How to Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Electrical Overload

Electrical overload is one of the things you should keep an eye out for this summer season, given the increased use of air conditioning and other electrical equipment. In this blog, Handyman Connection® of San Mateo discusses the signs that indicate electrical overload and what you should do when you see these signs.

Signs of Electrical Overload

Familiarize yourself with the following signs, and be sure you know how to shut off the circuit and electrical mains.

  • Lights Flicker, Blink or Dim Momentarily — Old incandescent bulbs have a tendency to dim then come back slowly when something else is consuming power on the same circuit. LED bulbs, on the other hand, may flicker.

  • Circuit Breakers Trip Often — Your home’s electrical panel is designed to be tripped in case of an electrical overload. If this happens too often, observe if it is happening to just one particular circuit and try reducing the electrical usage in that area. Old-fashioned electrical panels would be blowing out too often in the same conditions.

  • Cords and Wall Plates Are Warm to the Touch — Electrical plates and cords are not supposed to be warm.

  • You Hear Crackling, Sizzling and Buzzing from Outlets — Even if you don’t see sparks or smoke, power outlets are not supposed to be making noise.

What You Should Do If You Notice These Signs

If you notice these signs, the first thing you should do is turn off the circuit from the electrical panel, or the power mains, if the electrical panel is the apparent problem. If the electrical overload seems to happen in a specific room, check which appliances can be turned off. If this is not possible, talk to an electrician about distributing the power usage.

Best Practices

In addition to working with an electrician, there are things that you can do to minimize or prevent electrical overloading. Make it a practice to turn off appliances when you’re not using them. During weekends, avoid using the washing machine, dishwasher and oven simultaneously.

Your HVAC system and other home systems should be inspected and maintained before the summer season. If you live in an older home, schedule a full house inspection to make sure your home’s electrical system can handle your electrical requirements.

Handyman Connection of San Mateo is your leading provider of electrical repair and other handyman services. Give us a call at (650) 437-8995 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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