Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flame Up!

There I was busily ignoring the whine and roar of the vacuum cleaner... then nothing but silence.

I immediately turned my eye to the plug, which had been acting up, to see if it came off the outlet.

Still there.

While approaching the plug, I sorta kicked on the cord and the vacuum cleaner ROARED to life and a beautiful blue-green flame shot out of neck of the plug like it was flamethrower...

Cool, I thought, as I ran to douse the shooting flame before it lights up the plastic covering a nearby sofa.


The wire is made of 2 conductors wrapped in their own insulation, then the two wires is wrapped in another rubbery-plastic insulation. The inner insulation must have split open over time and some strands must have sheared off. This has the effect of overloading the remaining strands of conductor in both wires causing the cord to heat up when in use, something I noticed prior. At the point where it was shooting flames, several cut strands from the two wires must have created a short and combined with heated outer insulation, caused an ignition that created the wonderful blue-green flame.

Or the the insulation may have been heated to the point of ignition.

And it really was a nice blue-green flame.