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Discussion in 'Road Side Pub' started by M240Bravo, Dec 8, 2018 at 3:24 PM.

  1. M240Bravo

    M240Bravo Well-Known Member Established Member

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    So when built my lake house I put electric fireplaces in all bedrooms and living areas. Knowing what they run for power I ran single plug-ins with 14gq wires all ran to their own 15amp breaker.


    Well last night a friends family was staying at the house, and they smelt something burning and I found this. Breaker didn't pop, it just melted the wire. IMG_3764.JPG

    Any reason the wire would caught fire and melt like that? I'm thinking of replacing all the fireplaces now.
     
  2. blk02edge

    blk02edge Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Likely the splice/connection. That is exactly what happens when a wire is loose. Do you have photo of where that wire was attached?
     
  3. HillbillyHotRod

    HillbillyHotRod Hooligan rabble rouser Established Member

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    Looks like it had a spade on the end. If it was not crimped good that could happen.
     
  4. Buckwheat 1

    Buckwheat 1 I love it Lucy Premium Member Established Member

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    Looks like the romex was sitting against the hot metal of the the fire place. Read the directions and make sure romex is suitable that portion of the heater. Also make sure the thermostat is turning on and off properly.


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  5. M240Bravo

    M240Bravo Well-Known Member Established Member

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    you can see the piece that broke off on the under side of the wire. Its just one of those slip on plug things.
     
  6. Bearbo

    Bearbo Premium Member Premium Member

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    Female terminal connector. Slip on plug thing, really.
     
  7. ford fanatic

    ford fanatic Four Eyed Freak Established Member

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    Call the electrical company whom you had build your house? Or, hire another electrician to take a look.
     
  8. blk02edge

    blk02edge Well-Known Member Established Member

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    oh I see that now, either way, a poor connection there was your problem. That is definitely heat from lack of being tight. Ive seen plenty of literally red hot connections, nothing to do with current load as a 9v battery can do that as well
     
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  9. 1wild-horse

    1wild-horse Relax! I'm a Doctor! Established Member

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    No expert here, but 14ga sounds a little light for a load like an electric fireplace.
     
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  10. blk02edge

    blk02edge Well-Known Member Established Member

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    15a breakers though. If it was a problem they would be tripping. 14G gauge wire wont start melting like that at slightly excess current either way, load is not the issue (electrician for 11 years now).
     
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  11. 1wild-horse

    1wild-horse Relax! I'm a Doctor! Established Member

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    Was pretty sure the electricians used 12-2 for every outlet circuit in my house. Thought that was just A standard thing.
    Arcing from a poor connection can definitely cause some heat though.
     
  12. quad

    quad Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Sounds like the OP did it himself?
     
  13. SVTdreamin04

    SVTdreamin04 What's a "Termi"??? Premium Member Established Member

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    Industrial Electrical Controls in a very wet environment is what I do for a living. That looks like either a loose connection causing damage over time or the wire for hot from environmental exposure for some reason. A loose connection can cause a loss of voltage which in turn will cause higher current.

    I wouldn't replace all of your fireplaces, I would go thru and check all connections to make sure they are tight and check for any insulation damage. If you have any buddies that have access to a thermal camera, you can easily find loose connections by shooting the wiring with the thermal camera. Loose connections generate excess heat.


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  14. quad

    quad Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Yes I would have gone with 12 ga and 20A breakers. But the 15A breaker would trip if the load exceeded the rating. Running 14 ga with a 20A breaker would be the problem and not code compliant since the wire would be overloaded before the breaker could trip.

    I agree it could be that the connection was not tight enough. I have a 20A outlet that melted with only a LED monitor plugged into it. Opened up the box and the neutral wire was melted where it attaches to the outlet. It must not have been tightened properly. Breaker never tripped. I replaced the melted outlet and made sure to tighten it properly. An electrician told me you can also tighten wires down more with a slotted (flat head) screwdriver than a Phillips head. He said he only uses slotted screwdrivers in electrical panels and to tighten down wires in outlets, light switches etc. Wire nuts also have to be tightened properly.
     
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  15. Revvv

    Revvv Infinity Poster Established Member

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    Listen to this man.

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  16. blk02edge

    blk02edge Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Very well could have but the standard is 14g in residential (20A counter plugs) but certain loads need to be properly spec'd and 12 in commercial. As a service electrician first thing I would do is re-do connection, and test current draw with my clamp on meter if I saw anything over 12A then id be suggesting replacing with 12g/20a or fireplace with something lesser.

    Does not have to do with heat or overcurrent though as like I said breakers would be tripping. Nor does it have anything do do with the T-stat as it would be rated to run non stop anyway
     

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