Exploding plug on iron

tabascoOctober 22, 2010

This morning I plugged in the iron and the plug literally blew off the cord. There was a sudden "boom" and then the plug remained in the gfci receptacle and the cord to the iron blew out from the sudden explosion. This of course tripped the circuit. This particular 20 amp circuit comes directly out of the electrical panel in the basement and is for the washer. Nothing extends from the circuit. Just the washer (which was not in use) and the iron were plugged in. The receptacle works fine after I reset the circuit. Is this just a case of a bad plug from the iron or should I be concerned this could be something more serious.

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joed

The plug was damaged and the two line shorted together.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 8:28AM
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ontariojer

Iron bad, receptacle good.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 9:20AM
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smithy123

there was probably a short between line and neutral. try replacing the plug with a new hubbell plug.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 3:28PM
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DavidR

If the iron is an older one, it's possible that the plug was damaged by use. Straining the cord at the plug (which can happen when the cord is wrapped around the iron for storage) may cause invisible damage that can lead to such an event.

OTOH, if the iron is a recent purchase, return it to the store.

This is not something to take lightly. Your home's fuse or breaker protected you from possible harm.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 7:36PM
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smithy123

my mom's $300 rowenta iron did that where the cord went into the iron. replaced the cord and it works like new.
btw, what is it with people having iron problems?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 7:47PM
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kalining

Next time don't unplug the iron by pulling on the cord.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 1:00PM
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smithy123

that was probably it. use a new hubbell plug.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 3:09PM
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k27k

I'd think that this happens because most irons are used very heavily, so the cord wears out quickly. I know this because the one iron that I had stopped working, but when I plugged it in and moved the cord around where it enters the iron it would turn on and off. But anything having to do with live electric lines that are expossed and touching is extremely dangerous, and could be fatal. Thank God for breakers!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 5:47PM
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smithy123

forget the plug! replace the cord with 14/3 sjoow and a hubbell hbl5266c! do the ground to the ironing plate.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 6:08PM
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ontariojer

#1 Breakers don't protect people from shocks. We have resistance, lots of it.
#2 By the time you buy a hubbell cord cap, and some cabtire, you are probably halfway to a new iron(and not a cheap one either)
#3 Stop posting as two people

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 6:45PM
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smithy123

i am not posting as 2 people. he is my friend, that i told him to join so he can stop bugging me everytime he has a question.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 7:50PM
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k27k

Our chances of dieing of an electrical related shock are greatly reduced by the resistance of our bodies, this i know
& most definately must agree with because I got shocked once. I was simply saying that breakers can protect you from harm by interupting the flow of electricity to the recepticle.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:32PM
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ontariojer

"I was simply saying that breakers can protect you from harm by interupting the flow of electricity to the recepticle."

That can be true, but not if the harm is in the form of a shock. GFCIs may(but not always),while regular breakers(including AFCIs) do not protect you from shocks. That's not what breakers are for.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:39PM
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kalining

read the post. The cord " cord cap " blew out. not the entire cord to the iron. There is nothing wrong with the
iron cord. Don't unplug the iron or any thing by pulling on
the cord. Tabasco found out the hard way. My wife did the same thing on her hair dryer. BANG.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:41PM
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smithy123

the rest of the cord could still have broken strands throughout. Replace it!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 7:56AM
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brickeyee

"I was simply saying that breakers can protect you from harm by interupting the flow of electricity to the recepticle."

The only function of breakers (and other over-current devices like fuses) is to protect the wires in the walls from overheating and causing fires.

A 15 amp breaker is not going to protect a human from harm.

It will not even approach tripping until the current is ~1500 times what it takes to kill you (about 10 mA through the heart).

It is the low voltage (only 120 V) and our high skin resistance (when dry), along with electrical insulation, & careful design to limit contact with live conductors that protects us.

A GFCI provides some additional protection since current entering a person is very unlikely to return on the neutral associated with the hot you are touching (but not impossible).
They trip at ~5-6 mA of 'missing' current (missing means not on the circuits hot and neutral).

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 9:33AM
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smithy123

he probably meant an afci, like what is in his house.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 12:58PM
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ontariojer

Afcis won't protect you from shock! Read the other posts.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 1:47PM
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brickeyee

"he probably meant an afci, like what is in his house."

AFCUs have a higher current GFCI function built in, IIRC ~10 mA.

The personnel protection will be a little worse than a GFCI, but cannot prevent shock, just reduce the chance of a long enough shock to hold the heart stopped.

The problem is that even with the fast reaction time of GFCI technology the hearts rhythm can be disrupted, and you WILL feel the shock (however briefly).

If you manage to get across the hot and neutral on GFCI protected circuit and do NOT leak ANT current to another ground, the GFCI will not even react.

GFCIs use a simple current transformer that passes both the hot and neutral through the core.

If the current does not match within ~6 mA (0.006 amps) the circuit is first shorted with a triac, and then opened.

For normal healthy people the odds are very good they will not have a problem with the quick shock they receive.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 2:26PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

If only SquareD made cordsets for irons... :-)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 6:59PM
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kalining

just an FYI. they use 2000 volts on the electric chair and
cannot acceed 5 amps as the body will ROAST. That is why they put a rubber hood over the face because a normal electricution will blow the eyes out. It takes about 100
milliamps to kill if everything is right. Try getting a
15 amp breaker to trip on that.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 8:27PM
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