Should our brand new outlets be getting this hot?

polarprincessOctober 16, 2010

just put in a new addition. We do not have covers on any of the outlets yet because we haven't painted, so when i noticed my lights wouldn't come on, i happened to touch the metal piece around the switch and noticed it was really hot. It is on a dimmer if that makes any difference, but it tripped the circuit breaker. I spoke with the electrician who wired the house, and he told me it was normal when it is on a dimmer to get that warm, but is it always going to be tripping the breaker or should we be worried something is wrong? There are 6 cans in the ceiling that this switch controls, and he also told me that is way under what the outlet could handle. So i am just asking this for peace of mind to make sure he knows what he is talking about. The inspector has been here so i am assuming it is ok?? Thanks

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yosemitebill

Actually, you have two issues that should have been addressed completely separately by the electrician.

One, is that the dimmer frame is hot to the touch. This is usually normal as the frame of the dimmer control is the heatsink of the device which is dissipating the heat of the electronics in the dimmer. However, the "test" for the amount of heat is based a little bit more upon "touch and experience" than an an actual standard objective measurement.

Second, the breaker is tripping! You electrician needs to determine and identify the cause of this and and find what needs to be done to correct the problem.

It seems the two issues got entangled as one, and you still have a problem that needs to be corrected.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 11:26PM
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pharkus

Second what yosemitebill said. The heat is probably okay, but the breaker tripping is not.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 1:05AM
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smithy123

a dimmer is usually rated at 600w. if you are using 100w lamps, that is ur 600w.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 11:31PM
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polarprincess

ok i will have to check the lamps and see what they are. i do know that we put in this thing for a generator so that if our electricity goes out these particular lights will work, and i do know these lights were wired into this thing..not sure if this makes a difference or not, but i will ask my hubby to call him again and ask about this..thanks for the responses

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 1:03AM
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petey_racer

"Should our brand new outlets be getting this hot?"

Outlet. Switch. Dimmer.
You are using different words to describe the same thing I think, and I am confused.
WHAT is getting hot? The dimmer?

Are the receptacles controlled by a dimmer? If so this is another problem.

You say the switch is hot and it's on a dimmer? Is the dimmer the switch? I assume so.

The last bit clears it up a little.
If this is simply a dimmer controlling several recessed lights, as long as you are about 100 watts under the dimmer's rating you should be fine. The touch test is basically how you rate this.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:43AM
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polarprincess

well there is a metal plate that has the switch in it where you turn it off and on and it has a tiny little dimmer right next to it that slides up and down, We do not have covers on the outlets yet.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:39PM
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smithy123

the subpanel for the gen has nothing to do with it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:41PM
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polarprincess

thats good to know thanks

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:49PM
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