Danger!!! Electrical Circuit Overload

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How to avoid electrical circuit overload

The last thing you want in this blazing hot Georgia heat is an electrical fire due to electrical circuit overload.  How does this happen you ask?  Well the technical answer is:  Electrical circuits overload when more amperage is put across an electrical wire or circuit than it can handle.  In layman’s terms, wires heat up when you put too many plugs in an outlet and can start a fire.  To break this concept down it takes some math.  According to about.com all you have to do is divide the amount of wattage by the voltage to calculate ampacity.   Let’s say you want to warm up last night’s leftovers for breakfast in your 1,000 watt microwave that runs on 120 volts. Divide that out and you’ll get 10 amps that will draw from the current.  On a 20-amp circuit, that’s half the circuit used already.  So when you plug up your large 1,200 watt coffee maker for your morning pick-me-up its lights out, circuit overload.  What you’ve done is tripped the circuit due to it being at maximum capacity.

Electrical Circuit Overload

Electrical Circuit Overload

Now back to this summer heat wave. Let’s say your AC is not pushing out enough air to sustain the sweltering heat.  You plug up a couple of fans to kick up the cool a notch.  Uh-oh system overload, you’ve tripped the breaker. Now what?

The best way to correct electrical circuit overload may be as easy as unplugging the last thing you plugged in.  Then turn all the appliances involved off.  Give it a minute before you turn the breaker back on then turn the first thing you had plugged in on.  This way you will be able to see what caused the overload and find another outlet to use. Every appliance in your home needs its own circuit, and the nifty multi-outlet circuit extenders seem like the perfect solution.  The problem is the circuit can only handle 20 amps and most appliances draw a lot of power and need their own supply.

There are other culprits of electrical circuit overload like loose or corroded wires and connections.  These too are fire hazards, not do-it-yourself projects.  To avoid electric fires due to electrical circuit overload it would be wise to call the electricians at McCauley Electric to professionally handle the job.  Get a FREE QUOTE today!