Default Re: Last 3 days everything is burning up in my house when i plug it in.

    Quote Originally Posted by YukYuk View Post
    Wouldn't want to let the massive power interuptions here in Florida yesterday to feed the imaginations of lurking trolls.

    .
    Leslie, when did you move to Florida ? Too cold in Chicago ?

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