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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
... I have to meet with the Teaneck Electrical Inspector on Thursday,next week,and I'll try and get an answer as to what they think happened..I'll keep you guys posted..

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
The only 110-volt all-electric dryers I've seen are portable models that can fit in a closet. I have one of those.

The large all-electric dryers usually run off 220 volts

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,362
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
Getting a little off-thread here, buy...I have several 110 volt dryers.
Two are quite small, part of a "stack" washer/dryer assembly. These assemblies have separate cords for the washer and dryer.
The other is somewhat larger, about 2/3 the size of a "standard" dryer.
Any of them are very SLOW in drying clothes, but they do work after a fashion.
Oh, and they use a standard 15 amp circuit.

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 68
120 Volt dryers are very common in apartments and usually have wheels so they can be roll around. And most gas dryers do require 120 volts also. If the wiring in the freezer caused the fire there had to be a fault in the freezer. Other loads on the same circuit would not have caused this.
Our next door neighbor had a small fire in their freezer once but it was because of their cat that made a nest in the condenser
coils for its kittens when it was pregnant. The cover was removed from the back of it.

Be Fair, Be Safe
Just don't be Fairly Safe
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
This story sort of sounds a little silly IMO.
Did the article actually say where the fire started, in the first place?.
For a newspaper reporter to hazard a guess as to the cause of an incident like this and then put it in print, sort of explains why journalists don't tend to have a very high popularity rating with us FF's.
What I would be most interested in however, is the reason why the Breaker never tripped?. [Linked Image]

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Why should the breaker trip? It is quite possible for an overheated conductor to reach the ignition temperature of flammable materials close by without exceeding the trip amps, surely?
English Bob.

Wood work but can't!
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Welcome to the forum Alan.

In a residence the wiring, if installed correctly should not exceed 60 C under any conditions.

I can not think of any common matrial with an ignition point under 60 C.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
I must confess to knowing only a little about American house-wiring, as a Brit living in rural France, but I do watch "This Old House" and "NYW" on satellite. A fault does not have to be in the fixed house-wiring. Practically very appliance is sold with a 'flex' made up of multiple conductors, which are vulnerable. Any idiot can (and I did!) drape the flex anywhere he or she likes. In my case, I parked the washing machine nipping the cable, where the machine vibration could mangle it for several months and break some of the conductor wires. There's no overload, the appliance is using normal amps, the house wiring is ok, no electrician is at fault. I won't say 'to Code', because here in France there are few if any Codes- as my Maire says- "You 'ave builded a 'ouse. It felled over. What has that got to do with ME!?"
The flex got hot- it's copper area was too small, and the insulation degraded- quote "turned to dust".
I think the polymers they put in the PVC to make it flexible evaporate with heat. The wires are now exposed to oxidation, and further damage occurs. In our case my wife smelled burning plastic and pulled out the plug, but not before the flex had scorched a neat black slot in the plastic trim and charred the unit side. But what might have happened if the fault were parked over a newspaper on the floor (ie Dog's-Dinner-Place) and the local temperature had risen to 451F? The breaker will not operate unless excessive amps flow. I thought such a thing would be impossible- Why didn't the live(hot)/neutral/earth(ground) short? Why didn't all that carbon conduct and short?
Ah, the mysteries of Elec-trickery!

Wood work but can't!
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 186
Family of Young N.J. Fire Victims Holding Fire Officials Responsible

Updated: 03-24-2005 12:23:24 PM

GRIEF: Mourners leave a Teaneck synagogue after yesterday's funeral for the children.

Courtesy of New York Post

March 24, 2005 -- Fire officials who investigated and dismissed a smoke call at a New Jersey home that later erupted in an inferno, killing four children, fear the family will hold them responsible for the tragedy.

"I'm sure there'll be litigation," one official said.

A preliminary investigation by the Teaneck Fire Department found an overloaded 20-amp circuit caused the motor in a basement freezer to burn out and start the fire.

Neighbors and friends of the decimated family said yesterday they were still troubled by the department's actions on the night of the blaze.

"I just don't understand how they could go in that house, find nothing, then allow those children back in, and then that house goes up in flames," said one family friend.

Insurance company agents combed through the house, taking pictures, and workers boarded up the windows as 2,000 friends, relatives, classmates and teachers filed into the Seidenfeld family's synagogue, Congregation Keter Torah, to say farewell to the four tragic youngsters.

Noticeably absent was their mother, Philyss, 42, who remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Her children's four small caskets, draped in black cloth and lined up side by side in front of the altar, brought sobs to most eyes in the packed sanctuary.

The tears continued during the hourlong service as the four siblings were lovingly remembered by their rabbis, teachers, relatives and friends.

Too distraught to speak, their father, Howard Seidenfeld, sat alongside his three surviving girls as a friend read his tender words of tribute to the children he's lost:

Ari, 15 — "The best buddy and friend a father and mother can have."

Noah, 6 — "Handsome, sweet and always ready to tell his mother and teachers how beautiful they are."

Adira, 5 — "Smart and beautiful with golden hair and a serious smile."

Natan, 4 — "Carefree, loving, always happy, always ready to play the mascot."

Seidenfeld, 41, recalled family outings to Sesame Place and Dorney Park, and Sunday barbecues and Friday chicken soup.

Family friend Elaine Weinberger remembered just days ago seeing Adira "scooping up earth" to celebrate the arrival of spring and Natan "waving in the window with a big smile.

"We are all here asking the question, 'Why such a short life?' " she said.

Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein, principal of the Yeshiva of North Jersey, read words Ari had written in a school paper: "Life is too short to waste on anger."

The inferno erupted early Tuesday morning — just hours after firefighters had checked out a report of smoke inside the house, found "nothing wrong" and gave homeowner Seidenfeld and the six children who were living at home the all-clear to return.

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 37
Am I the only one who believes that the overload is merely coincidence and has nothing to do with whether or not the motor decided to take a dump that day and cause the fire?

Overloaded circuits should trip breakers and overheat wires, but each device on the circuit should operate normally. The only exception I can think of is if the motor was trying to draw 25A and perhaps it only had 16 ga wire to it or something. Although even in that case, the wire, not the motor, would be vulnerable.

How about its just an old motor that decided to fail in a horrible way that day?

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