One of the primary things that can cause your home to lose power is a power overload. Whether you're pumping too much electricity through your home, or you have an improperly installed electric system, power overloads can range from being a minor home nuisance to a serious problem that needs to be addressed ASAP. In this article, you'll discover more about what exactly a power overload is, what can cause a power overload, how to determine if your home has experienced a power overload, and most importantly, how you can prevent a power overload.
What Are Power Overloads?
A power overload is quite simple to explain. Ever experience a mass blackout in your home, especially if you're running numerous electrical items at once? Did all of the power go out in your home after installing your very large and very bright Christmas display unit? Chances are, you experienced a power overload.
A power overload occurs when your electrical system cannot handle the output of the electricity that you are generating. What sort of electrical system is installed in your home, as well as how adequately it was installed, is usually the deciding factor regarding whether or not your home will experience a power overload due to the number of electrical devices simultaneously running. Anything that can cause your electrical system to overwork itself is a potential culprit of a power overload.
How Do I Determine If My Home Has Experienced A Power Overload?
If you have experienced a blackout of any kind in your house, the chances of the culprit being a power overload is quite high. Power overloads do not necessarily cause home-wide blackouts. Certain areas of the house can be affected; for example, your kitchen may be the only room in your house experiencing a lack of power. The most effective way to tell whether or not you have experienced a power overload is by checking your circuit breaker.
Circuit breakers exist to automatically shut off power to certain areas of your house if they are generating more power than your electrical system can handle. Your circuit breaker, generally located in the basement or garage of your home, is a large, usually grey, metal box containing various switches. If any switches are flipped in the opposite direction of the majority of the switches, flip them so that they match the rest of the switches. If this causes your power to turn back on in the offending rooms, you have experienced a power overload.
How Can I Prevent a Power Overload
The easiest way to prevent a power overload is quite obvious: don't overload your circuits! If you can, use lower wattage light bulbs in your home. Many homes can operate on bulbs that range from 60 – 90 watts of power, yet 120 watts are still very commonplace. Do not operate too many electrical devices at once. Make sure that electrical devices are well distributed throughout your house, which is to say, make sure that you don't have all of your devices plugged in in one room, and especially not in the same outlet.
You can talk with an electrician to determine the electrical output of your home. He can advise you on how many appliances and gadgets you can have plugged in at once without causing an overload on the system. If your home is running less power than you need, your electrician can consult with you about re-wiring your circuits to improve your home's power load.
As you can see, power overloads are usually just a small nuisance, and not a huge danger for your house's well-being. You now should be ready to address the annoying problem of power overloads head-on.