A week ago I turned on my 2hp Harbor Freight dust collector. A curl of smoke rose from the switch box and I quickly unplugged it.Took the switch cover off to see one of the two white wires fallen (melted solder?) out of the connector and the other white wire still attached,but heated looking/blackunder the plastic boot. Two other Black wires and a Green ground unharmed.
Motor spins easy and smooth.I guess it's brushless. Any ideas on what an ohm meter might show or some test?
It may be difficult to tell postmortem, but if the wire was defective to begin with, (strands missing when they stripped the end for example or poorly inserted in the connector), it could heat up in normal use and ultimately fail.
If the switch is in good condition, you could cut the wire back to where it’s undamaged, connect it properly and give a try. As Owen said, be ready to unplug quickly.
Use an Ohm meter to test if the switch still works, unplug it and put a lead on each side of the switch then test if it turns off and on. If the switch is burned out or failed then does not matter what you do with the wires. I would also test the power cable from the plug to the switch box just to make sure it is good.