It appears as thlugh the screws aren't listed for the number of wires that whom ever tried to use them to terminate them with. Looks as if there are at least 2 wires under weah of 2 screws to me. That, when combined with the a down stream load magically turns the outlet into a heater.
#105914 - 09/20/0511:25 AMRe: Red Hot Glowing Terminations at a Receptacle
It's O.K. The side of the box is missing, so there's plenty of ventilation .
Now for the serious side, I had a fire call a couple of years ago in a mobile home - HO reported a strange "hot" smell. On arrival, the wall receptacle in the living room was glowing red, easily visible in the room. Same type of receptacle you picture here - relatively cheap product, 15 amp max. capacity. The one we dealt with was wired with 12/2/G copper romex, with a large window air conditioner farther down the line. After shutting down the circuit and cutting the wall finish away from the receptacle, we found a plastic box, badly distorted from the heat, just about ready to ignite. The wiring connections to the receptacle were pretty loose, possibly from the severe heating/cooling effect.
#105916 - 09/28/0512:38 AMRe: Red Hot Glowing Terminations at a Receptacle
unless i am missunderstanding your comment about the 15 amp recep wired to a 12/2 wg circuit mamills, that is allowed as long as there is more than one actual 15 amp rated receptacles on that circuit. it's when there is a single receptacle on a circuit and not a duplex receptacle that the outlet must me rated the same as the OC device.
#105917 - 09/28/0508:37 AMRe: Red Hot Glowing Terminations at a Receptacle
Hi electronspark: Point well taken. I guess what I was getting at is, the receptacle, supplied by a 20 amp Square D breaker, failed as a result of current (and perhaps not necessarily excessive current at that) passing through the receptacle on its way to the air conditioner, as well as any other items downwind (if there were any). In my instance, the wires had appeared to be properly wrapped initially around the screws, and not connected via the "push 'n pray" method. Someone who is well versed in "electrical forensics" might have had a different view. A situation such as this makes a good case for solidly splicing wires together in the box, and bringing a pigtail out to the receptacle .
We have all seen 15 amp-rated receptacles, in a wide range of quality, offered for sale. Some are of such questionable quality that their sale should be illegal. Others are of much higher quality and can be discerned by their look and feel (as well as price).
When you really get to the bottom line, the HO probably would have been much better off with a dedicated 20 amp circuit with a 20 amp receptacle, as you mentioned.
Thank you for your comments .
[This message has been edited by mamills (edited 09-28-2005).]
#105918 - 09/28/0512:37 PMRe: Red Hot Glowing Terminations at a Receptacle
This is not an uncommon problem with poor connections and it occurs with copper as well as with aluminum. This is the type of problem that an AFCI cannot detect until it progresses into a line to neutral fault, a line to ground fault, or a neutral to ground fault. Don
#105919 - 12/01/0509:09 PMRe: Red Hot Glowing Terminations at a Receptacle