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#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:28:24 PM(UTC)

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I recently moved into a new apartment. It's not the nicest apartment but it's inexpensive. It's also very cheap, for instance there is only one outlet in the kitchen... Recently my wife and I tried cooking a roast in our crock pot. We bought a 3-prong extension cord from walmart and started the crock pot. After about 5 minutes we started smelling a burning smell. We turned the crock pot off and assumed that the unit was defective. We later tried plugging it in to a normal outlet and it seemed to be working but the burnt smell lingered.

Later we plugged in our toaster to the same extension cord and it started to burn the unit. We unplugged this one faster than the crock pot so we don't think it sustained any damage. We then used it later in a different outlet and no burning of the unit occured.

So we're trying to figure out what went wrong. Just one more story. We used our new microwave in the extension cord and that worked just fine. No burning, no problems, nothing went wrong it worked fine.

So did we use the wrong extension cord for the toaster and crock pot? What should we do? And will the crock pot need to be replaced or can we still use it in the future?

Any and all help will be appriciated thanks!
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#2 Posted : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 9:28:13 AM(UTC)

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One of the problem can be reversed polarity at the outlet. Most of an electronic operated appliances are very sensitive to such condition.

Also not all appliances can be used with an extension cord. You have to read the Owners manual.

#3 Posted : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 3:05:59 PM(UTC)

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It depends upon the amperage draw of the appliance. If this isn't stated, look for a wattage rating. Watts equal volts x amps. A light duty cord will heat up from a high amperage draw and cause a fire! Do NOT use appliances on that cord. They make special heavy duty appliance cords but you still have to run the calculations. You also need to know what amperage rating the breaker/ fuse has for that circuit. That means tracing the circuit back to the distribution panel. You could also have improper wiring so again, you really need an electrician in there. Talk to the landlord. If he balks, talk to the Fire Marshal. He'll force them to get it fixed.

Current codes call for two 20 ampere ground fault protected appliance circuits in the kitchen separate from the refrig., lighting and other appliances. See what you can do about getting an electrician in there before someone dies in a fire. :eek:

HTH, Hearthman
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 15, 2009 3:02:58 AM(UTC)

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Crock Pot
Check that the pot's line cord does not show any signs of overheating/melt.
Also if the plug's prongs are dirty/arced clean them up with some fine emery cloth.
Put some water in it and plug it into an outlet directly.
If it runs OK and does not start generating the burnt smell, it is probably OK.
The burnt smell does linger for a long time.

Your extension cord is dependent on two things
Wire size - look for an extension with 14 gauge wire. 12 if you can find one but this may take some searching, The higher the number the smaller the wire.
Length - use the shortest one that will reach.
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