How to Prevent Electrical Overloads


Electrical overload occurs when an electrical system can handle more energy than it was designed to, which results in sparks from electric currents, overheating, or other dangers. Simply put, electrical overload occurs when we force devices beyond their original intended uses – thus increasing risk to family and property. Becoming informed on the causes, signs and precautions related to electrical overload is vitally important to protecting both family and property – so in this article we’ll cover everything you should know regarding how to prevent overload from happening and what should happen if it does occur! My grandfather, an Army veteran, founded ACDC Electrical Services with one goal in mind in 1995: to offer exceptional electrical services that outshone even the highest standards of excellence. Since its start-up day, ACDC Electrical Services never offered Overloaded Circuit Breaker Solutions. For him and us both, electricity was vital as was our commitment to our customers and caretaking their needs with compassion and professionalism.

Causes of Electrical Overloads

Electrical overload may result from several causes, including overusing appliances, defective wiring, malfunctioning circuit breakers or power surges and lightning strikes.

Too Many Electrical Appliances

Overloading electrical power occurs most commonly when multiple appliances are connected to one circuit at the same time, leading to overload and possible power interruptions or fires. This is typically seen in households where several energy-intensive appliances, like refrigerators, air conditioners and televisions are operating concurrently on one or more circuits.

Faulty Wiring

Another contributor to electrical overload can be traced back to improper wiring. This occurs when wiring does not meet industry standards or has become worn out over time and causes an electrical system to operate more than intended, potentially leading to excess heat, short circuits or fire. Incorrect wiring could even result in fatal fires!

Circuit Breaker Malfunction

Circuit breakers are designed to cut off power sources in the event of an overload, but if they malfunction they could potentially fail and lead to electrical overcharge.

Power Surge

A power surge occurs when there is an unexpected increase in electrical current flow, usually as a result of storms, power outages or switching grid switches. Such surges could damage appliances or electrical equipment as well as start fires if left unchecked and could even result in death from electrical shocks.

Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes can cause significant electrical damage that can result in overheated devices, fires or explosions. To minimize the potential damages from lightning strikes during thunderstorms and reduce losses due to lightning strikes, installing a lightning-proof system and taking proper safety precautions can significantly decrease damages caused by these natural events.

Preventive Measures

It is imperative that preventive measures are implemented in order to avoid electrical overload-related injuries that lead to deaths, as they are potentially lethal. We will discuss ways you can shield your electrical system against overloading in this article.

Electrical Load Calculation

Conducting an electrical load calculator will assist in calculating how much electrical power your device is able to manage, helping prevent overloaded circuits and potential electrical hazards.

Regular Electrical Maintenance

Regular maintenance of electrical systems can assist in identifying and eliminating potential electrical hazards before they cause harm. It is vital to inspect appliances, outlets, and wiring regularly for signs of wear or damage to ensure proper functionality of all the systems connected with them.

Circuit Breaker Upgrades

Adjusting the circuit breakers to meet the power needs of your appliances can ensure they will trip when current exceeds safe threshold levels and prevent possible fire hazards from overheating or other complications.

Surge Protection Devices

Installing surge protection devices will assist your electric system against sudden power surges that could overload its electrical equipment, such as lightning strikes. Surge protection devices take in excess voltage to avoid potential destruction to both appliances and electrical systems.

Avoiding Circuit Overloading

Preventing circuit overloading can help protect electrically. One effective method for doing so is disengaging non-essential appliances from circuits to reduce power usage in that same circuit, and to limit multiple high-power usage appliances on that same circuit.

What to Do in Case of Electrical Overload

Should your electrical system become overcharged, taking the appropriate actions may help avoid further damage and ensure its security. Below are steps you should follow if your electricity system becomes overload.

Shutting Off Appliances and Devices

As soon as a power surge is detected, the first step to take in response is switching off all connected appliances and devices – this will protect both your electrical system and reduce potential risks.

Turning off the Main Power Supply

If turning off appliances and devices that are connected to an overload circuit is insufficient to reduce power usage, disconnection of your main electricity source will prevent further overloads electrically. This can be accomplished either by disconnecting or switching off the circuit breaker; either option should work effectively.

Contacting an Electrician

If your overload can’t be managed on its own, consulting with a state licensed electrician is crucial. They will assist in identifying the issue and performing necessary repairs to stop further damage while assuring your electrical circuit remains safe for use.

How Circuits Work in Your Home

Your main electrical panel, usually constructed of gray metal and measuring approximately the size of an average cookie sheet, serves as the core of your electric system. Usually tucked away in a garage, utility room or basement, three wires from your utility company feed directly into it; they’re visible externally but may be hidden by conduit for safety’s sake.

Circuit breakers (or fuse) on your main panel limit the amount of power that your wire system can safely manage and channel through branch circuits and wires in various areas of your home. When you switch on excessively and exceed a circuit breaker’s capacity limit for that circuit, its power requirement exceeds its capacity and it snaps open – shutting off that entire circuit if there’s an overloaded situation or another issue arises.

Solutions to Overloaded Circuits

When dealing with circuit overloads, the best approach is usually simple: remove some devices from the overload circuit to a separate one for general use and switch back on your devices afterwards. Switch the circuit breaker or fuse on and make any necessary changes before turning back on any devices you moved out.

Realistically, it can be challenging to be certain you have found an effective long-term solution. The first step should be finding outlets on a separate general-purpose circuit and then finding an easy and safe way to reach them. Also avoid short-term fixes using extension cords which were meant for temporary usage but are not meant to provide permanent wiring solutions or secure anchorage of objects in place.

To track general-purpose circuits, trace over your primary panel labels. They should give an idea of where each circuit goes but may only provide generalized locations; to be more precise than this method would require drawing the circuits yourself.