Thread Number: 8090
how hot should the cord/plug get?
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Post# 90110   1/26/2010 at 18:36 (3,185 days old) by vacuumfreeeke ()        

I was vacuuming with the s/p windtunnel tonight and when I unplugged it, I noticed that the cord was warm and the metal prongs were actually HOT. I never vacuum for more than 10 minutes at a time because my place is small (I wish I had ACRES to vacuum!). The Hoover isn't the only machine that does this... the Dyson DC14 and Kirby Dual Sanitronic 80 also get crazy hot plugs after only being on for a short period of time. None of my Eurekas do this, the Miele canister doesn't, the Vorwerk doesn't.... I just don't understand why some machines do and some don't. What does it mean when a cord and plug gets that hot?

Post# 90112 , Reply# 1   1/26/2010 at 18:39 (3,185 days old) by dustin (Jackson, MI)        
I dont know ...

dustin's profile picture
I dont know what that means,but some of mine do that too

Post# 90122 , Reply# 2   1/26/2010 at 19:13 (3,185 days old) by kirbyotronic ()        
Well I have noticed....

that EVERY 12 amp or close to that amperage machine always gets a warm cord and sometimes painfully hot prongs.

Post# 90124 , Reply# 3   1/26/2010 at 19:18 (3,185 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
True, especially if you have an older outlet or loose fit.

Post# 90144 , Reply# 4   1/26/2010 at 21:07 (3,185 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

The same happened to my Epic 6500 (11 amps), but only once. I assumed it was because the plug wasn't fully inserted.

Post# 90152 , Reply# 5   1/26/2010 at 22:57 (3,185 days old) by vacman117 (Valparaiso, IN)        

vacman117's profile picture
Whenever I clean with my Grandma's Dirt Devil MVP at her house, it does the same exact thing. Crazy hot plug. I would also assume it is from a loose fit or an old plug.

Post# 90154 , Reply# 6   1/26/2010 at 23:44 (3,185 days old) by elux89 ()        
Too small of cord gauge causes overheating

Most manufacturers have gone el-cheapo on the power cords. Instead of putting a 16 gauge power cord which will take upto 13 amps, they are using an 18 gauge which is only good for 10amps. If your machine is pulling 10-11 amps on an 18 gauge power cord, the cord will have a tendency to become hot. The manufacturers should use a minimum of 17, if not 16 gauge.

Now, the other problem that can cause a "hot" plug end, is if the actual wiring is not crimped/connected properly to the terminals, this can cause problems as well.


Post# 90157 , Reply# 7   1/27/2010 at 08:08 (3,185 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        
This is usually a sign of worn out socket

vacbear58's profile picture
It may be that the tolerences on the pins on the Hoover are slightly different to the others hence teh pins heating up. Have you tried in a number of sockets or just the one? Personally I would be concerned if the pins are getting as hot as you describe after only 10 minutes, I should get the sockets checked, as it is a sign of trouble, if the pins are getting that hot, so are the contacts inside the socket and the heat could cause the cores of the cable supplying the socket to become brittle leading to a short circuit or worse

Post# 90158 , Reply# 8   1/27/2010 at 08:21 (3,185 days old) by isufan11 (Des Moines, IA)        
It is actually a couple of issues,

The cord gauge plays a part in the heating up of the cord, however the draw from the motor as well as the available draw from the outlet also have a major effect on it, Simple fix for it would be to first check and make sure that all moving parts of the vacuum (motor, brush, fan, ect) are moving freely, too much stress on these parts can actually cause the amps drawn by the vacuum to to increase as much as 3 amps in some cases. When a motor comes in for testing the first thing we do is actually measure the amps it draws freely, next we see what the max amps it will draw is before it catches on fire or shuts off. The UL max amps is +3 over specified amps. Next we actually check the gauge of the cord and the amps that it can draw, most vacuum cords on newer models are made for a draw of 9-amps, with a +3 tolerance, so if you are running a 12-amp machine with a standard cord, you are already 1-amp over the recommended amps, now if your motor is drawing more due to being obstructed or what not you, could be drawing 4-amps over. The final peace may actually be cause by the wiring in your house, especially if you are using a polarized plug in an older outlet.

