In today's paper (mar 23)(Star Ledger of Newark NJ) there was a story about a house fire in Teaneck NJ that claimed several lives. Seems to have been an electrical cause. But the reporter seems to have gotten it somewhat garbled. Seems that the fridge-freezer, and a washer and a dryer were all on the same 20A circuit, drawing 26 amps. (Though I doubt all three were on at the same time, seems the reporter just added the nameplate amp ratings together) (Still not a good idea all on the same circuit). "This overload caused the wiring in the freezer to degrade, that caused the fire". "Had the circuit breaker tripped, this fire wouldn't have happened."
House was built in the 1930's and maybe it was the old house wire was what degraded.
...That's a fact,..Teaneck is my neighboring town to the south,and at first I actually had to think about if we were ever in that house,as we do alot of work in Teaneck.Turns out we weren't.My sincere condolences to the family.Ron F was correct tho,.. there's a "gold mine" in Federal Pacific up this way..3 out of 5 homes have them.. Russ
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"
Re: House fire caused by overloaded fridge-freezer wiring?#50146 03/24/0509:54 AM03/24/0509:54 AM
Forget about CSI, and every other cop show you've seen. It's a pretty rare fire that gets more than a cursory glance- and most of those looking aren't really qualified. What may have happened is that the insulation of the branch circuit wires degraded (turned to dust) after years of being overloaded (hot). Or a receptacle failed- those things don't last forever. Or there was an unrelated problem with the appliance itself.
Take news reports with a LARGE grain of salt. Not only is your typical reporter bounced from covering society news to foreign affairs- thus knows knothing about the subject of the report- but his, and his editors- are often borderline illiterate.
Re: House fire caused by overloaded fridge-freezer wiring?#50148 03/24/0511:03 AM03/24/0511:03 AM
Forget about CSI, and every other cop show you've seen. It's a pretty rare fire that gets more than a cursory glance- and most of those looking aren't really qualified.
I'll second that. Usually the FD cares about Arson or All Other. Beyond that they look for the insurance comapany to pickup the ball (and cost) to finish it out. (At least that's the way it always was with me.)
Re: House fire caused by overloaded fridge-freezer wiring?#50150 03/24/0509:50 PM03/24/0509:50 PM
Has anyone ever seen a 120v dryer? Not I. I have seen a 240 washer but never a dryer. Could this really be? Mybe the reporter is really right and they seriesd everything on a 240v circuit. To bad people died. No smoke detectors eather?
Re: House fire caused by overloaded fridge-freezer wiring?#50151 03/24/0510:08 PM03/24/0510:08 PM
Probably a gas dryer. Still needs electricity to power the motor that rotates the drum.
Paper said that there were at least one functioning smoke detector, but maybe it wasn't in a good location. Also one of the bedrooms had a windows blocked by an air conditoner and another by a bed, making egress difficult.