What Made The Plug Melt Into The Outlet?

@Rozie37 (15508)
Turkmenistan
December 15, 2008 2:43am CST
I recently bought a new space saver heater. There is no heat in my apartment, because I have a slum lord. I plugged it up in the bathroom and after ten minutes, I started to smell a strong odor. I figured that it was just dust burning off the heater, even though I use it every day. When the smell kept getting stronger, I unplugged the heater and found that it had been melting into the socket. It really scared me. This is the second time that this has happened in this place. Last time, it was a different heater and socket and the heater actually sparked up. I believe that it has something to do with the faulty wiring in this place, but I am not sure. What do you think?
2 people like this
13 responses
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
15 Dec 08
I'm not an electrician, but it sounds to me like the space heaters are trying to pull too much current for that outlet. I don't know if your house has circuit breakers or fuses, but whichever it is, they are obviously not strong enough to provide the current your heaters need to operate properly. If you can check on that and it turns out that the house operates with fuses, you can always replace that fuse with a larger one. I say YOU because I've had my share of slumlords, too, and getting them to do anything like that is worse than pulling teeth out of a lion! If it runs with circuit breakers, the only thing you can do is replace that breaker or run an extension cord from another outlet to your hearter in the bathroom. It is VERY IMPORTANT that your extension cord is heavy enough to handle the amount of electric current needed by the heater! Otherwise, that too could heat up and begin burning. Good luck!
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
15 Dec 08
I am not good with fixing things like this, at all. So I have contacted and attorney. I live in Santa Monica, 19 blocks from the beach and it gets pretty darn cold out here in the winter. To add to that, I have Asthma. I am tired of playing games with this jerk. My health is at risk here.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
15 Dec 08
Excellent idea! I don't understand slumlords. I mean, I know they care only about the money they get each month and nothing else, but they are notorious for being sued! I just don't get it. If they'd just spend a little money fixing things like this, they wouldn't have any trouble. Yep, sounds to me like an attorney is the way to go. He or she can at least advise you as to what your rights are as a tenant! I wish you the best of luck! I hope everything works out well for you.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
16 Dec 08
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, God bless you.
@mariposaman (2968)
• Canada
15 Dec 08
You are lucky you did not start a fire. Space heaters are notorious for this. You say this space heater was new. There are only two possibilities either your space heater plug was defective or the socket was defective. If the sockets are old or used a lot it might be time to replace them. Good luck with that if you have a slum lord. Electric space heaters are not really designed to heat a whole house/apartment. Quite often one space heater will draw the maximum amount of current in a circuit which is usually rated at 15 amps. I am not sure of the laws in your state, but I would contact the health department to see if there are any regulations regarding heat. I believe most jurisdictions require a minimum temperature you must keep. I am not sure about the plugs whether the fire department would be interested but I would phone them and see what the regulations are with regards to those dangerous sockets.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Dec 08
You need to get the count in there to fix up the joint. When do you go back to see the judge? Did you bring up the wiring when you where last to see the judge? There is something wrong with the wiring of the building. Be careful my friend.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
25 Dec 08
When I went to court, the judge kept things so structured, that I was not able to bring up anything extra. When the health department came out, he told them what needed to be repaired, but they don't care. I just spoke to the Santa Monica city Code enforcement office today. They are opening an investigation and will be sending out an officer soon.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Dec 08
I am so proud that you had the courage to follow through and I hope you get some help for all at your housing complex. We who can speak up need to speak up for those who cannot.
@winterose (39927)
• Canada
16 Dec 08
yes it could be the electricity is old and faulty, if that is the case it is easy to have a fire be careful in that place.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
16 Dec 08
This is what I am attempting to avoid, but at the risk of freezing my buns off.
@Polly1 (12652)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I had this same thing happen to me. It was a newer heater and it was right after I got my wiring updated. The heater was plugged into a new outlet. I thought it was something to do with the wiring too. I talked with an electrician, he said it was the plug on the heater. He explained why it happened but I forgot the details. He also said all I had to do is change the plug and it should be fine. I threw the whole thing in the trash, it scared me too. I am so scared and very careful about having a fire. I used to do clean up after fires and smoke damage. The kind of heater I really like is the oil filled radiators. They don't cost that much, are safer to use then alot of the other heaters, Good luck and be careful.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
16 Dec 08
Thank you so much. I will have to look into purchasing an oil filled radiator. I do not want to freeze or be afraid of a fire all winter long. The gas company came out about two years ago and said that the original heater is not repairable.
• United States
15 Dec 08
I think you're right, it's probably a short in the outlet. I had one, too, and it affected the entire circuit. I would get their electrician in to check out the outlet and make repairs. It can lead to something serious in the long run.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
16 Dec 08
It is up to the landlord and he does not care at all. If I call an electrician, I may be stuck with the bill.
@stiener (736)
• Singapore
15 Dec 08
wow...that is really dangerous. I suggest that you get an electrician to inspect the circuits of your home thoroughly. It seems like you have overloaded your circuit and at times like these, your circuit breaker should have cut the connection. If it has been neglected, it may sparked off a fire and more damage will be dealt. Try to avoid electrical appliances with plugs that lack safety features.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
16 Dec 08
I have told him and the health department has told him and he has done nothing. I am still much better off than my friend upstairs who is being bitten from head to toe by bedbugs. The landlord just doesn't care at all and I don't know what else to do.
• India
15 Dec 08
To run a heater, try an duse a 15 amp plug.If you use a 5 amp plug, it is going to melt the point. A heater pulls a lot of energy. Something like 1000 watts of power agains 20 wattts or so by a CFL bulb or say 300 watts by a refridgerator. See how muchextra energy is needed. It is bound to create heat in the plug. More over your point may have been loose leading to sparking and sparkign will create heat.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
16 Dec 08
You guys are really helping me a lot. I had no idea about these things. I believe that the outlets here need to be updated.
@msmargo (362)
• United States
15 Dec 08
You are right about faulty wiring. Depending on how many appliances you have plugged in at your apartment, the space heater was too much. You would have needed to unplug something else before plugging in the heater. Space heaters draw alot of juice. I don't know where you live, but I live in California and it is the law for the landlord to provide certain things to the tenant, and heat is one of them. If you have a local tenants right's organization check with them to see what your remedy is. Good luck.
@Rozie37 (15508)
• Turkmenistan
16 Dec 08
I live in California also. The heater was the only thing plugged up in the restroom. This place is old and needs a lot of work, but no one seems to want to pay the money for repairs.
@Shaun72 (15972)
• Palatka, Florida
16 Dec 08
He should be in a lot of trouble for letting the wiring get this bad. I mean that can cause a fire really fast. I am glad that you smelled it and unpluged it but that is so much his fault. This man makes me sick to my stomach thinking of how he does people is just very uncalled for.
@jen003_ (34)
• Philippines
16 Dec 08
maybe it's a faulty wiring..or shor circuit i think! you better consult to an electrician..okey?
@tlb0822 (1415)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Hmmm...i think that the heater is pulling to much amps for that outlet. I had a set of speakers for my desktop computer, and I put the wrong adapter on them to hook them up, and they started smoking. Needless to say I completely fried the speakers. I didn't know that stuff like that could happen, but obviously it does. I would a different plug or a different heater. Happy mylotting.
• United States
16 Dec 08
holy bee jesus? i have no clue!