AC power cord getting hot

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by djohnsn, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Post hoc ergo propter hoc

    [​IMG]

    Doesn't the neutral negate this 'field'?
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Was it because of the coil or under rated wire? Was the reel a metal reel? How long was the wire? I didn't mean to imply the coil had no effect just that in everyday use with proper sized wire coiling a small amount of unused cord is not going to be a problem.
    It can't hurt to be safe if you think it will matter in your case. It does matter in some cases.
    Tom
     
  3. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Mostly, but fields negating also produce heat.
     
  4. jayco1997

    jayco1997 New Member

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    you could just do away with the plug all together and hard wire the AC right back to the panel on its own dedicated breaker. Thats how we have our AC unit connected. just be sure to use the right size wire and the right size circuit breaker.
     
  5. steved

    steved New Member

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    It was a commercially available (new at the time too) 100-foot extension cord on a (nothing special) plastic reel like you would find at any box store...with nothing more than a single 100 watt light bulb on it (used for a heater on a box of chicks).

    The cord was not overloaded or underrated for the load.
     
  6. Camp-N-Nuts

    Camp-N-Nuts KrustyKamper

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    1st off, I don't doubt your description, and I don't want to tick you off...you could not recreate this. Most likely it was a defective extension cord that shorted and didn't trip the breaker.
    High current is needed for this to happen! [2C]
     
  7. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. There is no way this could happen with a 100W. bulb just because the wire was coiled.

    Tom
     
  8. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    Is the gauge of the wire heavy enough?

    I borrowed this from the Dometic site:
    "Minimum wire size: 12 AWG copper up to 24 feet. For distances over 24 feet consult the National Electrical Code"

    The easiest way to heat an extension cord or house wiring is if whatever is plugged into it draws more amperage than the cord is designed to carry. As the electrons are too crowded into a connector which is too small they generate heat.

    steved's experience can be explained here:

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_a_coiled_extension_cord_overheat

    The last paragraph mentions a fire marshal determining a coiled up power cord was the cause of a fire. It was possible the insulation deteriorated and shorted the hot and neutral.
     
  9. steved

    steved New Member

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    Why don't you try it and see if it burns your house down??? It happened...there was nothing wrong with the cord (until it melted).

    Just because you don't think it can happen doesn't mean it won't...
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    For some reason you sound upset. A 100 watt bulb at 120 volts will draw less than 1 amp. Even a well designed transformer with a shorted turn wouldn't get that hot.
    If it were that dangerous there would be a tag on the cord. Laws of physics are against that happening it doesn't matter what I think.
     
  11. DragNfly

    DragNfly New Member

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    We use extension cords at work all the time. On several instances we have started fires and melted cords when they were coiled, never when laid out.

    Contributing factors; Hot weather, high amp draw.

    Its a pain to unspool 100 feet of cord, but I make all my employees do it every time.
     
  12. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Key words "High amp draw."
     
  13. jayco1997

    jayco1997 New Member

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    we should probably get back to helping the original poster about how to fix his hot AC cord, just saying!
     
  14. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, things do stray sometimes. :) I'll say no more about coils.
     
  15. jayco1997

    jayco1997 New Member

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    yup, unless its the AC coil in the unit, LOL
     
  16. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Did you solve this problem yet? My SWAG id the outlet is not making good connection as was already mentioned.
    Let us know.

    Tom
     
  17. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    I would also check the gauge of the camper's wire feeding the receptacle. The AC can require 13-16 AMPs; when plugged into a 15 AMP 110v outlet it will make the wires warm. Maximum load on a 15 amp receptacle is 12 AMPs.

    A rough rule of thumb would be the camper's wiring to the outlet needs to be as heavy as the AC's cord. An AC receptacle needs to be 20 amp.

    Although a receptacle is rated at 15 or 20 Amps there is a safety margin.

    From the NEC: http://i.stack.imgur.com/ASE8S.png

    Help, is there an licensed electrician in the house?
     
  18. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    The chart to which you link uses a 20% under max. This is fairly common and actually a good idea. It's also the law in many circumstances. It would surprise me if the camper wasn't wired to code. I still think the contacts are faulty, very common in outdoor applications.

    Tom
     
  19. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    [!]DO NOT plug it into a clothes dryer plug as suggested earlier! A dryer outlet is 240 volts and will destroy everything on your camper!
     
  20. kpic

    kpic New Member

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    Tom
    It "quotes" the NEC. [;)] In most States, 20% of rating is code. Where I used to work one of the managers wanted to save money during an office remodeling. The electrician's answer was short and quick, "not in the State of North Carolina."

    I don't doubt the camper wasn't wired to code; as might have been an add-on, I'm not sure the outlet was designed to support A/C.

    The above implies someone did the right thing, but did right include doing it correctly? I would most definitely check and if needed, replace the outlet. While I have the outlet out, as basic electricity seems to elude many people, I'd check the wire size.

    Before we bought our NTU PUP, I spent a lot of time here reading old posts and quite often "comments" (trying to be nice :) ) were made concerning dealer's workmanship.
     

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