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my plug almost caught fire

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Sealer People, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Sealer People

    Sealer People Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    Hello all, Im here with another problem

    Today I plugged in my chevy diesel ( 1996 ) plugged in as in the block heater.

    The plug started smoking & burning but didnt actually catch fire, the plug itself is all black now . he smell was very bad as the plastic started catching.

    anyone know anything about this ??
    the extension cord that I was using was not wet as it was in the garage.
    although the truck with the actual plug was outside & may have been a little wet or damp.
  2. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I've had that happen before...Try a heavier duty cord and try to shorten up the length if you can...They do draw a lot !
  3. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    block heater

    i don't think very much of the factory block heater's .i had one on a new 98 k30 and it lasted about i week and leaked ,did not burn .i like the tank type pulse type in line heater's .Northern Tool + Equipment

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  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    A bad connection @ the plug can cause it to over heat. try an extension cord that is at least 12 gage wire (or smaller number)
  5. Sealer People

    Sealer People Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    Thanks guys, but I dont understand still.

    What type of heavier gauge?
    Im guessing that the smaller the number of the extension cord, then the more heavy duty it is ?

    & one of the prongs on the actual plug at the truck side is black in color,,, can i just clean it & plug it in ?? or do i risk geting electricuted ?

    Thanks guys
  6. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    OK the problem you had was a bad connection at the plug caused by a dirty plug or a loose prong or a bad connection where the wire connects to the prong (ether on the male or female plug). a bad connection causes an increase in Resistance resistance causes heat.
    Thats how a toaster work. the power cord does not heat up for it has low resistance, the element heats up because it has a higher resistance. I would replace the plug on the heater and use a new heave extension cord
  7. Sealer People

    Sealer People Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    thanks for the explanation meisterrr,,, you could be a great shop teacher,,,,,

    How the heck do you guys know about all this stuff ???