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Ways to Avoid Overloading Your Home’s Circuits

electrical-panel-technicianIt’s no fun to have the lights and power go off in part of your house because a circuit breaker tripped. These overloads that cause tripped breakers are more than an inconvenience, however. They can lead to electrical fires and cause damage to your appliances. You want to avoid them if at all possible.

Thankfully, there ways to prevent overloading circuits. You may have to do a bit of detective work in your house. You may also need the service of an electrician in Caldwell, NJ to upgrade part of the electrical system of your house. We’ll go through what you can do to prevent this problem.

The Cause of Overloads

An overload is what happens when the electrical demand placed on the circuit is more than its “load,” i.e. what it can handle. The overload triggers the circuit breaker to cut off this excess electrical demand and prevent damage. This can happen because an appliance that was too powerful was plugged into a circuit not rated for it. More often, an overload happens because too many items were plugged into a single circuit. (The circuit doesn’t mean a single outlet. Multiple outlets are often on the same circuit, along with hardwired appliances and lights.)

Replace Damaged Appliances

If you have an appliance that has a frayed cable or has lost insulation on its power cable, replace it immediately. The malfunction is probably what triggered the circuit overload.

Avoid Using Extension Cords

At best, an extension cord is a temporary solution done during a project. We don’t recommend using extension cords for extended periods because they can allow too many items to be plugged into a single circuit and overload it. (Plus, they’re tripping hazards.) If you need more outlets, please call our electricians and we can safely install new ones.

Space Out Kitchen Outlet Use

The kitchen is a prime spot for overloading circuits because of the number of different appliances that can plugged in here—and the potential for an electrical appliance falling into water. Try to space out the appliances in the kitchen so they make the best use of the available outlets and don’t crowd onto one. And there’s always the option to put in more outlets.

Label the Circuit Breaker Panel

It’s helpful to know which circuit breakers control which circuits in the home. If you don’t have labels next to each circuit, we recommend you doing this. Have someone else in the house watch for what lights and appliances shut off as you test each breaker so you can label them. You can learn where you shouldn’t be plugging in too many appliances.

Upgrade the Fuse Box or Old Circuit Breaker

If you live in an older house, the trouble may be with an old circuit breaker panel that can’t handle the current electrical demands. Or the home still uses a fuse box. You should arrange to have a fuse box replaced. If you’re unsure about your breaker panel, call one of our electricians to inspect it.

SAFETY – DEPENDABILITY – SERVICE. Call Anderson Electric Corp. when you need rewiring, new panel installation, or other electrical services.

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