Signs of Electrical System Overload

electrical overload

Outlets and circuits are something we all use every day. Even when we’re not physically using the appliance, it is still plugged in and utilizing energy. Do you know how much power your appliance uses or how many watts your outlet can handle? If your answer is “No”, then you could be risking an electrical fire in your home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 47,000 home structure fires were caused by electrical fires in 2011. The NFPA also recorded that these electrical fires claimed the lives of 418 civilians. All of these electrical fires were due to an electrical malfunction or failure.

A common cause of electrical fires, especially during the holiday season, is overloading your outlet. When too much is plugged into an outlet or circuit, it carries a great amount of electricity which creates heat. This created heat wears on the internal wiring system in your home and can result in a fire.

To avoid an electrical fire from occurring in your home, learn what you can do to prevent overloading an outlet or circuit.

  • Major appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, dryers, washers and air conditioners use a lot of power and should be plugged directly into a wall outlet
  • Do not “piggyback” major appliances – they should each have direct access to the wall outlet
  • Know how many watts your outlet or circuit can handle and don’t exceed that wattage
  • Don’t plug more than two appliances into an outlet at the same time

You can also keep your family safe by knowing the signs of an overloaded outlet or circuit. If your home is showing any of these signs, call an electrician right away.

  • Lights flicker, blink or dim often
  • The circuit breakers trip or fuses blow frequently
  • Wall plates or electric cords feel warm or are discolored
  • A buzzing or crackling sound coming from the outlet(s)

Taking the proper precautions will not only save your home, but will protect your family as well. For all of your home electrical problems or needs, call Gillece and we’ll send one of our best electricians to your home as soon as possible.

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Tom Gillece Sr. is the founder and president of Gillece Services in Pittsburgh, providing residential Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Waterproofing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1980, Gillece has helped homeowners with all of their emergency, maintenance, repair and replacement needs for more than 30 years. For the latest news and offers, Gillece can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.