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A/C plug gets too hot

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by nbj, Jul 31, 2006.

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  1. nbj

    nbj Guest

    The A/C plug for my 10.000 BTU unit has started to get too hot. It ha
    damaged two surge protectors in as many days. I noticed rge proble
    after a recent power outage we had in the area a few days ago. The plu
    is molded in and the wire is direcrly connected to the wall unit.
    Can I just replace the plug? Will it be safe to d so?

    Please help
  2. mc

    mc Guest

    It is much safer to replace it than not to! If the plug itself does not
    have corrosion that you could clean off, then there's probably a near-break
    in the wires inside it. YOUR HOUSE WILL BURN DOWN IF YOU KEEP USING IT. DO
  3. nbj

    nbj Guest

    Thank you! Yes, I HAVE unplugged it for now. I do not see an
    corrosion on the plug, but there are tell tale signs on the plu
    itself, like burn marks near the metallic part (the correct ter
    escapes me!), and the wire closer to the plug gets hot and soft a
    well. Can replacing the plug be a SAFE solution, or will it still carr
    some danger with it? How do I fix it if there is a near break in th
    wires inside
  4. Guest

    If it's a plug you can open up, then when you open it it'll be ovbiou
    where the problem is from the most burnt places. I expect one of the
    conductors inside is corroded or loose. You might be able to just
    tighten up the little screws if a conductor is loose, or if it's
    corroded cut a few cm off the wire and put the plug back on. If the
    plug is damaged in any way other than being discoloured, then take it
    off and fit a new plug - remember to put the same rated fuse in (If
    you're in a country with fuses in the plug like the UK). If in doubt
    if the conductors in the wire themself is broken the safe thing to do
    is to cut a few cm off the end, and re strip the wires. If you don't
    know how to fit a plug, try a step-by-step guide from google.


  5. If the plug is damaged, you need to have the outlet replaced as
    well. It may have been what caused the damage to the existing plug. I
    ran into an air conditioner where it was used with an approved A/C
    extension cord. There was excess plastic in the socket that only let one
    side make contact. This made the connection run warm and melted the
    plastic, which corroded the connection and fused the two connectors
    together. If I hadn't found it and made proper repairs, there would
    have been another electrical fire. I've lost two different breaker
    boxes in the last eight years. One had the ground buss bar burn, and the
    other box had the main breaker burn free of one of the two 120 VAC line
    buss bars. Both were installed by licensed electricians and inspected
    by the county, and a home inspection service before I bought the

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  6. mc

    mc Guest

    Thank you! Yes, I HAVE unplugged it for now. I do not see any
    A properly replaced plug is safe. (Make sure you know which wire goes to
    which prong; you can use an ohmmeter on the old plug and the cut-off wire to
    verify this.) Simply cut off the wire far enough away from the original
    plug to get past the break. Can you identify the exact spot that the heat
    is coming from?
  7. lsmartino

    lsmartino Guest

    Michael A. Terrell ha escrito:

    What brand were the burnt breaker boxes? Were they "Federal Pacific" by
  8. default

    default Guest

    It could be the plug / socket or any other NODE where it ties into down the
    line.....including the fuse / breaker itself which may be ready to give out
    but not quite yet. If the breaker of fuse is hot too, thats a good sign.

    Copper wire does corrode after time , and I have seen the oxidization turn
    black under right conditions and work itself around each part of the wire
    that is twisted onto each other. It will actually insulate the 2 wires from
    each other if left unnoticed, and it will get hot the more current is drawn
    from the faulty node. This seems to happen more often in older homes where
    they used the old cloth electrical tape, but I expect if a repair is done by
    a layman who dont follow codes, anythings possible. It may work fine for
    years, then burn down the home as others have warned.
  9. Hi!
    Absolutely! I'd heartily recommend doing so.

    Buy a plug of sufficient size for the unit. Any hardware store should have
    what you need. Assuming it's a 120 volt model, a 120 volt plug rated for 15
    amps is usually sufficient. Having just recently put a new plug on my 120
    volt 1991-era Kenmore 12,000 BTU unit, I think you'll be fine with a 15A
    plug. That's what my unit calls for on the informational plate inside...

