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Take a Load Off! How and Why to Avoid Circuit Overload

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Take a Load Off! How and Why to Avoid Circuit Overload

Are you tired of popping breakers?

It happens all the time, but some of us never seem to learn our lesson. If you’re in those shoes, then it’s time to step up and learn.

Remember, causing a circuit overload is more than a momentary inconvenience. It can also damage the panel and fuse over time.

Read on and we’ll discuss how to avoid this problem — and what to do if it becomes serious.

What Causes a Circuit Overload?

An electrical overload occurs due to too much power being drawn through the circuit, barring a failure in the control panel.

Each breaker in the box is set for a specific amperage. When the limit on the breaker is exceeded, it will “pop,” which moves the switch into the “off” position.

However, momentary increases that exceed the load can also cause other signs. Lights dimming momentarily, buzzing, or plugged in devices not working properly are all indications that too much power is coming through.

Obviously, breakers popping are the best indication of an overload, but it’s prudent to keep an eye out for any other signs you’re pulling too much current.

Avoiding Overloads in the Future

Avoiding overloads will prolong the life of your breakers, and they’re usually relatively simple to troubleshoot.

If you haven’t mapped the circuits in your home, then that should be your first step.

Once that’s done, you’ll need to figure out which appliances are drawing the most power. These are the most likely culprits.

If it’s a frequent occurrence in the home, then check what’s going on just before the circuit goes out. Did you turn on a microwave? Start a pot of coffee?

In most cases, it’s a combination of appliances that finally pushes things over the edge. However, short circuits and other problems can also cause a sufficient spike to pop a breaker in many cases.

In that case, it’s time to seek the aid of a professional.

What Kind of Damage Can They Cause?

Your breakers operate as a safety valve, preventing overheating and possible fires from occurring. They’re also a mechanical piece of the electrical system.

Breakers have a tendency to pop easier over time. As its mechanical components wear down, they’ll eventually loosen to the point where they become unsafe or inoperable depending on the situation.

Because of this, it’s important to handle overload problems as soon as they start occurring, rather than waiting until they just feel like part of your routine.

Still Having Trouble? Time for a Professional!

While circuit overloads most often occur due to too many devices being plugged in, there are other problems that require professional help.

Short circuits, grounding problems, or wire damage all require an electrician’s touch to manage safely. So does having to replace a worn-down breaker.

If you’re still having trouble after mapping your circuits and measuring your current draw, then call in someone who knows just how it’s done.

Why not contact us today?