odd problem at school

matt-kuharApril 11, 2010

im just wondering what would cause the left prong on a three prong power tool to blacken and melt the plug on the cord of the tool. and yes this is the factory plug not a replacement. my school just bought a new sander and a new band saw and they both blackened when they were used just like the older tools. again the prong is the one that goes in the left side of the outlet when plugged in. thanks and sorry for writing so much, matt

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bus_driver

Bad contact in the wall receptacle.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petey_racer

Yup. Old or cheap receptacle that the "grip" has gone weak.

Very common problem.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

ok i could understand that. but the thing is that they just replaced all the outlets in the room last school year. and all plugs fit into the outlets very firmly. so im still not sure what could be causing this.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne440

Physical contact ("all plugs fit into the outlets very firmly") and electrical contact are not mutually inclusive. It is entirely possible for a plug to fit very firmly into a receptacle and have inadequate electrical contact.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

ok. but wouldnt it turn both of the prongs on the plug black? or am i missing something here. we also tried a jig saw we got today in another wing of the school and the same blackning of the left prong occured when only used for about 5 minutes.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 4:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
manchild

It actually wouldn't turn both black if in fact that is the problem. It would only arc and blacken where the connection is loose. It's not very common to replace a receptacle and for this to happen, but sometimes during instalation I have seen people take a screwdriver and push it in that prong and try to straighten an outlet that is twisted. It could of course just have been damaged anywhere from when factory made it to untill the time it was installed

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

as for the melting of the plug should i be afraid of it catching fire or burning someones hand when they go to unplug the tools? if so would you recommend to replace the outlets again?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
manchild

absolutely. If this truly is the problem (which it seems very likely) the more likely situation to occur is that the arcing from the loose connection will heat up to the point where it will cause a fire. I would reccoment to at least replace the outlet in question. We are talking about one outlet that is doing this, correct?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

nooooo this is just about every outlet in the school. my laptop cord actually had to be replaced because of this issue also. im not sure exactly what this issue is and i just got a voicemail that 5-7 computers have melted plugs also and this is worring me alot now.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne440

Since "...they just replaced all the outlets in the room last school year..." It appears that "they" may have used an inferior brand/type of outlet.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

the inferior brand/type of outlet would not surprise me because of all the budget cuts.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
abnorm

We've seen that before....with multiple fault points you need a common cause......you probably need to be looking for a bad panel Connection.......probably a "bad" Neutral

Meter the voltage and check.....

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

thanks a lot i will monitor the voltage and check all the connections in the panels and get back to you

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 6:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

all the connections and voltages check out in all outlets so im confused i also replaced 3 outlets today plugged in new tool and same burnt prong and melting plug.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

bus and petey have it right. the prong is getting hot because of a high resistance "bad" connection at the receptacle. replace one of the bad receptacles with a high quality one from supplier, not from those on hand. then plug in an appliance thats plug has not been compromised. you will not have a problem at the newly replaced receptacle. Then you will have many others to replace.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 3:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

replaced 3 outlets with leviton industrial grade ones plugged in a new tool a drill in this case and within 5 minutes or so same blackening happened. im thinking this may be something with the POCO.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 4:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yosemitebill

Sorry if I'm being cynical, but does anybody else have the word "troll" come to mind...? When I was in school, I was never allowed to replace outlets and check all the connections in the panels... Give me a break!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

You don't need an electrician you need a Priest, as this is not an elecrical problem it is a poltergeist. A Bible a Cross and a bottle of Holy water and you are set. If you do call the power company and ask why they are suppling you with defective power, please record the call so you can post verbatim their answer.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne440

The OP has not indicated that he is a student, and certainly could be in a position where he would be allowed to replace outlets. However it does seem that his problem defies explaination somehow. How about let's blame it on Chinese drywall and move on.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 7:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharkus

Sorry if I'm being cynical, but does anybody else have the word "troll" come to mind...? When I was in school, I was never allowed to replace outlets and check all the connections in the panels... Give me a break!

heh... I was in a position, as a high school student, where I was permitted to do this - as well as replacing light ballasts and occasional tinkering with the wiring to the 1940s boilers...

