Not in the shop, but still safety minded - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 10:23 PM
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We're headed towards heating season and one of the worst culprits for house fires is space heaters. If the plug and outlet aren't in good shape they can get hot enough to start a fire. Checking the cord once in a while after it's been on for a bit to see if it's getting too hot is a good idea.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 08:29 AM
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I had an incident a few years back at my house, where after 15 or so years after they were installed the 'push in' connections on the wall outlets started to have issues. The connection was not as tight as it was supposed to be, and one outlet ended up burning the end of the conductor off. Fortunately it didn't cause a fire.

After I found that and replace that receptacle, I checked the others in the basement and wound up rewiring them all on the screw on the side instead. It's a lot more work than just pushing the conductor into the back, but gave me a much more 'solid' connection.

At my fathers house (built in '96), the fastener that holds the light switch body together failed (very cheap switch) and would cause arcing to the switchbox. Needless to say I spent the rest of the afternoon replacing light switches at his house.....
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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Yes, Those push-in connections were a fad for a few years, and a very bad idea for longevity. A point connection like this will fail when heavy current flows through it very quickly.

Some of the newer outlets now have the push-in hole, but the wire gets clamped inside when the screw is tightened. This is a much better design. It saves the time of wrapping the wire around the screw, but it does require the screw to be tightened.

My son bought a house in very bad need of a rebuild, and he had planned for this before purchase. You would not believe the crazy wiring in this place. We have now replaced almost all of the original wiring. Things like wires twisted together and just taped and hidden inside the walls were found when we pulled the old sheet rock off the beams. One 15 amp circuit was discovered to be supplying almost every outlet in the house, etc. The house was added onto and I think they just attached the wiring in the new addition to whatever wires they found when they added on. Construction was one
surprise after another too. there was only one duplex outlet in the kitchen above the counter. That was, until we tore the back splash above the counter off, and found two more hidden behind it. They had never cut the holes in the replacement back splash for these two outlets, so the poor woman who raised her family in this house only had one outlet to use for making meals for many years. She must have been a Saint, for all that she must have put up with while living there.

There had been a bedroom behind the kitchen at one time, but the wall between it and the kitchen had been removed to provide more space for dining. But the beam across where this wall had once been was sagging about 2" when my son bought the house. It became one of the first surprises that we found when we began remodeling. When we opened this beam area up, we discovered that they had just cut the studs 4" below the ceiling and then boxed in the remaining stubs in with sheet rock. No additional strengthening material had been added. There was no real support beam in there at all. We had to put up temporary supports and remove this mess completely. Then we installed an I beam and boxed it in. So the ceiling is now flat and the upstairs isn't about to fall into the kitchen any more. The house is now about 80% rebuilt, and done right as best as possible this time, but we are still finding surprises in it.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
When I moved into the house, I noticed that all the outlets were loose, so with a fair amount of cursing, I replaced every one of them, including drilling holes through the walls in two spots to mound outside weather proof plugs out front. It was a lot of work to do, but good for safety reasons. Also nice not to have plugs that don't hold fast.

I also put in GFCI plugs on selected circuits. Everything's on breakers of course, but those GF outlets seem to go out faster than the breakers. Happily, the house has copper wiring, not aluminum. I'd hate to have to deal with that problem.
You can put a GFCI outlet as the first outlet on the circuit. This covers all other regular outlets downstream. Unless the code has changed.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kp91 View Post
I had an incident a few years back at my house, where after 15 or so years after they were installed the 'push in' connections on the wall outlets started to have issues. The connection was not as tight as it was supposed to be, and one outlet ended up burning the end of the conductor off. Fortunately it didn't cause a fire.

After I found that and replace that receptacle, I checked the others in the basement and wound up rewiring them all on the screw on the side instead. It's a lot more work than just pushing the conductor into the back, but gave me a much more 'solid' connection.

At my fathers house (built in '96), the fastener that holds the light switch body together failed (very cheap switch) and would cause arcing to the switchbox. Needless to say I spent the rest of the afternoon replacing light switches at his house.....
We aren't allowed to use the push in connectors up here. Too high a failure rate I guess.

I had a weird occurrence yesterday at the father in law's old house (my house now and daughter living in it). She called me over and said that when she closed her sliding patio doors she heard a noise and her lights flickered and she smeeled an electrical smell. I went over to investigate and found an outlet on the outside of the wall under a covered porch where the metal cover plate had come loose and shorted out on the hot prong of an extension cord plugged into the outlet. Luckily the breaker did its job and popped. The screw that holds it on must have loosened and fallen out.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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