Post# 90169 , Reply# 9   1/27/2010 at 16:57 (3,184 days old) by riccarlover ()        
I encountered the same issue with...

One of our Simplicitys at church. I was using it for no more than a half hour. I unplugged the cord and while I was winding the cord up, my hand came in contact with the prongs for a second. It burnt my hand so bad I still have a scar over a year later. I also noticed that the cord was very short so I'm thinking it was a replacement. I will not touch that vacuum to this day.

Post# 90349 , Reply# 10   1/29/2010 at 22:52 (3,182 days old) by rainbowkid107 ()        

What did that simplicity look like? If possible, could you post a pic of the devil vacuum?


Post# 382996 , Reply# 11   12/22/2017 at 04:15 (299 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
I know this is an old topic but I do have helpful info. If your cord is getting hot on bagless vacs - you need to change the filter or at least blow it out with an air compressor. This happens on all my bagless vacs when they can't get the manufacturer-recommended airflow and suction in the motor. The motor is working harder and harder to get airflow and because of that it makes more and more current, which in turn makes the cord hotter.

Post# 383013 , Reply# 12   12/22/2017 at 15:34 (299 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture
Actually, if you plug a vacuum into an AMP meter, when you block the suction the AMP draw drops, as no air entering the fans actually reduces the load on the motor. However this also reduces the flow of air used to cool the motor on most vacuums, leading to motor overheat and burnout conditions.

I have some older Filter Queens that get hot plugs, I've always heard that when this is happening it means the cord is going bad. Metal fatigues as it flexes, copper takes a long time, but the individual strands in the cable can break over time, eventually leaving you with half the conductor that it once had, creating resistance and heat. In areas where the cord gets bent sharply this happens the worst, eventually the wires break to the point that it fails spectacularly, sometimes shooting a flame or spark out the side of the cord!

Post# 383156 , Reply# 13   12/27/2017 at 09:36 (294 days old) by brycerivers (Atlanta,GA,30273,United States)        
I think you should get that checked out

brycerivers's profile picture
As far as I know, with any electrical devices cord getting warm- or warm hot, you should take it in for matinence. Better safe than sorry for a potential house fire

Post# 383158 , Reply# 14   12/27/2017 at 11:04 (294 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

There are no absolute answers in this, just a range. I have electric motor driven devices where the cord gets at least warm. In my case it has nothing to do with  plug prongs  or outlets. It's due to the manufacturer using a cord too light gauge for the job at hand.....especially if the motor is running 20 minutes or more. 


Now if something is getting 'hot' (like the plug prongs), you need to look at all the varibles as mentioned in the aboves posts.  A warm cord is a different animal than a hot plug.



Post# 383162 , Reply# 15   12/27/2017 at 12:09 (294 days old) by Tseg (World Traveller)        

My house was built in 1937. Most of the outlets don't have a ground socket. My Miele C3 cord gets warm, but not hot. In fact, for the 17 years I've been in the house all high wattage cords get warm, like hair dryers etc... One of these days I may have the electrical redone in my house.

Post# 383181 , Reply# 16   12/28/2017 at 00:26 (293 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

The only thing I worry about in old houses is knob & tube wiring for newer high amp motors.  Or as was stated above if the plugs outlets are really worn. My Diamond J motors will get the cords warm in any house I've been in to the same degree if used over 20 will my new retro Connie.....and so will my big shop vacs. It's a function of the gauge cord and the amp draw of the motors. 


If you have circuit breakers and a breaker is thrown with your vac, something is wrong....usually in the vac. Minimal circuits are 20 amps for outlets in most vac should be pulling close to that or they wouldn't sell in most homes. Some old houses have 15 amp outlet circuits, but even then you should be able to pull safely to 12 amps without issues.



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