Space heater cord hot

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. New Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    Helicopter Pilot
    East TN
    Evening folks,

    When unplugging the space heater cord, it was very hot, the plug itself and about 12- 16 inches down the cord...hotter toward the plug.

    It was turned off before unplugging. It's a 1500 watt heater, pulling 12.5 amps (using 120V).

    Is my math right, only .5 amps short of being over the wires rated ampacity? The blades of the plug are clean, no obvious signs of heater probs. Same results in 2 different plugs on 2 different circuits.
    What do you guys think? Heater unplugged for the time being.

  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Jun 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    My opinion most want listen to.
    Throw the damn thing away as it is nothing short of a fire hazard. There has never been one that is designed to be used on a 15 amp circuit or one designed to be used for an extended length of time.

    This is a resistive load of 12.5 amps at 125%. Now you have a heater that is 1875 watts or that little heater needs a circuit that can deliver 20 amps but this will not stop the heating of the cord.
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Any connection in a circuit which is not very mechanically sound, will be an increased resistance area, and therefor will heat up.

    Here are the issues with your heater:

    1) The factory 'crimped on' connection of the molded plug is the first thing to start being a problem.
    2) The cord of the heater may be only 16 guage, so already it is a problem area.
    3) Over time, the "squeeze" of the receptacle prongs onto the blade of the plug gets weaker, equals heat. Especially true if the receptacle is a 50 cent homeower or builder special.

    If you otherwise like the heater...I would first buy a heavy duty replacement plug, of a type that you attach the wires be wrapping under a clamp screw. If that doesn't solve it, I would next replace the receptacle with a commercial grade 15 amp receptacle. After that, NOW I would just scrap the heater.
  5. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Dec 28, 2009
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    northfork, california
    Buy an electric heater made in the USA prior to about 1980. Before the Asians ruined our industry with their 18 g cords, elements made of scrap metal, tip over switches that do not work, and thermostats that cost them 3 cents to build. And the fake UL labels.

    "Free trade- world economy" - Only Americca is stupid and greedy enough to let this junk into our harbors.

    Only the Delonghi oil heaters seem to be made with a degree of care and still seem to be made in Spain.

    I would say the cord heating is helped by the Chinese "copper" with a 20% iron content.
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