Overloaded electrical circuits are a leading cause of fire, whether in a home or on a worksite. Protect yourself and others from that elevated risk by learning the warning signs to watch for. Discover how you can tell if your electrical system is overloaded.
When you turn on the lights, do they flicker and provide only dim light? If the bulbs themselves are in good condition, your problem may be caused by too many appliances using the same circuit. You will need to replace your electrical panel if it doesn’t have sufficient power for all the electrical equipment you use.
Panel Is Warm to the Touch
Next time you use your electrical panel, keep your hand on it for a moment. If it’s warm or hot to the touch, it’s highly likely that your system is overloaded. Older electrical panels—those more than 25 years old—tend to run hot as they age; replace your panel if it regularly emits heat.
Burning Smell From an Outlet
If you notice a burning smell whenever you plug something into an outlet, an overloaded circuit could be to blame. The smell may come from melted plastic on cables or even the wood in your walls. Unplug everything for safety’s sake, and enlist electrical consulting services for professional advice on how to replace your electrical panel.
Breaker Keeps Tripping
Your electrical system’s circuit breaker is designed to protect it from overloading; it’s supposed to trip whenever it detects too much power being drawn to your system. A breaker that keeps tripping—especially when you try to plug in a new appliance—is likely trying to indicate that your system is overloaded.
Buzzing Sound From Appliances
You should be familiar with the sounds of your electrical system when it’s running as intended. If you notice any new noises, like buzzing or clicking, coming from equipment plugged into your circuit, the system may be overloaded.
Even if you rarely have problems with your electrical system, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the signs it may be overloaded. Every time you plug in a new piece of equipment, note how the rest of the system reacts. If you notice any of the above warning signs in your home’s electrical panel, contact Dreiym Engineering for valuable consulting services and professional advice.