Mains lead caught fire !

  bumpkin 12:01 07 Oct 14
Locked

I was sitting at my desk looking at my main PC whilst backing up my other one to an exterior drive. I turned to look at the progress of the back up and saw smoke coming from a point on the power lead to the backup device. In the few seconds that it took me to switch it off sparks were coming from it and then a small flame. Fortunately I was there and there was nothing flammable near it anyway but it was certainly a wake up call. I had not noticed any signs of damage to the lead when I fitted it. You just never expect these sort of things to happen to you.

  spuds 12:15 07 Oct 14

This YouTube video might be of interest to extention lead users and the risk of fires. Word of warning, the music on the video might be rather loud, so you might need to adjust your sound. click here

  BT 12:47 07 Oct 14

Can't quite see how that was done. The plug wasn't actually plugged into anything and had a clamp joined to just one of the plug pins, the earth pin at the beginning I think. The comments support this. So it wasn't a proper demo.

Why do people who make Youtube videos always put loud inane music on them- it isn't necessary.

  Aitchbee 12:58 07 Oct 14

It's a timely reminder for everyone to check their smoke-alarm installations [ ie, the state of the batteries and wether the alarms actually work!] and perhaps to even consider having 2 alarms in every room of their abode except the kitchen ... just to be on the safe side.

  bumpkin 13:31 07 Oct 14

The video makes my little burn out look trivial but it still melted all the conductors and left the cable hanging together by what was left of its outer casing. No overloading, it was a 3kw cable just feeding a transformer for a external HDD. Affected length of cable only about 20mm. Can't understand why it did not trip out the MCB or Earth Leakage protection. I can only assume it had become damaged and was arcing Live to Neutral but not drawing enough current to blow the fuse or the trip.

  BT 17:32 07 Oct 14

Re Smoke Alarms.

I heard one of mine beeping last Sunday morning as if the batteries were low. I don't know about others of you but I sometimes find it hard to place which one the sound is coming from. I thought it sounded like the one in the hall so it got up and removed the battery, but it just kept going. Finally tracked it down to an old one that I'd put in a box in my 'Computer/Spare' room when I'd bought new ones last year, and forgotten to remove the battery.

Mine get a 'Test' pretty regularly when the toast gets even slightly overdone.

  BT 17:37 07 Oct 14

A reminder also that in addition to Smoke alarms its advisable to have Carbon Monoxide alarms, especially if you have gas boilers etc. and don't forget CO alarms have a fixed life of about 5 years from first activation and then need replacing. They usually remind you with a different type of intermittent beep.

  woodchip 21:35 08 Oct 14

Can't understand why it did not trip out the MCB or Earth Leakage protection. That's because the lead most probably had no earth wire in it, or it was disconnected or broken

  bumpkin 13:52 09 Oct 14

It had an earth wire, it was a lead with sealed on plugs (kettle lead I believe some call them). All 3 wires were melted away at the point of arcing, All show continuity to both connectors.

  Batch 17:10 10 Oct 14

Maybe it's the 10,000amp fuse that you got in your Consumer Unit!

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