    Clip off the old plug and destroy it. (You don't want someone coming along
    and plugging it in to a live outlet. They could hurt themselves badly.)
    Strip the wires back and separate them to give yourself enough room to work,
    and then install them in the plug (pay attention to wire color).

    I would also recommend plugging your air conditioner directly into the wall.
    Surges shouldn't bother it that much. If they are, I suspect you're having
    more trouble with your wiring or the outlet being able to provide sufficient
    power for the air conditioner.

  10. They were both Square "D", but the two different electricians didn't
    use any contact lube to prevent corrosion. One box was pole mounted
    outside, and the other was 10 inches from the floor in an un-insulated
    outside wall, so both got a fair amount of condensation. The house was
    owned by midgets, and everything was mounted well below code height.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  11. nbj

    nbj Guest

    Almost the entire wire gets hot within minutes and the circuit breake
    in the surge protector trips. (the cheaper ones can be reset and use
    again, but the more expensive ones were copletely lost!). By the way,
    am in the US so I guess the "fuse in the plug" part does not apply t
    me. How do I select the right plug to replace the old one. The socke
    seems to be fine because other things are working fine with it.

    Thanks to ALL of you for your help
  12. Puckdropper

    Puckdropper Guest

    Wouldn't an air conditioner more likely be the SOURCE of a surge rather
    than the recipient?


  13. The plugs are current rated, by NEMA type. You have to select the
    same NEMA type plug for a replacement, but it is foolish to not replace
    the outlet if the plug is damaged. On the other hand, it is your life
    to lose in a house fire because you wouldn't spend a couple dollars to
    replcae a defective outlet. If the insurance compnay finds out, they
    won't have to pay for any fire damage, after the fact.


    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  14. mc

    mc Guest

    Almost the entire wire gets hot within minutes and the circuit breaker
    This is a job for an appliance repairman.
  15. mc

    mc Guest

    Or rather an electrician, since the wall outlet is also suspect.
  16. AZ Nomad

    AZ Nomad Guest

    Quit using a "surge protector". I very much doubt you have one rated
    to carry the current of the airconditioning unit. Also, the AC unit
    has no fragile electronics and the surge protector will introduce resistance.

    If the plug still heats up, replace it.
    Keep in mind that you might have a AC unit that is dying and that is
    pulling too much current for the wiring.
  17. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Replace the plug with a heavy duty commercial grade plug, also don't
    plug it into a surge protector, plug it straight into an outlet and if
    it doesn't fit firmly replace the outlet with a commercial grade one as
    a lot of houses are built with cheap contractor grade crap.
  18. mc

    mc Guest

    Replace the plug with a heavy duty commercial grade plug, also don't plug
    Good advice. A 10,000 BTU, 120-volt air conditioner will pull 10 to 15
    amps, which is near the maximum that a well-built wall outlet and plug are
    designed to handle. (Maximum is 15 or 20 amps depending on type of outlet
    and wiring behind it.) The surge protector is designed for things that draw
    much less current, such as a computer drawing 2 amps, and should not be
    involved; it's just another place for things to go wrong.
  19. tomh

    tomh Guest

    Check the current/wattage rating on your "surge protector". I suspect
    the reason you're blowing them up is they are not rated for the current.
    A 10,000 BTU unit will pull a fair amount of current, particularly if
    it's an older unit, not an "Energy Star" type. That also could be why
    the plug is getting hot if the receptacle in the surge protector is not
    rated for that kind of load.
    If it is a bad plug, replacing it with the proper type, 20A, from the
    hardware store is OK, if you know what you're doing. But if you're not
    electrically savvy, like plugging a BIG AC unit into a surge protector
    meant for a 300W computer, seek some help!
  20. Are you talking about a power strip surge protector? These are usually rated
    for less than 10 amps and I'm farily confident that your AC uses at least
    that much current. That is probably your problem if you are using a power

    - Mike
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