Today's question: strange goo near cord for stove ( warning very gross pics)

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Stamourowl, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    SO while cleaning I notice this grossness under the cabinet where the propane stove adaper exits to attach the stove.
    I thought that it might have been put away hot and that had yellowed the lineleum but it is a strange goo like consistency and all sorts of nastyness has stuck to it. [:(O]

    I do not have a weak stomach, but even I found it gross.

    So, I have scraped up most of it and also noticed that the insulation to to the wire running to the heater has melted off. Good think I notice before I cranked up that heater.

    So, what is it? What caused it? How can I keep it from happening again?

    And what kind of wire do I need to replace the wire to the heater.?

    Thanks! You people are the best.
     

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  2. tzmartin

    tzmartin Well-Known Member

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    I think it's some sort of solvent or chemical that leaked out in the storage area. What was in the cabinet prior to this clean up day?
     
  3. frankvanw1

    frankvanw1 London, Ontario, Canada

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    Sheila,
    I would say a previous owner boiled over OR spilled a pot on the stove (like grease, sauces,etc.) and the overflow went down the propane hose and stayed there awhile like years. They cleaned up the counter.
    The mess then corroded (or melted) the white wire insulation that goes to the heater.
    From what I can tell here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1vfOtgMt9w
    you have a in/out (carry out) stove, no oven and that counter is under the stove with a hole in the counter for the propane hose to go through. Your clean up is good.
    Wire can be replaced, there may be markings (in small print) on the wire to see what gauge it is.
    Good luck and happy camping.
     
  4. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    It is under the location for the carryout stove. Don't know what they stored there. I'll sssume it is cooking grease, etc. Will clean it up accordingly.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    [:O] What an unpleasant find!

    As far as the electrical wire, you may be able to splice it, if there is enough slack in it.

    The goo - [?:~{] Clearly it was hot at one time, but that's as far as my guess goes. I looked a photo a few times, but then started getting light headed and had stop seeing it.

    Does it seem like grease? I'm just so confused how none could have gotten on the walls if that much was spilled. It would have had to all go down at once, I assume, and not a slow drip down the propane line. I feel like it would have splashed.

    Since I am completely lacking knowledge about these things, does anything think that wire could have been on fire and just melted the linoleum? If so, something is up and I wouldn't just repair the wire and trust it.

    Stamourowl, proceed with caution. If that is melted linoleum, and not grease, something need fixed. Just don't want you to have a fire.
     
  6. xZoomerZx

    xZoomerZx Active Member

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    I may be wrong but, I think that you have to assume this was an electrical fire that self extinguished (gotta love modern materials regulations). Now, whether the cause was overheated wires or something was spilled that chemically melted the insulation then leading to a short caused fire, is yet to be determined. Proceed with extreme caution until the cause can be ascertained. Repairing the wire alone without deeper investigation may only lead to another incident.
     
  7. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Interesting thoughts. I also wondered why there was none on the walls. It definitely looks like it was hot. One spot was close to the wires which were along the back wall. The second smaller spot was not close to the original wires so I am not sure that it was caused by a fire. The stuff did not feel greasey at all, rather gooy like silly putty. My best guess not is a solvent of some time spilled on it and melted the linoleum.

    I do have a lot of slack in the wire and I have a piece of it to determine gage. What would be the best way to determine if it was an electrical fire? Should I check the current with a voltmeter? call an electrician? [8D]
     
  8. Tyreguy

    Tyreguy Member

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    Be careful! That might be battery acid! Its looks as if something (like a battery) was sitting there leaving imprints of the case on the floor and the corresponding spill marks from both sides of the battery caps. The acid would definitely damage the linoleum and the casing on the wire.
    Wear gloves if/when you clean!!
     
  9. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Well, I opted to cutout and dispose of that section of linoleum. No damage underneath on the plywood. Now to figure out if the heater works or has a short, etc.
    Thanks for the warnings but no campers have been harmed in the making of this repair, ( at least so far).
     
  10. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I feel fairly certain that the goo is melted linoleum. I'm no expert, so absolutely could be wrong, but that is my gut instinct. I think it's fair to eliminate spilled grease as the culprit.

    Because there were two spots, completely separated by unaffected linoleum, I believe that rules out an electrical fire caused by the wire. If it were me I would splice the wire, and do exactly what you did - remove the linoleum.

    Taking a fresh look at the photo today, and seeing the two distinct spots you pointed out, I think it's a safe guess that this damage is not camper related. Whatever was sitting there caused a small fire and melting of the wires and floor. I don't know what that "something" was, but I don't think it matters, since it's gone.

    Obviously, I would keep an eye on it after firing up the furnace, although I don't personally feel like there is any existing problem.

    I agree that it looks like something was sitting there that caused this. I still think something was on fire to some degree, although likely not anything related to the camper.

    I believe your camper will be fine. I didn't notice that second spot last night. A fire can't just jump around like that. Also, as Tyreguy pointed out, you can clearly see the imprints in the floor where something was sitting there. That "something" is the culprit, not your camper. The linoleum must have fire retardant properties and the PO got very lucky it didn't burn the camper down.
     
  11. bigdad

    bigdad Active Member

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    Something got on fire there I would run all new wiring and check the heater to.
     
  12. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Thanks guys! We are due for a snowstorm ( 7-10 inches predicted ) so no rewiring for a bit. Hopefully the new wire will do the trick.
     

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