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Old 03-18-2009, 01:54 PM
 
Location: WV
617 posts, read 1,913,808 times
Reputation: 416

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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Here is an outlet tester. You can often find them cheaper in home stores or walmart.

Amazon.com: Gardner Bender GRT-500A Receptacle Tester and Circuit Analyzer: Home Improvement (http://www.amazon.com/Gardner-GRT-500A-Receptacle-Circuit-Analyzer/dp/B00004WLJV?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1211899304&sr=8-10 - broken link)

There is no way to safely answer the question "is the socket safe?" In general, if it hasn't burned the place down by now, it probably won't. I doubt the socket wiring itself is the cause of the overheating anyway, unless your power supply is unusual.

A couple of quick questions to eliminate possibilities. Was the laptop near a window and possibly in the sun? Was the area where the laptop was sitting over a heating vent or space heater? Is it possible that when your mother finished using the laptop she closed the top, but a program remained running and did not allow it to go into hibernation mode? Was the laptop plugged into anything other than the power - phone line, network cable, printer, etc.?
Not near a window. It was on a desk in a corner. The window is on the same wall but at least 4 feet away. The heating vent is in the opposite corner. I noticed the problem when I stayed overnight at my mom's. The computer was completely shut down, a turned it on and noticed it was lagging terribly. Seemed to take forever to get it to completely load Windows so I could click on anything.

When I grasped it to move it a little to one side, I noticed the bottom was hot - not warm, but hot. I immediately turned it off. Tried it again a few times, once it shut off on its own, then just shut it down. Hours later it was still hot so I unplugged it. When it cooled down I tried it again but it got hot very quickly so I packed it up and took it home with me the next day. I had no problems with it at home, either running slow or overheating.

The only thing plugged into the laptop was the power and a mouse. (I hate touchpads.) Oh, and a wireless card. Same as here at home.

I'm kind of anxious to get back to my mom's and test that outlet.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,573 posts, read 55,502,062 times
Reputation: 32361
Does the plug for the power that you plug into the back of the computer (not the plug on the other end at the wall socket) have two contacts or three? If it has three, I can see reversed polarity being a problem. I think you have pretty much narrowed it down to a plug with reversed polarity and/or a failing power supply brick.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:30 PM
 
Location: WV
617 posts, read 1,913,808 times
Reputation: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Does the plug for the power that you plug into the back of the computer (not the plug on the other end at the wall socket) have two contacts or three? If it has three, I can see reversed polarity being a problem. I think you have pretty much narrowed it down to a plug with reversed polarity and/or a failing power supply brick.
Yes, it has three contacts. I asked my husband and he does have a receptacle tester. I don't know if I'll be going to my mom's this weekend but when I do, I'll be sure to let everyone know the outcome of the test.

Thanks for all the guidance!
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