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What Happens When You Overload An Outlet?

November 20, 2023 | Blog

Electrical Safety With Axsom Air

Your electrical outlets are what keep your home powered and functional. With the large number of personal electronic devices in the average household, home outlets are more essential than ever before. Although it’s tempting to plug as many devices as possible into a single wall socket, this may not be the best idea.

At Axsom Air, we’ve been in the Natchitoches electrical business long enough to know the dangers of an overloaded outlet. In fact, this easy mistake is one of the main causes of house fires, which can be deadly! Before you plug in another device, consider the risks of an overloaded electrical outlet.

What Is An Overloaded Outlet?

Electrical outlets are designed to allow two or three devices to be plugged in. However, many homeowners use extension cords and power strips to increase the number of usable sockets in their homes. Although this is a simple fix for a home with too few outlets, it may not always be wise.

Outlets are made to hold a specific power load. Each device that is plugged into a single extension cord or power strip uses some of the power from the outlet. When many high-amperage appliances are plugged into one socket, it can overload the outlet.

Signs Of Electrical Overload

It’s usually easy to detect an overloaded socket. If you notice any of the following warning signs, it’s important to reduce the electrical load on the outlet to prevent danger and frustration.

Warning signs include:

  • Frequently tripped circuit breaker
  • Burning smell from the socket
  • Poorly functioning appliances
  • Shocks from touching outlets or appliances
  • Flickering lights
  • Warm or discolored outlet

Fortunately, most homes have circuit breakers that cut off the power supply to overloaded outlets by tripping. However, if your home doesn’t have a circuit breaker box, overloaded outlets could lead to dangerous electrical fires. To learn more about the electrical circuits in your home, contact an electrician on our team to schedule an inspection.

High Amperage Appliances

To avoid overloading your outlets, it’s important to be aware of high-amperage appliances. These appliances shouldn’t be plugged into an extension cord with other appliances. Examples of these appliances include:

  • Microwaves
  • Space heaters
  • Coffee makers
  • Convection ovens
  • Air conditioners
  • Electric kettles

Although it may be tempting to use an extension cord to power these appliances, doing so can be dangerous. If you notice that your circuit breaker has tripped, unplug the appliance and find an open outlet.

Home Electrical Safety Tips

To protect you and your family from electrical hazards, there are a few habits your household can develop. If you can, avoid using too many power strips and extension cords. If your home doesn’t have enough outlets, you may want to consider upgrading the electrical system in your home to include more sockets.

Hire The Electrical Company Natchitoches Trusts!

For all the electrical services you need, Axsom Air can help. Whether your home needs electrical upgrades or you’re worried about faulty wiring, our certified technicians can answer your questions and complete high-quality projects. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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