If your appliances or lights suddenly stop working after you turn on too many lights, or after you switch on a vacuum or space heater, you will know you have caused an electrical circuit overload. This shut down is caused by the circuit breaker in your home’s service panel. Circuit breakers are reliable and do a great job of preventing house fires from overloads. However, it is safer to control your electricity usage to avoid overloads.
Understanding the Basics of Electrical Circuits
An electrical circuit can only handle a limited amount of electricity. A circuit overload is when more electricity than the circuit can safely handle. Circuits include a breaker and electrical wiring. Each operational device can increase the circuit’s load. A circuit breaker can trip if the circuit’s rated load is exceeded. This will shut off power to the entire circuit.
The overload can cause the circuit to heat up, which can lead to melting of the insulation and a fire. Different circuits have different load circuits, which means that some circuits may provide more electricity than others. Although home electrical systems are designed for normal household use, it is not possible to plug in multiple appliances, lights, or devices onto one circuit. You can avoid electrical overloads by learning more about your home’s electrical system.
Signs that your circuits are overloaded
A tripped fuse is an indicator of overload in the electrical circuit. This is when all power is turned off. The following signs are less obvious:
- Dimmed lights are especially important when you turn on more lights or appliances
- Outlets or buzzing switches
- Covers or outlets for warm switches
- Switches and outlets that emit burning odors
- Plugs or scorched outlets
When plugged in, appliances and other electronics seem to be lacking enough power
Solutions for Overloaded Circuits
It is not the ideal target to load every circuit at its maximum. It is safer to keep the circuit’s normal load below 80 percent of its maximum rated load. If your circuit calculations reveal that you are drawing more power than the safe load or that you are overloading the circuit frequently, there are ways to lower the load so overload can be avoided. For professional assistance, you can also hire an electrician in North Myrtle Beach.
It is best to move appliances that are not in use all the time to another circuit.
Do not turn on too many electrical or appliance devices at once.
You can reduce lighting loads by replacing halogen and incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL light bulbs that are more efficient.
For devices in high demand, create new circuits.
If you have any problems with your electric circuits, call NMB Electrician Pros.
NMB Electrician Pros
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582