Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>cord ejected from electrical socket?
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josefismael
cord ejected from electrical socket?

Got a weird question here, and can't seem to find any relevant info out on the web.

Last night when my GF went to plug in a USB adapter+cord, the socket made a “popping” noise. Then a few seconds later, when she was about to plug in the cord to the phone, the adapter “spat out” the cord. The adapter stayed in the outlet, but there was a burnt smell that I typically associate with electrical short/fire. We think we traced the smell the adapter and not the outlet itself, but hard to be sure. Then we turned off the breaker for that room and went to bed.

Some context:
-we just had carpet installed yesterday, and have basically been getting shocked by anything and everyone up there.
-we had a 3 outlet extension cord plugged into the outlet the whole time, and no issues from the devices that were plugged into the extension cord
-we tried the adapter that had spat out the plug on a different outlet and got nothing
-in case you’re wondering it’s NOT this: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technolo...224156793.html

So I’m wondering – do I have a larger problem? Or should I chalk this up to a freak occurrence that will probably never happen again?

thanks in advance!
jm

JLMCDANIEL
Re: cord ejected from electrical socket?

Wrong or bad cord, or a catastrophic failure of the adapter.

Jack

HoustonRemodeler
Re: cord ejected from electrical socket?

Look for arcing on the cord and outlet.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: cord ejected from electrical socket?

Oh and as far as the shocking goes, could it be static shock from the carpet? Try some anti static spray.

Jack

ed21
Re: cord ejected from electrical socket?

I think the adapter failed and I would toss it. Possibly the contacts got shorted. You said you plugged in the adapter, but did you also plug in the phone and make sure it was charging.

Mastercarpentry
Re: cord ejected from electrical socket?

If you smelled any odor of melting plastic, then the adapter or cord has shorted or failed and you need another one. Don't try plugging it in elsewhere until you check the outlet it was in. If you don't have one, now is a great time to get a plug-in outlet checker tool- every homeowner needs one of these. Plug it in, note which lights on it are on, then read from the list on it what the combination of lights means. Super simple, super fast.

Also check for physical tightness of a plug in the outlet- if it doesn't feel tight the contacts in the outlet are worn and the outlet needs to be replaced. In fact, I recommend doing that anytime you experience a short with anything plugged into an outlet, as the heat created by the short will weaken the springiness of the outlet contacts causing it to fail sooner than it would have otherwise even if it seems OK now. It's a lot of peace of mind for very little money and time spent. PS: Don't use the back-stab connections, always use the screw terminals in the outlet- they are a much better connection.

Phil

John freeman
Re: cord ejected from electrical socket?

[QUOTE=josefismael]Got a weird question here, and can't seem to find any relevant info out on the web.

Last night when my GF went to plug in a USB adapter+cord, the socket made a “popping” noise. Then a few seconds later, when she was about to plug in the cord to the phone, the adapter “spat out” the cord. The adapter stayed in the outlet, but there was a burnt smell that I typically associate with electrical short/fire. We think we traced the smell the adapter and not the outlet itself, but hard to be sure. Then we turned off the breaker for that room and went to bed.

Some context:
-we just had carpet installed yesterday, and have basically been getting shocked by anything and everyone up there.
-we had a 3 outlet extension cord plugged into the outlet the whole time, and no issues from the devices that were plugged into the extension cord
-we tried the adapter that had spat out the plug on a different outlet and got nothing
-in case you’re wondering it’s NOT this: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technolo...224156793.html

So I’m wondering – do I have a larger problem? Or should I chalk this up to a freak occurrence that will probably never happen again?

thanks in advance!

John freeman
Re: cord ejected from electrical socket?

Usually this smell is burning wire insulation caused by a loose connection at the receptacle. A loose connection can result in heat which burns the insulation. The noise could be an arc from the wire to the screw connection, also a loose connection. I would replace the receptacle and make sure all connections are tight.

It could also be the adapter failed.

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