Homeowners sometimes take electricity for granted. We have so many electric devices in our homes today that having an electrical overload might come as a surprise. Unfortunately, overloads can and do happen, and while there are precautions such as circuit breakers and fuses to keep overloads from starting an electrical fire, there are still some things you can do to prevent overloads from happening in the first place.
Knowing the Amperage of Fuses and Circuit Breakers
Electrical overloads happen when the amount of electricity going through a circuit is simply too much for the circuit to handle. This usually happens when you have too many electrical devices plugged into one circuit, but it can happen to older homes if you're trying to run an appliance that uses up too much energy. When a circuit overloads, it either trips a circuit breaker or blows out a fuse. Circuit breakers can simply be flipped back on, but fuses need to be replaced. Either way, these are safeguards to prevent your system from overheating and causing serious damage.
To avoid an overload in your home, you need to know the amperage of your circuit breakers or fuses. As a rule, circuit breakers and amps should only be loaded to 80 percent of their amperage rating. This means a 20 amp breaker will trip when it reaches a 16 amp load. If you have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping, you are most likely violating this 80 percent rule. If you don't know how to read the amperage of a circuit breaker or your fuses, a Pittsburgh electrical repair service will be able to help you.
Know Which Circuits Correspond to Which Rooms in Your Home
Once you've determined which circuits keep overloading, your next step is to determine what parts of the house they are connecting to. You should be able to read a circuit legend to find this information. Once you have an idea what circuits are overloading, turn off the breakers and unplug everything connected to that circuit. Use a lamp or some other electric device to see if you still have power in these outlets.
Add the Amperage of Your Devices
Once you've determined where your overloads are happening, slowly plug all of your appliances back into the outlets along the circuits and add their amperage. All of your appliances should have stickers telling you what their amperage is, so it's a simple matter of recording them as you plug them in. Hopefully, the total amperage won't be too much for the circuit breaker or fuse to handle. If you find that is the case, you may need to look for some residential electrical services in Pittsburgh to fix your wiring so you don't overload your circuits. Otherwise, try cutting down on the number of appliances and devices you are using at any time. If you're not using them, they shouldn't be plugged in.
Your home's electrical system is actually more complicated and potentially dangerous than you may realize. All of this is relatively simple, but you should never hesitate to contact a Pittsburgh electrical repair company if you have any questions or concerns. Make sure your home’s wiring is up-to-date and primed to perform with help from Tudi’s team of Pittsburgh electricians. From fixture replacements and security lighting to rewiring and updating your home’s electrical system, the Tudi team can handle it all to keep your home safe and efficient. Call us today for a free estimate and make sure your home is working as good as can be.