DCC Wiring - Can it cause a fire?


A friend told me that he knew of a situation where a DCC system left on heated up the wires, especially the track feeders, so that a fire started all along under the track. He said the fire official told them that it looked like the fire was started and spread along the line of the track. He then went on to say that at 5 amps and 16 volts, we have about 80 watts going, quite a bit more than the average soldering iron, hence the fire potential. It is not known if there were separate circuit breakers.

I am a bit skeptical, but wondered if anyone on this list knows about this possibility.

My own On30 layout, which is only 12-feet by 12-feet, is separated into four districts, each protected by a DCC Specialties circuit breaker.  Probably overkill, but I feel better about it that way.

I would think that the circuit breakers would handle all or most shorts.  But what could be the cause of drawing enough power to heat things up that much without triggering any overload protection?  Unless the power station portion of the DCC system' s overload protection failed, I cannot envision the above problem.

Thnaks for any insights you may have.

Rob Morrison

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