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Oops, my drill caught fire - quality control of cabling

Pictures are at the bottom...

12 July, 2015

I've been working on our car recently, grinding out rust, fibreglassing and filling, but this day was a bit special. My drill was only starting when it was held down. Holding it upright wouldn't start. Then it would, then it wouldn't. Then there flames coming out of the end of the handle!

While I had sort of been eyeing off a new fancy cordless drill, this was not the time for it. I had things to do! I opened it up, to at least have a look if it was salvageable, and quickly came to realize that the drill itself was fine, it was just the cable that had burnt.

Cutting out the damaged bit, it was pretty obvious that the wiring was way out of spec. It wasn't at all well centered inside the insulation, and I don't believe the conductors were thick enough anyway for any real current. Kinda surprised this doesn't happen more often!

I put a new, thicker cable in, with obviously thicker conductors, and at least superficially better insulation, and it's good as new again!

The drill itself is a "PowerPlus" brand, quite generic cheap drill. Hard to say which vendor in the chain was responsible for the cabling though.