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How to Avoid Power Overloading at Your Home – Understand the Wattage Featured - mjelectrical

26 Jul

Have you ever plugged in so many appliances at once in your home, especially during the festive season, and suddenly the power goes off. This is due to the too much stress created by multiple appliances on the electrical circuit system.

While this clearly indicates that your circuit breakers are reliable and function properly to prevent house fires caused by overload, you must always follow strategies to prevent power overload in the first place.

This article will give you a brief overview of why power overloading occurs and how to avoid them in the first place.

Why does power overloading occur

A circuit system comprises wires, breaker/fuse, and the appliances (electrical devices in your home). The circuit system can only handle a certain amount of power. If the appliances in your home draw more power than the circuit can handle, then there is a power overloading or a circuit overloading.

While this clearly indicates that your circuit breakers are reliable and function properly to prevent house fires caused by overload, you must always follow strategies to prevent power overload in the first place.

This article will give you a brief overview of why power overloading occurs and how to avoid them in the first place.

woman-plugging-wire- mje electrical

In such situations, as a safety mechanism, the breaker will cut the power to your home to prevent house fires. If there is no breaker, or if the breaker doesn’t function properly, the power overload would overheat the wiring. This would melt down the wiring’s insulation and lead to a fire.

Different types of circuits would have different loading capacities. These electrical systems are designed to support the electrical needs of a household. However, there is nothing preventing us from too many appliances which can cause a power overload.

While this clearly indicates that your circuit breakers are reliable and function properly to prevent house fires caused by overload, you must always follow strategies to prevent power overload in the first place.

This article will give you a brief overview of why power overloading occurs and how to avoid them in the first place.

How much power do your appliances need?

If you are trying to avoid a power overload, you must have a general idea about how much power the electrical appliances at your home need. You would be surprised to hear that even some of the small appliances in your house would use so much power.

Did you know that an electric kettle would use more power than a refrigerator? While a typical refrigerator would use only about 150 watts, the electric kettle would use roughly around 2400 watts. Therefore the kettle would roughly consume 16 times more power than the refrigerator.

“Watt is the standard used to measure the power consumption of an electrical appliance.”

You can find the watt requirement of the electrical appliances from the label attached to the power cable of the appliance, in the user manual, or in the package. If you can’t find them, here are some watt values of commonly used household appliances that require high wattage.

Household appliances that requires high wattage - mjelectrical
ApplianceWattage
Microwave1000
Electric heater1200 – 2400
Air conditioner1500 – 3500
Toaster1000
Vacuum cleaner1200
Dishwasher2400
Hairdryer1500
Iron1000
Kettle2400

The above figures were obtained from Ausgrid. Visit their website to view the watt requirement of other appliances.

The key learning here is to never plug high energy-consuming appliances together at sharing sockets simultaneously. This can overload your circuits and cause the breaker to fail.

What are the signs of a power overload?

Power overload can cause house fires affecting you and your loved ones. Therefore you should watch out for the signs indicating a possible overload in your house. The most obvious signs are:

  • Buzzing in switches and power outlets.
  • Dimming of the lights, especially when you switch on another light or an appliance.
  • Dullness of the appliances.
  • Burning smells in switches and power outlets.
  • Scorched outlets and plugs.
  • The surface of the switch covers and outlets are too hot to touch.

Some of these signs, such as buzzing in switches and outlets, can also occur for various other reasons, including faulty wiring. Therefore, if you see any of these signs, you should contact an electrician and get their opinion. If there is a power overload, they will fix it.

How to avoid power overload

You should try to avoid overloading at any cost. Here are some of the actions you could take once you see the signs which indicate a possible power overload and make your home safe.

Use dedicated circuits

Having multiple switches, lights, outlets, and less energy-consuming appliances on a single circuit are perfectly acceptable. However, each high energy-consuming appliance should have a dedicated circuit to handle the high wattage. Typically, it is advisable to have a dedicated circuit for appliances over 1000 watts.

Check your wiring

The wires in your house would have two layers. On the inside, there is a copper wire which is covered by an insulator from the outside. Check whether there is any damage to the insulator exposing the copper wire.

Wiring check - mjelectrical

If the copper wire is exposed, it could lead to an overload and cause fires. Make sure to change the wiring or at least reinsulate them if there is damage to the insulator.

Switch to energy-efficient appliances

Old appliances tend to be inefficient and consume a lot of energy. These appliances can stress the circuits and cause an overload. Therefore dispose of the old appliances and shift to new energy-efficient appliances for a better experience.

Know your circuit breakers

A circuit breaker is a switch that disconnects the power to the circuit if there is a possible overload. You should know which breaker connects each section of your house. If you see any signs indicating a possible overload, switch off the breaker and seek the help of a licensed electrician.

checking circuit breakers - mjelectrical

Spread out the appliances

If there are so many appliances in your house, spread them over to various sections of the house and avoid clutter. This is important to avoid the high power requirement in a single section of the house.

If you still want to use the appliances together in a single section, make sure to unplug the appliances that are not in use.

Rewire your house

Are you living in an old house? At present, we use so many electrical appliances which an old circuit system wouldn’t be able to handle. If your house cannot handle the current electrical demand, it could overload

It is better to rewire the house to suit the current energy requirements in such situations. It can be costly, but it is the most suitable move. Make sure to hire a professional electrician for the job.

Get professional help

Before making any decision, make sure to calculate the present load of the circuits to find out whether there is an actual overload.

Calculating the load can be quite complicated and difficult. A professional electrician with experience can help you to calculate the load more accurately. If the circuits have less capacity, the electrician will advise you on the possible actions that you could take.

Do you feel like you need professional help? Then don’t hesitate to contact MJ Electrician in Ballarat. We have been in the industry for decades, and we can help you make your house safe again, as we have helped many others over the years. Don’t forget the 24/7 emergency service we provide. If you need any electrical assistance, then we are there to help.

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