hot socket!

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by nickas666, 8 Apr 2010.

  1. nickas666

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    Hi Guys, Hope you can help/advise.

    When I plug my extension lead into the socket at the back door, the plug & socket get really hot after a few minutes of being on.

    It's a double socket, the left side has already melted the plastic bit on the neutral pin, the right hand socket hasn't melted anything but gets really REALLY hot, as does the neutral pin on the plug. (I think it's the neutral - as u look at the pins it's the lower right one.) I take it I need to get someone in to look at it, fortunately it's a housing association property.

    All help And advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. JohnD

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    Stop using any plug or socket which appears to be damaged or overheated, until it has been fixed. This will help prevent your house burning down or your family getting electric shocks.

    Turn off the power and replace the socket with a new one. Buy a good brand such as MK, Crabtree or MEM (it will cost a pound or two more than a cheap brand)

    Examine the wires inside to see if they are damaged by heat (the copper gone brown or black).

    You did not mention what loads you are putting through the socket. This is important.

    The usual cause is an overloaded socket, and/or a loose wire inside. Sometimes the trouble can be started by an overheating plug, so examine all the things you have been plugging into it and see if any of the plugs seem damaged. If so, replace them with good quality ones. Any heat damaged copper wire must be cut back to bright undamaged copper, because once it has been overheated it goes soft and will not make a reliable connection in future. If you are not an electrician you may find it difficult to deal with this inside a socket, as there may not be much spare wire to work with.

    If the damage has ben caused by you overloading the socket, or using worn-out plugs, you may be blamed for it.

    For example, you must not plug two or more heavy-current appliances into one socket, even if it is a double, and even if you use adaptors or extensions. The most common cause is putting a washing machine and a tumble drier into the same socket and using them both at the same time.
     
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  3. nickas666

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    Thanks John,

    Not large loads, only ever one appliance at a time whether thats the tumble dryer, lawnmower or strimmer. never 2 at the same time.
     
  4. ban-all-sheds

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    It becomes self-perpetuating - once a socket has overheated (and the original cause might have been loose wiring in a plug, nothing to do with the socket) the contacts where the plug prongs go in lose their springiness, and don't make good contact, and so start to overheat, which means they get worse.

    Replacing the socket is the only option now, and you need to check every single plug you use for loose connections (check the fuse clips as well as the screws) and conductor damage.
     
  5. nickas666

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    Thanks BAS,

    I checked the plug wiring, it all looks ok.

    Nothing loose, didn't go behind the socket facia tho.

    Not being a sparky and having had some electrifying experiences in the past I decided against going behind there myself.
     
  6. ban-all-sheds

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    Did you check all of the plugs you have ever used in it?
     
  7. nickas666

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    I checked the plug on the extension lead, tumble dryer, strimmer & lawn mower. all are ok.
     
  8. RF Lighting

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    If it has meleted the shroud on the neutral pin, then the plug needs cutting off the extention and replacing.

    I say cut it off deliberatly, as the wires in the plug will have almost certainly been heat damaged too.

    Then replace the socket front, and you should be ok.
     
  9. Steve

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    A tumble dryer pulls full load current for about 75% of the time it is running, this is usually about 2kw - 66% of the 13 amp socket's capacity.

    It is a large load. And should not be powered through an extension lead.
     

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