Like many folks, there isn’t much thought into plugging appliances or the toll these put on our electrical wiring. If you aren’t careful, you can risk overloading your circuits.
Aside from being costly to fix, this is also a safety hazard you wouldn’t want to risk happening.
If you’re not sure what to look out for, read on to learn five ways to prevent electrical overloads.
What’s an electrical overload?
An electrical overload happens when your circuit or fuse (mostly found in older wiring systems) draws more power than it can safely handle. As a result, it will trip and immediately turn off, causing a power outage.
In other words, this happens when there are too many things plugged in and it exceeds the circuit limit. Since the electrical demand is more than what the circuit can provide, it trips.
What’s dangerous here is that when the wires overheat, their protective casings melt off and spark, which can cause house fires.
1. Inspect your wiring
Though this may seem like a no-brainer, do you recall the last time you inspected the cords in your house? If you can’t, we think you should take that as a sign to do so right after you finish reading this article.
Fun fact: we often mistake cords for “wires.” Actually, the copper inside is the actual wire, not the whole strip that we plug into outlets.
Check on all your cords to see if there are any cracks in the cords or if the wiring is exposed. Exposed wiring is a common cause of house fires.
2. Don’t rely too so much on power strips
Power strips or extension cords are a temporary fix to insufficient outlets. Though they do come in handy, they’re not meant for appliances or to compensate for the lack of outlets, as they’re meant for short-term use only.
It’s a rule of thumb that all major appliances such as your refrigerator, microwave, oven, and the like should be plugged directly into your outlet.
If you think your home lacks enough outlets to power your devices, you may want to consider electrical rewiring.
3. Don’t overcrowd your outlets
If there are too many things plugged into your outlet, you’ll have to remove some of the plugged appliances to reduce the electrical load.
If your countertop is full of appliances, such as your coffeemaker, microwave, and whatnot, that are still plugged in, it may be time to start packing them away.
Not only does this reduce the burden on your outlets, but it also forces you to clean up a bit. Doesn’t that seem like a win-win?
Aside from the kitchen, you may want to check other rooms in your home such as your home office, bedroom, and so on.
4. Know your circuit breaker
Though you don’t have to be an expert on it, it’s good to have some background knowledge on how your circuit breaker or fuse box works.
Knowing how it should function and being able to spot if something is amiss will definitely come in handy when you’re doing inspections.
This way, you’ll be able to tell when you need to give your electrician a call to head on over for an inspection.
5. Have an electrician come over and do a routine inspection
Though this may seem like an unnecessary expense, you’ll be surprised at how many house fires start because of electrical circuit overloads.
It’ll also give you peace of mind knowing that a professional came by and made sure that everything’s as it should be. You’ll be able to sleep like a baby in a safe home.
That concludes our five ways to prevent electrical circuit overloads in your home. All that’s left to do is to call your trusty ole electrician to have a look-see to make sure everything’s a-ok.
If you don’t have one on speed dial, we have a few recommendations up our sleeve that you may want to check out: