Air conditioners make outlets hot

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On Tue, 26 Jun 2007 20:52:42 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Bob's advice is good.

Here, I would think plug meant plug, but in the next line you use plug to mean outlet, so I'm not sure. Here it doesnt' matter which you mean, but it might.

Lack of grounding isn't the problem in this case, and grounding won't solve the problem. There is a connection that isn't tight, between the prongs of the plug and the outlet, or between the outlet and the wires connected to it. Some of the electricity turns into heat trying to get through the connection.
It was observant of you to noticed the heat. In 1980 I had a room heater plugged into a 1930 outlet and didn't notice, and I woke up one morning to find 2 inch flames coming from the plug. I tried to pull the plug out, but just like in a comedy movie, my girlfriend kept pulling my arm back just before I was able to reach the heater cord. She was panicking about the flames. Fortunately I overpowered her and after I pulled out the plug, the flames went out.

A long cord is bad in itself, and since ACs use a lot of current it should be heavy duty, and if not there will be heat generated along hte whole length of the cord, although you won't be able to feel it but it adds up. It won't start a fire, but in theory it could damage the AC. But it depends on how long you mean by long, and what size wires.

I think I read here that even some professional "electricians" backstab the wires into the receptacle (outlet). They have sold outlets with this feature for decades I think, and there must be millions or maybe tens of millions of connections that used the back stab part, and most don't cause any problems.

No, the normal amount of current would make the outlet or plug hot if the connection is bad.

Yes, but if it doesn't blow a fuse, that is ok. My whole 6 room/3 bath apartment only had two circuits and that was fine. The problem was that the metal parts in the socket no longer squeezed the plug prongs well enough. And the plug prongs didn't have their own springiness, as some do.

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wrote:

It's also possible for the bad connnection to be in the cord/plug part, inside the plug, between the metal prongs and the wires that go to an appliance. This was never common and it's less common now, I think, because plugs seem to be better attached to cords. But flexing the wire right at the plug can eventually break the wire, or most strands of it, and that can make heat.
You can probalby tell by feeling what is the hottest part and what is only hot because it's touching something hotter.
> Some of the electricity turns into heat trying

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wrote:

So probably all you have to do is change the outlet, the receptacle, for a newer one. Don't buy the cheapest but one step up from that, about a dollar or less, but not 29 cents.
(Really, if the outlet is using the back stap parts, you might only have to take the wires out of that and put them under the screws, but since you're taking the whole thing apart, maybe get new. REmove the backstab wires by pushing a small screwdriver in to the hole right next to the wire hole. When the breaker is off.)
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Well, thanks for all the feedback on this one!
The electrician came this morning and replaced the outlets and also the plug for the AC in my daughters room - it had a black spot and I guess it was shorted out a bit. I think that plug was causing some of the problems. Maybe it got cooked from her outlet.
They are running nice and cool today! No noticeable heat.
Thanks a bunch!
Steve
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On Wed, 27 Jun 2007 18:24:12 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Good solution. How much was the bill?
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Two distinct problems, IMHO:
The large loads should be split onto different branch circuits (breakers.)
Resistive drops in the vicinity/innards of the outlet are excessive. Can result from small conductor section-area- needing heftier outlet/plug. Could even cost pennies more than cheap crap.
Back-stabber outlets, vice screw-terminal, are dangerous IMHO for motor/compressor loads. Like refrig, a/c. Ideally branch cable is connected only to breaker and one outlet.
J
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