As a Woodstock homeowner, you’ll do whatever it takes to protect your personal property and family from dangerous situations. Housefires can occur for reasons you least expect. Overloaded circuits are among the more common causes of electrical fires in residential and commercial fires.
Long View Lighting’s experienced electricians in Woodstock, Georgia, equip you with life-saving information about how to avoid overloading your electrical circuits. Protect your home and loved ones with the helpful guide below.
The Basics of Electrical Circuits
Electrical circuits are pathways that allow electricity to flow from one point to another. A series of conductors, wires, switches, and breakers allow a safe electrical load to pass through. The circuits throughout your home power your appliances, electronics, lights, and other modern conveniences.
How Do Overloads Occur
Each circuit can manage a maximum electrical load. When the load on the circuit exceeds the amount it can safely handle, it causes an overload. Overloads occur when a recipient within the circuit draws more electricity than the circuit capacity.
For example, you plug a powerful computer into your bedroom. When you boot the computer up, you’ll need sufficient electricity to run it. If the computer’s electrical demands require all the electricity the circuit can safely send, it could trigger an overload when you plug in a different electronic device.
How To Identify an Overloaded Circuit
Circuit overloads cause particular symptoms that indicate their occurrence. Keep an eye out for these signals:
- Circuit breaker tripping: Constant breaker trips are among the first indicators of circuit overload. Breakers will cut the electrical supply when it rises above a safe level.
- Outlets and switches feel warm to the touch: Do your outlet or switch plates feel warm when you touch them? Unplug the connected devices immediately. Overloads cause the wiring to overheat and sometimes spark.
- Flickering lights: When you turn your lights on, they should provide a steady glow. If they flicker when you use them, they probably lose their needed power supply to another appliance on your grid.
- Buzzing sounds: Listen closely to the outlets with connected appliances or nearby switches. Do they emit a buzzing or humming sound? The noise indicates vibrations from an overload.
- Burning smell: If you detect burning or smoky odors from outlets, switches, or appliances, you already have severe fire concerns on your hands.
- Plate discoloration: Inspect switch and outlet plates for yellowing or browning. These markings also indicate a previous fire ignition from overloaded circuits.
Why Overloaded Circuits Are Dangerous
If you notice a light bulb flickering or warm outlet plates, you should address the issue immediately. Circuit overloads are dangerous to your home, family, and personal belongings. Allowing an overload to go unchecked by a Woodstock electrician could result in:
- Appliance or device damage: Overloads can trigger a breaker or fuse to allow sudden voltage spikes. Your appliances and electronics can only handle a specific voltage. A voltage increase could fry them from the inside out.
- Full-grid outages: Your home could lose power, impeding the modern comforts your family relies on. This is especially disastrous if you work from home.
- Electric shocks: Circuit overloads can cause electricity to arc outward and shock nearby structures. Those structures might include humans who are unaware of the danger.
- Housefires: Finally, an overload could result in a house fire. These catastrophes cost homeowners thousands to millions of dollars in damage and repairs. They can also cause death.
Solutions to Circuit Overloads
If you suspect your electrical circuit has become overloaded, you can take the following steps to minimize the subsequent safety risks:
- Unplug unnecessary appliances that use large quantities of power. This lessens the electrical load.
- Reset any tripped breakers.
- Contact a Woodstock electrician to inspect and solve this dangerous problem. Avoid using electricity-hungry appliances until they solve the core issue.
Avoiding an Overloaded Circuit in Your Woodstock Home
You can prevent overloads in your home with a few expert tips. The Electrical Safety Foundation recommends taking the following preventative measures:
- Avoid using extension cords. Do not use them with large appliances like refrigerators or HVAC window units.
- Only use light bulbs with the recommended wattage for each socket.
- Don’t use power strips. Speak to a qualified electrician about installing appropriate outlets into your walls.
Following these recommendations could protect your property and loved ones from a traumatic house fire.
Protect Your Home With Long View Lighting’s Electrical Services in Woodstock, Georgia
Long View Lighting’s electricians are ready to help you make your Woodstock home safer and more functional. Contact their team to address overloaded circuits.
Learning the indicators of a faulty electrical outlet can also save lives. Discover more today.