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Vendors solution to not having enough vending machine outlets.
by Tim Heins

Here's a terrible situation waiting for the right time to start a fire, which could be any minute! Vendor's of soda and coffee machines want their machines to work, so they leave this situation. Looks like the wall is toasted, and the wires in the adapter and plug cap are probably burned as well!

[Linked Image]
Those 6 way "Gem" taps are a little on the flimsy side as it is... Let alone with about 30A+ stuck into it! (Full size soda vends are usually 10A a piece, the stand up coffee machines that drop the cups tend to hover in the 15A range, Common to find a N5-20 plug with the prong twisted to N5-15 position if they don't yank the ground pin & use a T slot outlet! :eek [Linked Image] Assuming the outlet behind was split circuit w/ two 20A circuits, this tap was just left to cook!

But the machines worked when they were plugged in didn't they? Must be all right then! [Linked Image]
Anyone that knows about the theory of Fire, would know that this is near combustion.
Pyrolysis (chemical decompostion by heat) has set in. [Linked Image]
If you were to turn off the power and bend them wires, I would bet that the Insulation would fall straight off.

{Edited for spelling mistake}

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 09-07-2004).]
...And I though the whole idea was to se how many plugs you can squeeze into one recept. Sheesh!
I've seen cooked outlet strips at Wally World (Wal*Mart) before. You know, those cheap $3.86 ones with the breakers. Ones I saw didn't even have the breaker switches anymore! And also some homebrew extension cords. I know those aren't for permanent use! (Then again, maybe they made their own so nobody could criticise them about those "DANGER!" labels...) Not worried about spelling.
Sorry for a second post in a short time, but. Randy, with those N5-20 plugs w/ the bent prongs, my dad does that at Comcast (his place of work) with cable power supplies rated for 13 amps with N5-20 plugs! I think he said 18AWG cords too. The power supplies only have 15AMP N5-15 receptacle.

If your dad's power supplies are only drawing 15 amps at most, why doesn't he just cut off the 20-amp plug and replace it with a standard 15-amp 3-wire plug instead of bending pins on it?
The more things change...

This year, I was called on Xmas eve to replace this exact situation at a restaurant. These adapters simply will not stand up to 10+ amps for an extended period!
I've asked my dad that, he said that Comcast won't buy the plugs, and he doesn't want to buy 1000+ plugs every six months (that's about how many p.s's blow in that time period. And he says he can't make unauthorized changes, and I've tried to help him get it authoruzed, and try to help him get some N5-15 plugs. No luck. Ughhhh...
I suspect that these "power supplies" are actually UPSs and the 13amp is their output rating.

If this is the case, they need a 20amp plug because they can charge their batteries AND provide 13amps to a load at

the same time, this puts the input over 15amps!

Hence, the 20amp plug to achieve UL listing.

Correct outlets on proper circuits should be installed.

Alternatively, get smaller units that will run on a 15a source.

Shame on those who ASSUME that the plug is wrong and suggest changing or modifying it.
No, they aren't UPS's, they keep voltage on the CATV lines, which is needed. And the plate on it says 10Ampere input, 9Ampere output load, surge load 20Amperes. Believe me, I don't support the "Prong Twisting" either.

[This message has been edited by Theelectrikid (edited 06-26-2005).]
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