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Old 10-16-2009, 08:19 AM   #1
Maverick2002
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

I have one of those Holmes space heater air blowers (~1200watt on high). I noticed after a bit of usage the prongs on the plug get really hot - as in I can barely touch them. Is there some faulty wiring somewhere? I also have a radiant (oil based) space heater which doesn't exhibit the same problems. Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:22 AM   #2
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

high wattage devices often do that, my elcheapo vacuum does that dont think its wiring...
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:41 AM   #3
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

Are the prongs dirty or flattened ( less contact between prong and socket )?
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:50 AM   #4
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

When you plug it in is it a tight fit or is it an outlet that is kind of loose from years of use ? Loose outlets cause higher resistance.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:50 AM   #5
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

If your socket is worn out even a perfect plug will be a problem with high draw devices. Try the other side of the socket, if no change and the plug looks good you might swap out the socket.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:51 AM   #6
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

It's normal, but it wouldn't hurt to take an emery board to the prongs.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

Heat definitely means poor connection, and his much (too hot to touch) is too much. Check all these.
1. Appearance of the prongs on the plug. If they are dirty / corroded, clean off with sandpaper, fingernail emery board, of just a knife to scrape clean.
2. Condition of the outlet. If the plug feels loose in it, it is worn out and needs replacement. Likewise, if you look into it and it appears dirty back in there, it may need replacement. As a test, plug into another outlet and see if it runs much cooler.
3. This CAN be a poor connection between the wires and the plug blades inside the molded plug body. Only solution to that is to cut off the plug and replace it with a new one.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
Maverick2002
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

Prongs are clean, socket looks fine. I'll try it another socket. However, I used this same heater in my previous residence and the same thing was happening, so it's probably not the socket.

Also, while the oil-based DeLonghi heater also had some slight heat on the prongs (it's about 1200watts on full blast as well), it was nowhere near as bad as this.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:23 AM   #9
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

be careful with those, I had one of those and it melted my cord and scorched my plug.... luckily I was there and smelled it or it probably would have caused a fire. Now i just throw on more clothes...
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:42 AM   #10
Maverick2002
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

Is it just the fact that it's a cheapo heater (cost me $30 or $40 I think) or is that a characteristic of the coil/fan blower models in general?
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:49 AM   #11
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

have you checked for recalls?
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:43 AM   #12
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

Maybe it's also a bad connection inside the plug itself, resulting in all the current passing through a relatively thin segment of wire?


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Old 10-16-2009, 11:56 AM   #13
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

What's the wire guage on the plug? Is it a heavy duty 3 prong or one of those cheapo ones? May be worth changing out the cord with a higher guage one. I'd personally find some 12 or 14 (12 prefered but 14 will do) and a heavy duty extension cord 3 prong plug.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:59 AM   #14
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Default space heater plug ... getting hot

1200W = 10A draw from your outlet. That's a lot of current. Any of the above are good, but a lower-power heater would reduce the current draw and reduce the possibility of this kind of problem.
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