Dangerous Death of a Hot-glue Gun




Introduction: Dangerous Death of a Hot-glue Gun

I was just going to plug in my hot-glue gun, as always. But something strange happened this time when I plugged it in. It made a pop and made a small fireball on my desk. Although it didn't light anything on fire it would have been dangerous if I had that bottle of methalated spirits on my desk, Which was stationed about 1 meter away from the hot glue gun.

I dismantled it just to show the burnt innards of it...

Enjoy the pictures!



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    Wow!I wonder what went wrong with the glue gun!

    Looks like it shorted out inside.

    But what could have shorted it out? Is was secured in there pretty sturdily, so nothing was moving around...

    Oh, you'd be surprised at how cheaply some of these tools are made. Perhaps the heat from the glue gun melted the insulation on the wires, and that's when they shorted together.

    Yep Jeff-o. seen it so many times, its caused by too much heat conducting through the heating elements leads to the conductors of the wires that leave the casing. They are usually potted and have a clamp designed to help sink the heat,, this area can be too small and not enough ventilation so eventually the wires lose insulation and pop. Very annoying to fix since the short will either be in the potting or at point that its difficult to get a hookup to the conductor to the element wire. You cannot solder these, so gotta hook it up and sheath it in fiberglass, bury in epoxy or whatever takes your insulating fancy

    Well, a glue gun is really quite simple of a electrical design. Pull a trigger, it connects positive to negative through the metal barrel of the gun, and melts the glue. Only place it could short is in the wires. Maybe one of the wires came loose, and contacted the other. I am sure that after prolonged heating/cooling a wire disconnecting is not unheard of. Just in your case, the wires shorted rather than the glue gun just not working. Thanks for posting this little slide show!

    The heating coil was connected straight to the power cable. all the trigger done was push the glue through the hot heating coil. Glad you liked the slide show!

    This sucks, occurs when the heat melts the conductors that aren't potted and fixed to the heater. I find that you can put some high temperature heatshrink around then use waxed fiberglass tubing over each then over the pair. Will dramatically raise the barrier to the short. You will need heatshrinking tube that is stable at 220C, if you cannot source it or don't like the cost, use white plumbers sealing tape. Its much fiddlier to make a good electrical seal but overkill can manage it. It is stable at this temperature and beyond.

    Lastly if the potting area is small, attaching a heatsink 10mm will greatly reduce the heat reaching the wires.you might have to make a hole in the depending on the space between the heater and the side.

    Thanks for the warning. Makes me double happy I went with the more expensive gun.