With the nights getting warmer and that one hour more of sunshine in the evening, many folks are migrating to their outdoor seating area for meals and relaxation. Adding more lighting and appliances outdoors can be tempting to improve the convenience or ambience. Sometimes homeowners decide the best way to accomplish this is to have temporary wiring like extension cords and power strips.
Here are some things you need to know about overloading electrical circuits:
It is too easy. Overloading an electrical circuit is as easy as plugging in one appliance too many. When your demand for electricity is greater than your electrical wiring can handle, as a safety measure the system will shut down.
It is dangerous. Interestingly, when a circuit flips this is your electrical system’s way of protecting the rest of the wiring from overloading. The danger comes from homeowners keeping an intended temporary fix as a permanent one. For instance, when an appliance is plugged in and continuously trips the circuit a short-term fix is to use an electrical cord until another circuit can be added. However, it is easy to forget about adding that additional circuit and instead just keeping the extension cord as permanent.
It requires a professional. An overloaded circuit can be fixed by simply not plugging so many things into one place. However, in many households that is not an option. We are all slave to our electronics and some older homes do not have the number of circuits necessary to support the extra need. Instead, you will need to contact a professional electrician to have more circuits added to your home.
As you are looking around your outdoor seating area this spring be thoughtful about how many appliances and electronics you have plugged in. Take a look at how many power strips and electrical cords are you using in place of having additional circuits added to your electrical system. These scenarios can quickly get out of hand and cause serious damage to your home and the rest of your electrical system.