A good working toaster can get pretty hot, and it’s supposed to. As the appliance draws in so much electricity, it’s understandable if the plug gets slightly warm. However, if the plug gets so hot that you can’t even touch it, it’s a cause for concern.
A toaster plug shouldn’t get hot, but it can get slightly warm. If a toaster plug gets too hot, turn off the circuit breaker immediately, as this is a fire and shock hazard. Toaster plugs generally get hot due to electrical issues, and it’s best to call an expert for help instead of trying to fix it.
In this article, I’ll highlight five key things that you should know regarding your toaster plug and whether it should get hot. By the end, you will have a better understanding of why toaster plugs get hot and what you should do when that happens.
Things To Know if Your Toaster Plug Is Getting Hot
If you feel that your toaster plug is getting too hot, it can be a cause for concern. To ensure nothing bad happens and to stay prepared, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Toaster Plugs Can Get Warm but Shouldn’t Get Hot
Like all other electronic appliances, a toaster generates heat when it’s turned on. The plug gets warm because electricity passes from the outlet into the plug and onto the wire/cable.
The metal prongs in the plug and the electric wires inside the cables offer some level of electrical resistance, albeit very minute. Nevertheless, as the current passes through the resistive body, it generates heat often called waste heat as a result of this resistance,
As such, it’s natural to expect the plug to get slightly warm while in use.
However, if the plug gets extremely hot – too hot to touch – it means either the resistance has increased or indicates an electrical fault. Both scenarios aren’t typical and are a cause for concern.
2. Turn Off the Circuit Breaker if the Plug Is Too Hot
If you notice the toaster plug is extremely hot, don’t attempt to unplug it directly or switch off the connected outlet. You can potentially get burnt or end up electrocuted.
Instead, turn off the circuit breaker for the outlet where the toaster is plugged. Alternatively, you can also remove the fuse for the outlet.
That said, if you don’t know where the circuit breaker or fuse is, take a long wooden stick – or any other lengthy object made from a non-conductive material – and turn off the outlet switch from a distance. If it’s a switchless outlet, try to knock the plug out of the socket and away from you.
The goal is to stop the current flow so that the plug can cool down and be safe to remove and inspect.
3. A Hot Toaster Plug Poses a Fire and Shock Hazard
Don’t ignore a toaster plug that’s getting too hot. You might think that if you’re careful while handling it, you’re safe – but that’s only part of the equation.
If the plug gets overly hot, it can potentially burn nearby flammable materials leading to a house fire. If there are curtains, paper, or wooden furniture near the hot toaster plug, they can start a fire with long enough contact.
To put this in perspective, did you know that toasters and grills accounted for 1368 house fires in 2019-2020?
If the plug regularly gets too hot and you ignore it, the heat will eventually damage the insulating material surrounding the prongs or even the cord. If the insulation gets damaged enough, the inner metal conductor will become exposed, raising your risk of electrocution.
4. Toaster Plugs Get Hot Because of Electrical Faults
Toaster plugs generally get hot because of an underlying electrical fault. However, it’s important to know where the fault lies – whether with the toaster plug or the power socket where it’s plugged in.
Here’s a quick look at some of the common electrical faults that can cause your toaster plug to get hot:
- The plug or electrical outlet is loose. If the plug fits loosely into the outlet, there’ll be a gap with high electrical resistance. As the current crosses this gap, it’ll generate a lot of heat.
- There’s a short circuit or improper grounding in the toaster. Electrical issues with the toaster can potentially cause it to draw more current, which results in more heat generation.
- The pins on the plug have corroded. Dull or corroded pins have higher electrical resistance than new shiny, and clean pins. The higher resistance will result in more heating.
- The plug outlet is faulty or overloaded. There might be problems with the wiring inside the outlet causing it to get hot, which in turn heats up the toaster plug. Alternatively, you might have too many appliances plugged into outlets connected in the same series. This can overload the circuit, potentially making the outlets hot.
By understanding where the problem lies, you become better equipped to handle it thus avoiding any potential accidents.
5. Call a Professional for Help
Did you know that each year, there are around 300 recorded toaster-related deaths in the US – either from electrocution or fires? As such, I strongly advise that if you don’t have experience fixing electronic appliances, you shouldn’t attempt to fix your toaster plug.
Even if you follow a detailed guide to the T and think you’ve fixed it, you might overlook some underlying problem. This can lead to a terrible accident if someone inserts the toaster plug into the power socket.
Therefore, call a technician to have a look at your toaster or have it repaired. Similarly, if the problem is with the power outlet, call an electrician for help. Experts can also offer personalized advice on what you can do to stop your toaster plug from getting hot in the future.
Ideally, the plug should either be at room temperature or slightly warm when the toaster is on.
However, if the plug gets too hot, there’s probably some fault in the plug or the electrical outlet.
If you notice the toaster plug is hot, you should immediately turn off the circuit breaker to stop electricity from flowing into the appliance. This is to protect against any accidental fire or electrocution.
When the plug cools down, you can troubleshoot the problem yourself or call a professional to help you out.