Avoid overloading circuits

It’s another case of ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’.  Multi-tap power strips, surge protection devices or other adapters that expand the number of items you can plug into an outlet should be used carefully.

If you exceed the capacity of the electrical circuit with which the outlet is associated, a breaker  will probably trip. A tripped breaker may be inconvenient, but, as long as it doesn’t happen regularly, it’s a good sign. It means your home’s wiring system safeguards are working.

If breakers trip regularly, those circuits are probably overloaded. Unplug some of the appliances or electronic devices from outlets on that circuit. Then reset the breaker before turning anything back on. Move appliances or other devices to another outlet on another circuit.

     If breakers continue to trip regularly, your home may need a wiring upgrade. Contact a licensed electrician.

Say you’re using 1,500 wats of power. You divide that number by the volts (usually 120), and come up with 12.5 amps of current. With a 15-amp electrical outlet, you’re using around 80 percent of the available current, which is the most you should be using per circuit.

Source:  NRECA Straight Talk Alert

Photo credit:  Fire Safety Council

One response to “Avoid overloading circuits

  1. Pingback: South Carolina Living – July 2010 « Horry Electric Cooperative, Inc.

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