Melted split receptacle tabs - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Trade Topics > Residential Electrical Forum


Like Tree20Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-26-2016, 12:45 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 18
Default Melted split receptacle tabs

I was recently asked to look into some lights not working at a residence in a finished basement room and I found that three receptacles presumably wired in line with another all had the split receptacle tab on the line side melted open which resulted in power not reaching the lights. All three don't show signs of aggressive arcing as there is not charring or any discoloring and the plastic on the receptacle is only very slightly melted. I kind of thought this was odd as I would have expected the presumed fault to have cleared after the first tab melted open. There is no scar on any of the boxes ether so it's not like someone hit the receptacles again the metal box . I was wondering if there may have been a recall or something of that nature on the Leviton receptacles that were installed but I couldn't find anything. I should note the installation was not done by a licensed person (based on how the bond was wired through) and I will outline some specifics of the installation below but I am more curious if anyone has seen receptacles fail like this before and multiple on the same line. I primarily work on industrial automation and I haven't seen something like this before in my professional or personal travels.


As far as specifics the circuit seems to consist of 4 receptacles and 4 pot lights with Edison bases. Its fed from a 15A single pole breaker with 14/2 NMD and power seems to go through the 4 receptacles and then through the light switch and up into the lights. I'm assuming there is the 4th receptacle based on spacing this is a bit of a hoarder's house so Iív done what digging I could (it would also be the feed in from the panel as I had power to the first half of the first melted receptacle).The three receptacles that were melted were the later 3 and the tab seemed to be more melted the further along the circuit it went and all three were open. The connections in the receptacles were made through the screws on the receptacle and were not pig tailed thus breaking the downstream feed when they melted. The bond wire going through the receptacles is not installed properly although it was functioning as I was able to see the bond was there at the lights at the end of the circuit by ringing through the neutral. Whoever did the install ran one bond to the box and the other straight to the receptacle which due to the metal strap on the receptacle and the metal box did pass it though. This room seems to have been done by someone different than the rest of the house as it has the standard two hole receptacle style and the rest of the house has Decora and the one receptacle I could get at in the rest of the basement was wired very differently (pig tailed). The homeowner also swears that there were no heavy loads ever plugged in, in the room but this happened a number of years ago and she hasn't had it looked at until now.


I do have one of the receptacles with me if a picture would be useful to anyone.


Thanks in advance for taking the time for this.
otif is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-26-2016, 02:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
jw0445's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kirkwood, Pa.
Posts: 1,256
Rewards Points: 1,890
Default

Do you have a short version of this novel? LOL
Service Call, splatz and LuckyLuke like this.
jw0445 is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jw0445 For This Useful Post:
John Valdes (10-26-2016)
Old 10-26-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
just the cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 1,813
Rewards Points: 322
Default Yes post a picture

Yes post a picture. Till I read all your post it sounded like they were backstabbed, but you said wrapped around screws. I have seen backstabbed one melt all of one side of a circuit when a heater is plugged in. Your customer may not know what a heavy load is, hair drier, cube heater, curling iron, ....

Please post a picture.
__________________
The cost of our answers are not free, we charge you a answer back.
"DID THIS FIX IT??"
just the cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to just the cowboy For This Useful Post:
otif (10-26-2016)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-26-2016, 03:06 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 18
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jw0445 View Post
Do you have a short version of this novel? LOL
Yeah sorry I didn't want folks to have to pull teeth for details so I gave them all that I could think of. lol
readydave8 and PlugsAndLights like this.
otif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 03:09 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
HackWork's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 37,023
Rewards Points: 1,285
Default

Are you absolutely sure that the tabs weren't purposely removed to make half of those receptacles switched? Or possibly to have each (the top and bottom) on it's own circuit?

I just can't see what would break all 3 at the exact same time without blowing a hole in the receptacle (and wall).
HackWork is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to HackWork For This Useful Post:
otif (10-26-2016), TGGT (10-26-2016)
Old 10-26-2016, 03:14 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 18
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by just the cowboy View Post
Yes post a picture. Till I read all your post it sounded like they were backstabbed, but you said wrapped around screws. I have seen backstabbed one melt all of one side of a circuit when a heater is plugged in. Your customer may not know what a heavy load is, hair drier, cube heater, curling iron, ....

Please post a picture.
Connections were landed on the screw terminals and were secure. As far as the homeowner goes I ran them through a list of just about everything I could think of in terms of possible heavy loads when I asked but I could have missed something. Pictures coming up.
Galt likes this.
otif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 03:27 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 18
Default





otif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 03:30 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
HackWork's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 37,023
Rewards Points: 1,285
Default

Someone bent those apart. They did a crappy job of it.
HackWork is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to HackWork For This Useful Post:
360max (10-26-2016), otif (10-26-2016), Southeast Power (10-26-2016), telsa (10-26-2016), TGGT (10-26-2016)
Old 10-26-2016, 03:35 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 18
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HackWork View Post
Are you absolutely sure that the tabs weren't purposely removed to make half of those receptacles switched? Or possibly to have each (the top and bottom) on it's own circuit?

