Maybe you can enlighten me . What hapens if I cut off the ground pin of any
modern device and plug it in the socket, then pull it out and reverse the
plug ? Motors do not run in reverse, and light bulbs do not suck the light
out of the room.
The main issue is safety if the plug is reversed.
There were some electronic devices made many years ago (usually using tubes)
that had a hot chassie and could be very dangerous to reverse the plug, but
many of them were made before sockets had seperate ground pins.
3-prong plugs would be somewhat safer if they were designed to enforce
polarization even with the ground prong removed (since people will do
that, or modify a 2-wire extension cord to accept a 3-prong plug).
That sounds less like a short than a loose connection. The current was
flowing THROUGH that compressor, and was probably never high enough to
trip the breaker. Sparks in the loose connection melted that prong so
that it came loose, and heated the rubber or plastic in the plug
enough to make it smoke. Plugging it in the wrong way PROBABLY did not
contribute to this, it was just an old plug that needed to be
You can have a high resistance connection that over heated. A
practicle real world example is an electric heater. It's just one
wire into a resistive material and back. Even thought much heat a
break won't trip if the heater is set below the breaker's set point.
So you might have had a a short that acted like a heater, it created a
lot of heat, but the current flow was far below the setpoint.
Now this is a guess. The only way you can positive is to have either
your system checked, or replace the breaker. So get an electrician.
tom @ www.CarFleaMarket.com
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