It's pretty hard to melt a nightlight, short
circuited or not, so something doesn't sound
right from the git-go. If you've located the
presence of previous serious over-heating though,
it's entirely possible the wiring insulation is
compromised and who knows what all else is going
on inside the boxes and their wires? Whoever
claimed it was a nightlight caused that problem,
IMO, lied to you. Somethign else may have melted
the nightlight, but I doubt the nightlight was the
Have the wiring checked by a licensed
electrician and make sure you don't have a fire
If you want to look into it yourself and are
confident you can do so safely, think about it
first: Your questions/comments don't sound like
you have the experience it takes to grab hold of
120Vac safely. Anyway, first things I'd do is:
-- Kill the breaker to it; stop using it until
it's repaired. It could be a dangerous situation
(as in fire, not necessarily shock, though that's
also possible of course)..
-- What current is the outlet rated for? The
feeding ckt brkr/fuse? Wire size appropriate?
-- Any evidence of arccing anywhere? Inside the
boxes? At the wire connections? If outlets are
stab types, that's a good place to start replacing
-- You'll probably have to inspect the wiring
from the panel to the outlets and on to wherever
else they go to. I'd say you can't depend on
anyone's word in this; the entire ckt needs to be
checked out or perhaps parts of it abandoned if
you can't pull enough to get access to the actual
wires. Insulation problems will usually be near a
box though, and easy to spot. Question is, which
Any problems WILL be inside the box. 99.9% or better. The heating WILL
be at a connection. It WILL be either AWG14 or AWG12 wire, and the
receptacle (outlet) WILL be rated for 15 amps.. If it is a 20 amp
outlet it will have different blade orientation.
The chances of insulation damage outside the box with no damage inside
the box (due to heat, not mechanical damage) are so slim as to be
Very likely. Hopefully they are all exposed and
available. DIY could be anything though.
It WILL be either AWG14
You don't know that; that's what it SHOULD be.
And occasionally some 10.
and the receptacle (outlet) WILL be rated
You can't know that. Your'e not there.
If it is a 20 amp outlet it will have
==INto which a 15A will still plug just fine.
==And which does not mean 12 wire, or even a 20A
breaker. It could be 14 wire, and I've seen a few
30 Amps where 15's belonged, one right here in my
own home when we moved in, in fact, in addition a
flooring nail thru an insulation right at the
== And there is no guarantee a 20A or more
appliance still has a 20A connector on its cord.
Usually; unless it's encountered a run of 14 ga
along the way where it needed to be 12. in that
case a full draw near popping the breaker (of
unkown amperage) can indeed melt and otherwise
compromise the insulation.
Never, EVER depend on code to represent what one
will find in any home they did not have wired, or
wired themselves, and had inspected. Any
inspection only speaks for what it WAS, not what
it IS. When you buy a home, you're also buying
whatever the last owner may have done to/with it.
And never take anyone's word for anything; they
may just not know any different.
I once even found a 26ga twisted pair solid
wire used to provide an extension for the last
foot of a run inside a wall for an added outlet
where they couldn't pull the wires far enough to
reach the new position. They spliced it at the
old location, soldered & taped it, then plastered
it closed & painted it. They matched the pain
perfectly but couldn't be bothered to get the
proper wire for the job, or care about codes.
Lots of people are similar to them but hopefully
not quite that ignorant of reality.
No: I'm not a contractor, lawyer, insurance agent
or electrician. Just a diy'er who knows the code
& helps people out since being forced into
retirement for health reasons. But, like the
condition of wiring in any home, I'm nost exposing
what I WAS or even which union I was in<g>.
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