Overloaded circuits are a serious issue and should be addressed promptly. In fact, overloaded and poor wiring remain some of the most common causes of house fires. It’s the reason why every home should have smoke detectors and annual electrical inspections.
It’s a good idea to keep the number of your local electrician Sydney handy. You can use them for the annual inspection and contact them anytime you have a concern. It can literally be life-saving. Of course, it helps to know the tell-tale signs of an overloaded circuit.
This will allow you to reduce the load on the circuit and reduce the risk of a fire until the problem is resolved.
You should note, the following signs suggest an overloaded circuit. A circuit can be overloaded if it has too many appliances plugged into it. But, it can also become overloaded if the wiring is old or damaged, making it incapable of safely handling the current.
Constantly Tripping Circuit Breakers
The breaker is designed to trip whenever there is a fault on the circuit. This is a safety measure. However if the breaker is constantly tripping it suggests you have an issue with the circuit, potentially an overload.
Try unplugging everything and plugging them all back in one at a time. If the same appliance causes the breaker to trip it’s a fault with that appliance. However, if different appliances cause the trip then you’ve probably got an overloaded circuit.
Electrical burning has a very distinct odor. It’s not pleasant and it’s never a good sign. The burning odor usually suggests that the cables are overheating. This will cause the protective outer layer to melt, allow wires to touch, and cause sparks. This can start a fire very quickly.
In the same fashion, a charred outlet shows that the heat necessary to melt cables has already occurred. When the outlet is charred it suggests an issue with the wiring at the socket or an overload. It’s best to avoid using the socket until you’re sure it is safe to use.
Charred outlets will smell as the two symptoms are connected.
Sparks At Switches
If you see a spark when you operate a switch or get a small electric shock, then you have an issue with your wiring. This could be caused by age and deterioration. But, it can also be a sign of an overloaded circuit.
Whichever it is, you should have the circuit checked as soon as possible.
Taking It Seriously
Overloaded circuits can occur because the wiring is too small to handle the power demands. This is common when the wiring is old as modern homes have an array of power demands.
However, it can also be simply because you’re trying to draw too much power through one circuit. If you have a full extension block plugged into a socket you may simply be overusing one circuit. Try plugging some of the items into a different circuit and see if it stops the breaker from tripping.
In all circumstances invest in an annual inspection to identify and fix any issues, before they cause problems.