The outlets in a particular area in your home connect to a single circuit. If the outlet overloads, it can cause several life-endangering issues such as short circuits and fires. Therefore, outlet overloading is a bigger deal than you think. But how do outlets overload? Are there measures you can take to prevent overloading the outlets?
Outlets overload due to several reasons. Old homes have a higher risk of outlet overloading because the power supply doesn’t meet the demand of the vast number of technological devices and appliances running on electricity. You might have guests over your home, and plugging in several machines in a small area can cause a high power demand, resulting in overloading your outlets.
Below, we discuss vital tips that will help you keep the outlets from overloading.
Signs of Overloaded Circuits
Before we head on towards the solution, it is crucial to identify the signs of overloaded circuits. By knowing these signs, you have a better chance of saving your valuable appliances and home before it explodes into flames.
- Tripping circuit breakers
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Smoking outlets
- Hot outlets
- Burning smell
- Cracking and buzzing noises
How to Know You Don’t Overload Your Outlets
Get an Electrical Inspection
Electrical inspections mean hiring an electrician to identify, analyze, suggest, and solve any electrical issue in your home. A big part of this is inspecting your home’s wiring. As mentioned earlier, the wiring can degrade over time or be exposed due to being chewed on by rodents. Any breaks or tears on the wiring mean possible overloading of the outlets.
The overloading due to bad wiring leads to overheating the electrical system, leading to home fires. An electrical inspection is the best way to detect even the slightest problems with the wiring, alongside other electrical issues in your home.
Know the Circuit Breakers in Your Home
If an overloaded outlet results in short circuits and fires, knowing your circuit breakers might help. You must have seen the electrical panel in your home with many block-like objects and cluttered wiring. The block-like objects are the circuit breakers. The electricity is first transferred from an external source to the circuit breakers in your home then distributed in several circuits.
The job of circuit breakers is to distribute the power to separate circuits in your home and cut down power when there is a power surge. However, as with the wiring, circuit breakers’ quality also deteriorates, resulting in lower performance. When they stop holding power at their best, an overloaded outlet will cause a short circuit instead of the circuit breaker tripping.
Unfortunately, it is hard to tell if a person with insufficient knowledge of the circuit breakers needs upgrading. It is best to call an electrician to figure that out for you.
Know Your Outlets
Most people are not aware that the outlets in their homes have varying amounts of power supply, depending on the location. Kitchen, bathroom, and garages usually have the highest power supply because these areas are used to operate high energy-consuming machinery, such as washing machines, microwave ovens, vacuums, etc.
On the other hand, areas like bedrooms, lounges, and corridors have a moderate power supply to provide electricity to everyday appliances such as television, laptops, fans, lights, etc. It would be best if you used outlets according to their purposes.
Know How Much Power Your Appliances Consume
This point is in direct reference to the previous point. The appliances and devices in your home have varying wattage, i.e., the amount of energy they consume. If you know how much wattage a specific machine uses, you can use it in a suitable outlet without creating high power demand in a certain area.
We can’t tell how much wattage each machine has as there are many different sizes and powers of a machine of the exact nature. However, certain appliances universally have more power consumption than others. Some of those are:
- Washing machine
- Microwave oven
- Air conditioner
- Electric Stove
Invest in Energy Saving Devices
Thankfully, the world is moving towards sustainability, and home appliances are becoming energy efficient. You can invest in low-energy consuming devices to prevent overloading your outlets. This way, you can plug in more devices to a single circuit without overloading it.
Avoid Outlet Clutter
This is probably the simplest thing to look out for if you know you are not overloading an outlet. If it is a festive season, a holiday, or for any reason you have people coming over, it is best to ask everyone to plug in their devices scattered around the house. This will help keep a single outlet from supplying power to tens of machines.
Looking for an Electrician?
Outlet overloading poses a massive threat to your appliances, your home, and the people in it. Fortunately, these tips will help you avoid overloading outlets in your home. If you think it’s time for an electrical inspection, you can reach out to us at email@example.com to hire the best electricians in town!