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  #1  
Old 06-16-2002, 06:23 PM
Murasaki312a Murasaki312a is offline
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Too tight electrical outlets-how to fix

I have a rather annoying electrical outlet in the kitchen. Unlike the other outlets in the house, this one seems to want to hang on to the plug when I try to pull it out. Something tells me I don't want to go spraying WD-40 in there. What can I do?

Deb
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2002, 06:31 PM
bbeaty bbeaty is offline
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Replace it? I think those things cost under $1.00 in big hardware stores. Not worth trying to repair, just get a better one.
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2002, 06:55 PM
Murasaki312a Murasaki312a is offline
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Gee, I don't know why I didn't think of that. I mean, what could you really do other than that (besides sticking something in there and jiggling it around and, well you know how that ends

Thanks...

Deb
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2002, 07:14 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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When you decide to replace it (and they are very cheap) make sure to get yourself a voltage tester. They're very cheap too, if you just get a "power is on / power is off" type, to ensure the power is actually off at the outlet you are replacing. You need to turn the power off at the circuit breaker box before starting the repair.

If there is more than one outlet or switch in the box, make sure everything in the box is turned off at the breaker. No sense getting shocked over a simple repair...
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2002, 07:22 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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It won't hurt to use a bit of WD40 in the outlet. It might not work, but it's worth a try.

Now, water, you don't want to spray in there.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2002, 08:17 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Good advice, but I'd bypass the 79 cent outlets in favor of the $2.00 plus kind. They generally say "contractor grade" or something like that on the box.
They're sturdier, easier to wire (back wire), and aren't as likely to 'grab' your plug.
Personally, I wouldn't do the WD40 bit. Plugs use friction to maintain contact. No big thing, though. I guess.
Peace,
mangeorge (Ex-electrician)
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2002, 10:18 PM
donkeyoatey donkeyoatey is offline
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Why is spraying a flammable liquid into an electrical outlet only a bad idea if it reduces friction?
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2002, 11:10 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by donkeyoatey
Why is spraying a flammable liquid into an electrical outlet only a bad idea if it reduces friction?
You tell me. Mr. Smartypants.
What, did you go look on the can?
Sorry. It's getting late, and I'm having a little trouble abiding silliness.
Yes, if you unplug something, under load, while WD40 is present, and WD40 is indeed flammible under such circumstances, it might ignite. I don't know.
So, as has been stated, get a new ouitlet. And no WD40, please.
Love ya, donkeyoatey.
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mangeorge
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  #9  
Old 06-17-2002, 01:07 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Don't spray the WD40 into the outlet, you noodge. You'd be much better off spraying it onto a plug, cleaning the plug between the prongs (so there is no liquid connecting the prongs) then working the plug in and out of the socket a few times. This will get the lubricant in with minimal risk and relieve sexual frustration at the same time.

Though replacing the whole thing is probably the best way to go.
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2002, 01:34 AM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mangeorge
Good advice, but I'd bypass the 79 cent outlets in favor of the $2.00 plus kind. They generally say "contractor grade" or something like that on the box.
They're sturdier, easier to wire (back wire), and aren't as likely to 'grab' your plug.
Personally, I wouldn't do the WD40 bit. Plugs use friction to maintain contact. No big thing, though. I guess.
Peace,
mangeorge (Ex-electrician)
I believe that WD40 is graphite lubricant mixed with a volatile vehicle. The liquid might very well be flammable, especially when it vaporizes, and the graphite is surely a conductor. I certainly wouldn't be spraying it into an electrical outlet.

If you don't have or can't get an electrical meter to check for power to the outlet, plug a lamp into both sockets and turn them on. Then have someone turn off the circuit breaker at the power panel while you watch for the lights to go out.
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  #11  
Old 06-17-2002, 06:42 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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I'm not the one who said to use the freakin' WD40. It was Gary T. dang it. In fact I advised against it. Maybe my admonishion was a little mild.

DO NOT SPRAY ANYTHING INTO AN ELECTRICAL OUTLET. PERIOD.

There.
Peace,
mangeorge
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2002, 06:57 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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This is sad, y'all. bbeaty provides the OP with the correct and best answer less than 10 minutes after the question is asked and this is how we beat it around?

I have to ask, Murasaki312a, what is your objection to replacing the outlet?
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2002, 07:11 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Quote:
When you decide to replace it (and they are very cheap) make sure to get yourself a voltage tester. They're very cheap too, if you just get a "power is on / power is off" type, to ensure the power is actually off at the outlet you are replacing. You need to turn the power off at the circuit breaker box before starting the repair.
Or you could do what most every body else does. Plug a lamp into the socket and turn it on. Then flip the breaker to see if it is off.
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2002, 11:28 PM
Neurodoc Neurodoc is offline
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No graphite in WD 40

Quote:
Originally posted by David Simmons


I believe that WD40 is graphite lubricant mixed with a volatile vehicle. The liquid might very well be flammable, especially when it vaporizes, and the graphite is surely a conductor. I certainly wouldn't be spraying it into an electrical outlet.

If you don't have or can't get an electrical meter to check for power to the outlet, plug a lamp into both sockets and turn them on. Then have someone turn off the circuit breaker at the power panel while you watch for the lights to go out.
There is no graphite in WD 40. It consists of petroleum distillates. It is a non-conductor (and, no, I don't know its dielectric constant). I would definitely advise against spraying it into an electrical outlet, not because it would short out the terminals, but because it would tend to gum them up. Get a new outlet (I agree with buying the better made ones), and make sure you turn off the circuit before playing around with it. BTW...are you sure the problem is the outlet rather than the appliance plug? Try a different plug first.
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2002, 07:45 AM
Murasaki312a Murasaki312a is offline
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Thanks for the advice. Changing the outlet seems to be the best course of action (but I think I'll get someone else to do it :-)

Deb
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2002, 06:34 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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I'll do it, for a cheeseburger and a half bottle of Merlot.
Peace,
mangeorge
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