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  1. #1
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    Default scorched neutrals

    Post-1980's home.
    I did not remove the dead front.
    AL?

    Any ideas as to the deficiency/defect?
    Several outlet contact openings and contacts were scorched on the neutral.
    One on the power and neutral side.
    All outlets had grounds.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    The 80s would have been after the use of Al for branch circuits for lights and receptacles. High draw appliances and loose connections would cause hot spots that could show as scorching.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The 80s would have been after the use of Al for branch circuits for lights and receptacles. High draw appliances and loose connections would cause hot spots that could show as scorching.
    Thanks Jim.
    Most likely my phrasing was confusing.

    Post 1980's.
    1970 - 1979.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Robert

    You mean pre 1980 or post 1980?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    I am confused - how did you see the neutrals if you didn't remove the dead front cover?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    I took it that he was seeing discolored and possibly deformed receptacle fronts. He was saying that is was on the longer slot.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I took it that he was seeing discolored and possibly deformed receptacle fronts. He was saying that is was on the longer slot.
    Okay, makes sense - what threw me was the "I did not remove the dead front." part - I guess my mind went to thinking of panels, disconnects, and such with dead front covers.

    He was referring to the device cover plate as the dead front - got it, and now it makes sense.

    Loose connections inside the receptacles. Not necessarily where the conductors terminate at the screws, but more likely where the plug blades/prongs are held between the tension contacts inside the receptacle.

    Could also be the use of lamp cords with those old front terminals and the front insulating cover which pushes on over the blades/prongs - those can fall off or allow arcing to get past and scorch the cover plates.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Lansdale, PA
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    A photo would be a big help.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    A photo would be a big help.
    I seem to be having trouble uploading an image?

    Mr. Peak,
    To answer your question, the neutrals on several outlets.
    I report any limiting factors. Did not remove the panel front.

    a. How did I ascertain it was the neutral conductor on the branch circuit?
    I use a 120/240 AC/CA branch circuit analyzer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I took it that he was seeing discolored and possibly deformed receptacle fronts. He was saying that is was on the longer slot.
    Correct Jim.

    Thank you for your support.

    Anyone having lag on the MB.
    I am using IE11.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Robert,

    That receptacle outlet looks like it has had water leaking out through it - that suggests a leak in the wall behind or above that receptacle.

    Unless the wiring method was conduit, in which case water could entering the conduit at some other location.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Like Jerry said, it looks like the receptacle has seen quite a bit of water. Cheap receptacles sometime develop loose plug contacts, which can cause arcing and overheating. Water does not help. Looks the the receptacles have also been painted. Not that that likely has anything to do with the problem.


  12. #12
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Old house in Montreal, could be ice-damming if those are on an outside wall.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  13. #13
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    Default Re: scorched neutrals

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Robert

    You mean pre-1980 or post 1980?
    Thank's Ray.
    Pre- 1980's home.
    Regards.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
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