I just can't see what would break all 3 at the exact same time without blowing a hole in the receptacle (and wall).
Only the last tab seemed to be fully gone the first two had remnants that shouldn't be there if they were snapped at the break points the one pictured above was the first one in the circuit closed to the feed. There was only two 14/2 entering all the receptacle boxes so they couldn't have been intended for a split although I do question whoever did the wiring due to the way the bonding was done.
otif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 03:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
just the cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Colorado Springs Colorado
Posts: 1,813
Rewards Points: 322
Default They were cut for sure

Sometimes they don't break on the score marks, and if someone used dikes they look like that.
readydave8 and telsa like this.
__________________
The cost of our answers are not free, we charge you a answer back.
"DID THIS FIX IT??"
just the cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to just the cowboy For This Useful Post:
otif (10-26-2016), TGGT (10-26-2016)
Old 10-26-2016, 03:43 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
HackWork's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 37,023
Rewards Points: 1,285
Default

Maybe they are spliced in the basement and those 2 14-2 wires are feeding each outlet, top and bottom.

I can't imagine all three blowing up at the same time without a single bit of black on that clean white plastic
readydave8 and telsa like this.
HackWork is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to HackWork For This Useful Post:
frenchelectrican (10-26-2016), macmikeman (10-27-2016), otif (10-26-2016), telsa (10-26-2016), TGGT (10-26-2016)
Old 10-26-2016, 04:09 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
drspec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,177
Rewards Points: 1,116
Default

Those were definitely cut....maybe someone used some old stock removed from a previous job
drspec is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to drspec For This Useful Post:
otif (10-26-2016)
Old 10-26-2016, 04:26 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 18
Default

Right makes sense, I did question them if they had anyone in with bad intentions or if someone had given it a go before me and they said no (although I take that with a huge grain of salt). There is some very fine copper spatter that I can see in the black plastic although if someone cut most of the way through or left the bits close enough it may presumably have vaporized the tiny amount left.


As far as the wiring goes when I initially started looking at this I did just simply replace the first receptacle which livened up the top half of the next one in line. The first receptacle had some plaster ingress into the box so I just figured someone had done something while painting or plastering but then when I saw the next one and the one after being the same I disconnected what I had re energized and said I would get back to them. I was obviously concerned if it was an overload of some kind what the state of the wire in the wall was and I don't have access to a megger at the moment to test the insulation. The wiring I could see going to feed the circuit and the wiring visible in the boxes looks pristine so I felt running new lines was overkill but I wasn't comfortable not being able to explain why three outlets had been damaged. They did say it was working when they bought the house although who knows. It was also a repossession when they purchased it.
otif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 04:40 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
HackWork's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 37,023
Rewards Points: 1,285
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by otif View Post

As far as the wiring goes when I initially started looking at this I did just simply replace the first receptacle which livened up the top half of the next one in line.
That right there proves that these receptacles were bi-wired.

Those 14-2 aren't daisy chaining from one receptacle box to the other, they are homeruns back to a splicebox somewhere.

I've done something similar a few times. The customer wanted lamps to be switched in their living room, but they also wanted to be able to move the room around in the future and still be able to switch the lamps in the new positions. So I wired every outlet in the living room with a 14-3 homerun to a 6X6 box in the basement so I could configure it any way in the future.
HackWork is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 05:50 PM   #15
Donuts > Fried Eggs
 
Big John's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland
Posts: 17,054
Rewards Points: 300
Default

The amount of current needed to melt those would've taken a whole lotta wire insulation with it. I think Brian John tested that out and they fused at 1,500 amps?

Those just look chewed up.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Always wear your gloves.
Big John is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Big John For This Useful Post:
360max (10-26-2016), MechanicalDVR (10-26-2016)
Old 10-26-2016, 06:04 PM   #16
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 60,551
Rewards Points: 23,526
Default

Those tabs look like they were chewed out by rats teeth or something similar.
__________________
Warning:

I've been known to make snowflakes whine!
Posts may contain sarcasm and guttural humor!
MechanicalDVR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 06:13 PM   #17
Gold Pliers Champion
 
Signal1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 2,426
Rewards Points: 2,424
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MechanicalDVR View Post
Those tabs look like they were chewed out by rats teeth or something similar.
Or cheap pair of DIY dikes from the dollar store.
telsa likes this.
Signal1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 06:25 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
HackWork's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 37,023
Rewards Points: 1,285
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal1 View Post
Or cheap pair of DIY dikes from the dollar store.
Yup, that's it. The perforations don't do much, you need to cut them out. And someone went to town with the wrong tool
HackWork is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 06:29 PM   #19
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 60,551
Rewards Points: 23,526
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal1 View Post
Or cheap pair of DIY dikes from the dollar store.
Tool marks I am unfamiliar with.
__________________
Warning:

I've been known to make snowflakes whine!
Posts may contain sarcasm and guttural humor!
MechanicalDVR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2016, 06:47 PM   #20
Band Member
 
emtnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 6,337
Rewards Points: 2,258
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by otif View Post
I found that three receptacles presumably wired in line with another all had the split receptacle tab on the line side melted open which resulted in power not reaching the lights.
Personally, I'd sell the house .... It's demons
__________________
_____________________________________
You should 3D print a toe attachment for your shotgun
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
emtnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CEC regulation on light and receptacle on same circuit katwalatapan Canadian Electrical Forum 13 10-19-2016 02:39 PM
New sump pump receptacle on an old circuit. Mugs Canadian Electrical Forum 14 07-30-2016 10:30 PM
Gfci receptacle feeds pool receptacle. Pool pump trips gfci and an hour or less Chevyman30571 Residential Electrical Forum 21 06-08-2016 12:47 PM
Diming receptacle eds General Electrical Discussion 5 04-14-2016 12:41 PM
Are those little round ears on a receptacle grounded? JasonCo General Electrical Discussion 13 01-26-2016 10:42 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com