New apartment, electrical outlet blew out 3 fans.

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Start by calling your landlord. The outlet could be wired wrong. Ive seen 120v outlets get rewired for a 240 window air conditioner. Could be that the circuit uses a shared neutral. If the nuetral connection fails it could put 240 across the outlet. This could be an intermittent problem as you discribed while incorrect wiring wouldnt likely be intermittent. Call your landlord.
Jimmie
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On Thu, 2 Jul 2009 15:23:28 -0700 (PDT), flips333

Is this circuit on a GFCI? If so it could be bad. Replace the outlet if it is charred. Check the voltage, ground. Make sure the hot (black wire) is the shorter slot. Make sure the wire nuts are tight.
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One of my houses had an older 220v outlet that looked just like a 110 outlet. It was for a log set on an electric fireplace, circa 1926. The former owner had plugged in a box fan that lasted about 10 seconds...
JK
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Big_Jake wrote: ...

It probably _was_ a 110V outlet simply being misused...
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