With most people staying at home thanks to the pandemic (as well as the fact that it’s winter anyway), our appliances – and by extension, our home’s electrical circuits – are seeing a lot more work than they usually do.
And that can be a bit of a problem if your home’s electrical circuitry isn’t up for the job!
This is especially problematic with older homes that haven’t had an electrical upgrade for years. Under normal circumstances, with everyone at school or work, this isn’t a problem that rears its head very often.
Of course, it’s far from “normal circumstances” right now!
If you’re overloading your electrical circuits, you could be putting yourself at risk of a range of different problems.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can avoid that – tips our electricians in Melbourne are about to share.
What is an electrical overload?
Your electrical circuit or outlet has only a limited capacity.
Plugging more appliances can lead to you using more than your circuitry can handle – something that can result in a range of electrical (as well as other) issues further down the line.
And with everyone in your home at the same time making use of devices and appliances, the demand for electricity can exceed what your power circuit can provide.
One particular problem is an overreliance on extension cords and power strips, combined with appliances that have high power requirements.
This can result in a range of issues, including:
- Electrical shocks
- Property damage
- Damage to appliances and electrical devices
Even worse, overloading electrical circuits can even result in electrical fires.
The warning signs of an overloaded electrical circuit
So now we’ve established what can happen if you overload an electrical circuit. Now for what you’ve come here for: how to detect an overloaded electrical circuit.
Truth be told, there are many symptoms of an overloaded electrical circuit. Our Melbourne electricians will cover the most common.
Noticed one of these signs in your home? We recommend getting in touch with an emergency electrician as soon as you can!
One of the most common signs of an overloaded circuit? Burning smells.
Overloading a circuit generates a lot of heat. For circuits that don’t have breakers for protection, this can lead to overheating, melting, and burning.
Smell burning coming from a socket or plug? This isn’t meant to happen – chances are that you’re overloading your electrical circuits.
Your circuit breakers are constantly tripping
Your home’s circuit breakers are designed to keep you safe by cutting off the power when they detect your circuits are starting to overload.
Needless to say, if your circuits are constantly tripping, you should take that as a sign that you’re overloading your electrical circuits, and that you need to change your habits before a bigger problem arises!
Many houses have multiple electrical circuits – how do you know which ones are being overloaded, and which ones are okay to shift more appliances to?
Your emergency electrician in Melbourne will be able to help.
Crackling and sizzling noises
In addition to burning smells, it isn’t unusual for overloaded circuits to also be accompanied by audible buzzing or crackling noises – it all depends on the exact type of sound.
For example, a light, barely-audible humming isn’t really cause for concern in most cases.
Once it gets louder or starts being accompanied by a crackling sound however, you may need to start worrying.
Your circuit breakers keep noises to a pretty low level. If the volume arises, that’s a sign that said circuit breakers have failed, and the amount of power surging through your circuits is higher than normal.
It may not even be electrical overload – it could be a case of loose wiring.
Whatever the case, if you hear new and unwelcome noises coming out of your sockets or plugs, we suggest calling an emergency electrician in Melbourne ASAP!
Are all the electrical sockets and switches in a room starting to discolour or showing scorch marks?
If so, you need a Melbourne electrician!
The only time something like this happens is when something goes wrong – for instance, if you’re consistently overloading your electrical circuits.
We mentioned before that overloaded circuits generate a lot of heat – in addition to creating abnormal burning smells, this heat can also lead to scorch marks, discoloration and even melting around your electrical sockets.
Overloaded electrical circuit prevention: how to avoid overloading your electrical circuits
Avoid relying on power strips
Power strips allow you to turn one socket into a dozen – something that’s incredibly useful if you only have a few plugs to work with!
Unfortunately, it also comes with some problems – namely, it allows you to add way more devices to your home’s electrical circuits than it can handle.
For one-offs, this isn’t a problem. If you find yourself relying on power strips however, you could be putting your home at risk.
The best way to get around this? Instead of using power strips, get in touch with a Melbourne electrician to install new electrical outlets and power points that can safely manage growing electrical demands.
Install circuit breakers and surge protection
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to get surge protection for your home.
Whenever the amount of power flowing through your electrical circuits gets too high, your circuit breakers will automatically trigger, cutting the power supply and preventing damage and reducing the risk to your family.
Our Melbourne electricians can add circuit breakers to your electrical circuits, helping to protect your family from the risks that come with overloaded them, while also helping you stay safe around electricity.
Of course, that isn’t the only upgrade you can arrange for your home – our electricians can also expand your home’s electrical circuits and upgrade them to add capacity, helping you avoid overloading your home.
Worried about overloading? Contact an emergency electrician in Melbourne today!
Electrical safety can’t be put off – if there’s a problem, you need to take care of it, ASAP.
Luckily, that’s what our emergency electricians in Melbourne specialise in.
Whenever you have an electrical emergency, our team is there.
We make it our mission to turn up as quickly as possible, whenever your call, whatever your electrical problems:
Even if your home is safe for the time being, our team of licensed and qualified electricians can help in other ways – for example, we can upgrade your electrical circuits, adding extra capacity and thereby protecting you from issues such as these.
Whether it’s an emergency job or a routine electrical inspection, our Melbourne sparkies are here to help.