It is always important to call an electrician whenever you notice issues with your home's electrical system. However, you can actually fix some of the problems on your own as long as you know what to do. One electrical problem you may have in your home is an overloaded electrical circuit. Circuit overloads occur as a result of excess power being drawn. If you don't fix the problem early enough, you may have to deal with electrical dangers such as electrocution or even electrical fires. You also risk damaging electrical appliances connected to the overloaded circuit. Therefore, it's important to know when an electrical circuit in your home is overloaded and here are signs to watch out for.
Constant Power Outages
When you overload an electrical circuit in your home, your circuit breaker will trip or the fuse will blow, cutting off the supply of power. This is a safety measure to prevent the excess power from flowing through the circuit. Circuit breakers may trip from time to time but if you notice that this is happening more times in day, especially even after resetting it, you are likely dealing with an overloaded circuit. Check to see whether you added any new appliances such as washing machines that could be drawing too much power and consider reducing the number of appliances connected to that circuit.
Overheated Electrical Components
If your electrical outlets, switch plates, plugs, and cords suddenly feel hotter to the touch, you may have overloaded that circuit. When too much power is flowing through the circuit, it may cause the electrical components to overheat. It's not unusual for these components to feel a little warm to the touch. Be alarmed if they feel hotter than usual to the touch. Remember that overheating is usually dangerous and can easily result in electrical fires especially when the components start melting and you can smell burning plastic. Should this happen, you need to turn off your main switch and call an electrician as soon as possible.
If you notice that the insulation material on your electrical wiring is frayed, chances are you are overloading the circuit. Excess current flowing through the circuit can easily damage the insulation. Once you fix your circuit overload problem, don't forget to replace the insulation.
Electrical circuit overloads can easily be prevented. For instance, reduce your reliance on extension cords. Instead, have a residential electrician install more wall outlets for you. If you intend to add heat-producing appliances such as a furnace or a built-in microwave, get an electrician to make sure they are connected to their own wall outlets and have their own circuit connecting to the main panel.