When I unplugged my electric smoker today the plug was so hot I jerked my hand away in fear of being burned. Why was it so hot? What should I do or check? It is an old house with the screw in glass fuses.
"Why was it so hot?"
(1) worn/dirty receptacle - if the plug doesn't make good contact heat will result.
(2) worn/dirty plug - see #1
(3) poorly made/underated cordset - if your smoker is a newer model (particularly if made overseas) this is likely.
(4)use of an under-rated extension cord
"What should I do or check?"
First, make sure you have adequate fire insurance, smoke detectors and an extinguisher or two.
Second, see the list above. If the receptacles are as old as the rest of the house, I would start there.
Also add to Wayne's accurate list; overfused circuits.
You say you have screw-in fuses. It is entirely possibly some clod installed a 30A fuse in place of a 15 or 20, "Because the darn think kept blowing".
This is EXTREMELY dangerous for obvious reasons! (see original post)
Petey is very correct that overfusing is dangerous and you should check your fuse sizes to avoid this situation.
However, it does not belong in Wayne's list because it is not a cause of overheated plugs. Overfusing might allow an excessive load to overheat plugs without blowing the fuse and protecting you, but the overheating is a problem in itself regardless of the fuse.
What is the current or power rating on the smoker?
Thank you for all the replies. It is a Brinkman 1500 watt smoker. No extension cord. The outlet in the wall looks fairly new. 15 amp fuse in the box. I have emailed Brinkman customer service to see what they will say. The outlet has no black or burn marks on it so I don't think the plug was arcing. It was just too hot.
Your circuit can handle that many watts unless it is loaded up with other appliances/lights. The smoker cord shouldn't get that hot. I wonder if there is a bad connection inside the smoker. At any rate, please advise on what Brinkman says.
Nothing unusual in the cord getting that hot. I have an electric frying pan that gets hot after a half hour of use and its all in the plug/receptacle.
This is a garage sale frying pan that plugs in very easily so it can not be making great contact. There are no scorch marks but it does heat up very nicely. Frying pan and plug.
I would replace the receplacle with a $2 to $5 receptacle rather than a 39 cent one and see if that makes a difference.