Disaster narrowly averted. This could’ve been bad

I put a box fan on my plants last night to keep the frost from settling. It was plugged into an outdoor gfi outlet. There was no rain or prediction for rain.

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It must’ve caught fire early this morning. It caught the privacy screening on fire, and began burning through the deck.

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For the life of me I do not know how it didn’t spread to the tree, or the rest of the deck. I am very very lucky.

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Wow! I am sure glad that it was not any worse.

I would be investigating to figure out how this happened.

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Oh, and although the colas nearest the flames are singed away, the majority of the plants will be ok.

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Wow. Lady Luck is on your side. That could have been really bad. Glad that is all that happened.
Did the gfci trip or not. Makes you wonder.
Anyways happy for you that it wasn’t worse.

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It’s the luckiest thing to ever happen to me.

I’m still shaking my head in bewilderment.

It was still smoldering when I found it.

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Im glad it worked out. A near miss indeed!

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Looks like no ground tab on the fan plug. Lucky it didn’t go any further.
Could have been a very expensive lesson. Stay safe friend. :+1::v:

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Glad it wasn’t worse, could’ve been a disaster.

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For those that don’t know this…

GFCI’s protect against electrical shock (electrocution), they do not protect against over current or over heating. I suspect that the fan motor was stalled or at least restricted in its rotation causing it to over heat.

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Excellent point! The breaker or fuse feeding branch circuit should provide those protections. Would be worth checking that component isn’t faulty. I agree with your assessment, small relatively inexpensive components could let magic smoke out long before triggering over current protection.

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Always check fans for debris and dust buildup. If dirty you can blow them clean with an air compressor outside. If you dont have one available you can use canned air that is sold at computer stores and office supply shops.
If the blades dont spin freely by hand and seem like they are dragging replace the fan.
Using oil for bearings is a short fix and dangerous.
Just a few notes and tips. I have seen many fans catch fire due to debris and dust.
Facts from many years of furnace repair and building maintenance.

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Fan was plugged into a outdoor gfi, which did not trip. The Circuit breaker however did trip, (probably when the fan wires melted and connected). The general purpose fuses for the house are all AFCIs, but that circuit isn’t.
I can only blame myself.

I’m also assuming there was some type of buildup causing the motor to overheat, and then catch fire, in turn spreading outward.

Reading up on box fans is pretty scary. It makes me second guess the fans in my grow tents, (no box fans). This Lasko fan may have even been one of the recalled models. It was fairly old.

I’m sharing this in hopes I can spare someone a disaster.

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I know this probably wouldn’t have helped in your situation…
I’m glad that your situation turned out for the better…
But I highly recommend this product for anyone growing indoors…


Not very expensive for you and your family’s safety and protection for your property…
:v::sunglasses:

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I’m building a dedicated grow room over the winter. Fire suppression is now being included in my plans.

I’m now curious about the flammability of reflective treatments, like panda film. I’ll have to do some research. Perhaps Mylar backed rigid insulation sheets are the way to go.

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That was a trip. Glad things didn’t go from bad to worse.

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I have no idea about panda film, but you can get fire rated drywall. Fc30 I think it’s called. For what it’s worth, I believe there is an osb type of material too

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Wow glad to see that your ok. That’s crazy bro! I use 2 lasko box fans for my area and now I’m thinking of getting rid of them. There lasko also. I hope you the best and good luck!

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@Drinkslinger I’m a dick so I’m gonna say it. Them fans arnt made for the outdoor. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: lol I’ve did some similar stuff to be very honest. Damn you coulda killed yourself or caught fire to another house and killed them. Heavy karma man. I cant imagine that you feel very smart, or worst off safe. I mean the fan should shorted the plug or never let it get that far. It looks like the motor was just way to choked with the bushes there and if they were wet throwing water into a hot motor bad things man.
But it’s when we are at our worst were learn the most, you probably aged about five years this morning, and I’m very glad your ok, it’s just weed man dont die for it. LOL :confounded::+1::dizzy_face:

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