How To Prevent Electrical Circuit Overload

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The electrical circuit in your home can end up overloaded if there are many appliances, faulty wiring requiring upgrading, and a lack of understanding of the power wattage the circuit can accommodate. When a circuit overload occurs, the electrical demand is higher than the amount the circuit can handle. In most cases, it’s likely to happen when you have several people in the household, such as guests during the holiday. 

If you’re fond of using power boards and extension boards, this can also increase the risk of a circuit overload. Although it would seem to be a quick fix, keep in mind the number of outlets frequently corresponds to the wattage a circuit can accommodate. When you’re using more than the circuit can handle, it can damage your appliances and overload the electricity, resulting in a loss of power or even a safety hazard.  

Electric Circuit Overload Causes

There are several signs that the circuits are overloaded. The simplest way to diagnose a possibly overloaded circuit is when your breaker is tripping and turning off all the power to a specific area in your home. Other indications might include: 

  • Dimming or flickering of lights 
  • Outlets feel warm to the touch
  • Burning odor
  • Buzzing, or humming sounds
  • Smoke coming from the outlets

Electric Circuit Fire

Once you discover any of these indications, you might want to take timely action. Sadly, if you end up with damaged outlets, consider replacing them with new components such as socket plugs or wiring.  If you want to ensure the safety of your home from a possible circuit overload, here are several useful tips to avoid overloading the circuit.  

  • Know The Amount Of Power The Appliances Utilize 

It would be best to know more about the power your appliances consume and the wattage your circuits can handle. In most cases, you might want to check the tag on the cord of most appliances to determine the wattage.  

Once you know the typical wattage of your appliances, you need to think about how long you’re using them. Don’t forget to think about the standby power of your appliances since it’s a factor that contributes to power consumption.  

When you know the amount of power your appliances consume, for how long, and how many are on a similar circuit, you should check the circuit breaker. This is to determine the number of amps or watts it can handle before short-circuits. 

  • Carefully Check The Wiring And Appliances  

Perform a routine inspection of all the cords of your appliances to ensure they’re intact. Check they’re without any damage such as fraying or exposure of the interior copper wire. This is done to avoid a potential hazard.  

Wires have two parts: the outside plastic or insulator, and the interior which is made of copper. Any damage is an indication that the circuits are overloaded, which leads to overheating. Hence, potentially increasing the risk for electrical fires. 

Once any cords show signs of damage, it’s best to stop using them right away. Avoid continuing to use compromised appliances because they can endanger your home and family members.  

  • Unplug All Major Appliances  

After identifying the appliances in your home that consume the most energy, consider disconnecting them when not in use so that they don’t consume power while on standby.  

Generally, it’s an important consideration for appliances such as televisions, computers, kettles, and toasters to be typically plugged off from the outlet when not in use.  Although you cannot switch off appliances such as refrigerators, unplugging or switching off those you can at the wall will help lengthen their lifespan.  

If you have several household members utilizing energy-draining appliances simultaneously, make sure the appliances are on separate circuits. You can also come up with an alternating schedule to avoid circuit overload.  

  • Utilize Dedicated Circuits  

Although it’s fine to have several outlets, switches, lights, and small appliances on a single circuit, various electronic devices would require a dedicated circuit. This is especially true for those that require over 1,000 watts. Some electrical devices that should have a dedicated circuit include air conditioners, dishwashers, furnaces, electric ranges, and hot tubs.

  • Consider Hiring A Professional To Rewire Your Home  

If you’re living in an older home, most often have circuits not capable of handling the amount of power modern appliances consume. When your home cannot keep up with the requirements of your household, it might result in circuit overload. In such scenarios, it might be time to consider rewiring your home so it can accommodate your lifestyle. Although it might be an upfront investment, you might want to consider professional help to rewire your home. This step is beneficial in the long run for better safety, security, and efficiency in your home.  

  • Invest In Energy-Saving Appliances  

When you have the budget, it might be time to invest in energy-saving appliances. Doing so will help reduce the amount of power that loads on your circuit. Hence, this should also help you safely use more appliances at the same time, minimize your monthly utility bill, and be more environmentally friendly.  

Final Thoughts 

A circuit overload can put your home at risk of an electrical fire. If you experience frequent tripping of the circuit, there might be an electric circuit overboard issue. By considering these preventive measures and knowing when to call a certified professional, you can ensure your home stays safe and efficient.

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