Of course, I also had the principal making "wooden washers" with a tablesaw during the installation of an intercom system... it was definitely an unusual school.

All that aside, this thread is BS. The OP has made up a scenario which is not scientifically possible. I vote we track his IP address and semipermanently install his face in a concrete wall.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

this may not be scientifically possible but it is indeed happening. and even the POCO cant figure out why.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 6:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

They're here.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 7:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

matt
im calling you out on this one. we need to see pictures of this anomaly.

twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was. we need pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that's not to mention the aerial photography.

please post these on the web somewhere and provide us with a link.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
abnorm

I suspect Matt is telling the truth.......

Here's a wiki "three-phase" excerpt:

""If the supply neutral of a three-phase system with line-to-neutral connected loads is broken, the voltage balance on the loads will no longer be maintained. The neutral point will tend to drift toward the most heavily loaded phase, causing undervoltage conditions on that phase only. Correspondingly, the lightly-loaded phases may approach the line-to-line voltage, which exceeds the line-to-neutral voltage by a factor of â3, causing overheating and failure of many types of loads.""

After the 2004 Hurricanes in Florida I saw all kinds of weird single-phase problems associated with poor/broken Neutral connections.....Many of the strain reliefs (or connections) broke AND they were used as part of the Neutral conductor........

Disclaimer: I'm NOT an Electrician....just a handy guy

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

abnorm
the loose neutral problem may destroy 120v equipment as it will tend to increase and decrease voltage on the lines in proportion to the loads applied to them. this situation does not cause the problem described by matt. this problem is caused by heat developed at a bad connection. if matt is telling the truth, let him post the pictures. I can't wait to see the evidence.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 1:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

i will post pictures as soon as i can. thanks again, matt

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

You wouldn't think that in a school setting it would be that hard to get some photos published to the web. photobucket is ready when you are matt.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

Could it have escalated to the point they had to close the school and evacuate the building?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yosemitebill

"... I just saw on the news that an entire town has now been occupied by left blade, from ground, aliens have occupied an entire town. Unfortunately, digital pictures of this event have been unavailable since they are now entering the digital cameras themselves. Please stand-by for updates...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharkus

C'mon... People like Matt look really good with their faces smashed in!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

Where are the pictures matt? Did it burn up all the computers and your camera charger too?
Wait I think I smell something burning. Ooh noooo it has gone viral. Quick; everyone unplug everything before its too late!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

the pictures will be up by wednesday.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharkus

It's gonna take about that long to walk around the school with a torch...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

give me about thirty minutes with photo shop and I could have more photos than viagra has blue pills.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bus_driver

Blue pills are out, too expensive. New HC plan is popsickle stick and duct tape.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
matt-kuhar

just FYI our district was off this week so i couldnt get pictures. thats why theyll be up by wednesday

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 6:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

did anybody really expect to see any pictures? there again he didn't say which wednesday they would be up by.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smithy123

sorry for digging out this old thread, but i want to know what was wrong.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 8:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yosemitebill

Golly by gosh smithy, I was very much wondering something when all of the sudden you should bring this up...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
countryboymo

Hey Smithy.. ask Matt where the pictures are tomorrow.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 11:07PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
electrical outlet distance to radiator
how far from a radiator should a wall electrical outlet...
amsayan
Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?
Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?...
rontero
Multiple Fluorescent Ballasts in one light fixture
Hello GardenWeb. I'm not new here, but couldn't log...
MikeM21
A/C wired to main panel only?
I had 2 electricians come out to bid upgrading my service...
frank_diy
Motion sensor that doesn't click
I have a motion sensor very much like the picture attached...
drmeow3
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™