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Why Does Your Toaster Oven Plug Get Hot?

Why Does Your Toaster Oven Plug Get Hot?

We all know that a toaster oven’s job is to heat our breakfasts. Although it’s bound to be warm, the device isn’t supposed to heat its plug.

Your toaster oven plug gets hot because your power outlet is likely overheating. Overheating happens when the circuit is running more devices than it can handle at once. Unplug the toaster oven to let it cool down. Ensure you don’t have too many appliances plugged in the same spot all at once.

We all want to be safe, so we must recognize and understand the dangers of overheating to achieve that goal. Keep reading as I explore other potential causes for overheating toaster oven plugs. I’ll also discuss the solutions to the problem and safety procedures you can follow to avoid fire hazards (source).

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Reasons Your Toaster Oven Plug Is Hot

Is your toaster oven supposed to be a little warm?

The answer is yes; warmth is expected, but the plug of your toaster oven shouldn’t be hot to the touch. It’s a sign that something isn’t working, and you should address the problem right away. But how can you solve a problem if you don’t know what problems could potentially be occurring?

There are quite a few reasons as to why your toaster oven plug might be overheating.

The most common problem is an overloaded circuit. If you have too many devices plugged in near the same spot or on the same power strip, the chances are that this is the cause of your overheating appliance plug. However, this isn’t always the case. Your plug might be getting warmed up by loose electrical connections.

Now let’s get into the details about both of these factors, as well as what they mean (source). 

The Circuit Is Overloaded

Your electrical outlets are designed to withstand a certain amount of power. Each outlet — or circuit — has specific levels of amperage and voltage. It’s common for most homes in the U.S. to have 15-amp circuits that run on 120 volts.

To determine the capacity of watts your outlet can withstand, multiply the amperage by the voltage. 15 amps multiplied by 120 volts is 1,800 watts. That means most outlets in American homes have a capacity of up to 1,800 watts.

According to a report made by Energy Star, on average, toaster ovens use 1,200 to 1,400 watts during usage (source).

Now that’s a lot of energy being used for just one appliance — your toaster oven. If you’re using more than one appliance on the same circuit, this could be the culprit behind your overheated plug.

So how do you avoid overloading a circuit? Try checking the product manual or the plug label for your appliances, which will let you know how many watts are used by that specific device. From there, you can determine where to plug in certain appliances in a way that won’t cause an overload.

It would also be wise to unplug all your appliances and devices while you’re not using them so that you can cut back on energy usage and potential fire hazards.

The Plug Is Hot From Loose Electrical Connections

Another reason why your toaster oven plug might be hot is because of loose electrical connections.

Simply put, a cable expands and contracts as it warms up and cools down. It can cause wires to become loose over time, resulting in resistance. The resistance messes up the flow of electricity and can produce enough heat to damage the wiring and, essentially, the appliance itself.

If you’re worried that the wiring of your electrical outlet or your appliance might have something to do with why your toaster oven plug is hot, it’s best to call an electrician so they can either rule out or address problems with your outlet. It’s very important to do this because too much heat could potentially cause an electrical fire (source).

Toaster Oven Safety Procedures

So you’ve read about the why and the how behind your overheating toaster oven plug. You’ve gained some sort of understanding (hopefully), and now it’s time to discuss essential safety procedures to follow while using your toaster oven.

Here are some ways to practice safety while using your appliance, so your home or workplace can be free of fire hazards.

Unplug Your Appliances When They’re Not in Use

Unplugging your appliances when they’re not in use is a smart way to cut back on both electricity bills and overworked circuits.

When you’re not using an appliance, there really isn’t a good reason for leaving it plugged in. Though it can be annoying to constantly plug and unplug something as commonly used as a toaster oven, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Because toaster ovens use so much power, if you’re using a different device while your toaster oven is plugged in, this might cause overloading issues.

Even when you’re not using an appliance that’s plugged into a circuit of the same series as the toaster oven, it’s still a good idea to unplug it while it’s not in use. Nothing is perfect, and it’s not unheard of for devices to malfunction.

An unplugged toaster oven is significantly less likely to start an unattended electrical fire than one that’s plugged in because they’re not using any electricity.

Be Mindful of Where You Plug In Your Appliances

As discussed earlier, an overworked circuit can cause excessive overheating.

Overheating can burn wiring in your device or your outlet, so it’s important to avoid overworking circuits at all costs to prevent electrical fires.

It’s a good idea to check how many watts your toaster oven uses so you can strategize where you should plug it in. Plugging in your appliances according to how much energy they use might take a bit of planning, but it’s better to spend time doing this than fixing the chaos that an electrical fire can bring.

Ensure you’re not plugging in too many appliances in circuits that are a part of the same series. To figure out the capacity of your power outlets and information regarding a series of outlets, it might be a good idea to consult an electrician or have them take a look.

Conclusion

Again, toaster oven plugs shouldn’t be hot. The appliance is bound to be warm, yes, but definitely not too hot to touch. These two things usually cause overheated plugs:

  • An overloaded circuit
  • Loose electrical connections

Remember to trust your gut. Follow proper safety procedures, and don’t be afraid to call an electrician if you think it’s needed. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and a hot toaster oven plug isn’t safe.

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