An overload power outlet is a common residential electrical issue that can compromise the safety of your home.
The following is a list of six factors that contribute to an overloaded power outlet to look out for in your own home.
1. Too many appliances being used simultaneously
This is a common cause of outlet overload, as many of us multitask by using more than one electrical appliance at a time. However, this runs the risk of exceeding the amperage of the powerpoint and overloading the circuit. It is also handy to know that some appliances use more power to operate than others. Appliances that utilise a higher amount of energy include air conditioning units, televisions, electric stovetops, refrigerators, ovens, dryers and washing machines. It is good to be generally mindful of the higher energy use of these appliances. Ideally use them singularly and not in conjunction with other appliances on the same circuits where possible.
2. ‘Piggybacking’ power boards on top of one another
When there aren’t enough power outlets in your home, power boards offer a solution to power more devices. However, if you plug another power board or double adapter into your original power board, you can easily lose track of how many devices are being plugged into the original power outlet and exceed the circuit load. Plug in single devices to each power socket on the board and avoid using every device plugged into the board at once. Store your power boards on their sides to avoid dust build up in the sockets and make sure there is adequate ventilation surrounding the board to avoid it overheating. It is good to replace your power boards if they are older and opt for safer power boards with built-in surge protection.
3. Old and outdated power outlets with worn out sockets
This is more of an issue in older homes. Old wall power outlets have been exposed to damage over time and may not be designed to withstand electrical currents from modern devices. They can be replaced, which is a common job for electrical repairs Perth electricians.
4. Faulty wiring
The tell-tale signs of faulty wiring are flickering, buzzing, or dimming lights, discoloured outlet points, burning smells near electrical panels and zapping when plugging in appliances. If an electrical circuit wire’s casing becomes damaged or exposed, this risks any conductive material surrounding it spiking the wire’s current. This is a huge safety concern and needs to be addressed immediately by a qualified electrician. If you notice any of the above signs occurring in your home, it is worth calling an electrician out for an evaluation of your home’s wiring. An electrician can replace faulty or deteriorated wiring to safeguard your home’s electrical system. A general rule of thumb is that if you live in an older home, approximately 40 years older or more, it is worth an evaluation.
5. Worn out or old appliances
Older appliances tend to draw a lot of power to operate. Look out for frayed or damaged cords, or other signs such as appliances generating a lot of heat near their power socket. It is a good habit to replace older appliances with updated versions every few years, as not only are they more energy-efficient and cost-saving, but ultimately safer. Updated appliances put less stress on the power outlet, reducing the risk of electrical overload.
6. Using light bulbs with the wrong wattage
If the bulb you are using has a higher wattage than the lamp it is connected to, it may overload the lamp’s wiring. This will draw more power from the power outlet that the lamp is plugged into. It is always important to check the maximum wattage printed on the lamp’s label and use the right bulb to accommodate this. Either this, or by purchasing a lamp base that accommodates a more powerful bulb. LED bulbs are a great option as they are more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. There are LED options for both overhead light fixtures and plug in lamps widely available, so it is worth making the switch.
Having awareness of these facto