For the most part, electrical circuits are designed for the normal amount of current allowed in your home or business. Many time there’s even a rating on your circuit breaker or outlet to remind you of what it can handle. However, sometimes that load can be exceeded and your circuit breaker will. The reasons for a trip are many and are often solved by just going to a breaker and flipping the switch from off to on.
However, in the case of overloaded circuits, that trip can happen immediately and continuously. If you’re tripping circuits frequently, this is indicative of a serious issue. Here’s how you can tell if your circuits are overloaded and what you can do about it.
How to Tell if Circuits are Overloaded
Load is a term indicating the amount of electricity flowing through a circuit. The amount of load a circuit is designed to handle is the amount of total electricity that the circuit is designed to handle, taking into account the intended devices meant for that circuit. When you have too many devices plugged into an outlet, the circuit “trips” to prevent the circuit from overheating.
The solutions for a trip are usually simple, including:
1. Move the heavy power consuming devices to other outlets to spread the current draw around.
2. Turn off the unused devices to minimize the load.
3. Check to see if there aren’t any loose wires. If so, turn off the power to that circuit, tighten the wires and restore the power.
4. But sometimes, these troubleshooting efforts will not work. If none of the above work, you may be dealing with issues like a short circuit or ground fault.
What is a Short Circuit?
A short circuit happens when a hot wire (wire with voltage flowing through it) touches another hot wire or a neutral wire. The electricity repels itself (in the case of another hot wire) or sparks towards empty space (in the case of a neutral wire), causing the short circuit.
How to fix a short circuit
Short circuits are caused by the wiring within the walls and require professional attendance. Unless you’re a certified electrician, diagnosing and fixing a short circuit is something that you should get help with. If your circuit is short, rewiring may be necessary.
The short could also be within the device you’re using, which must also be handled with the proper skill. If you’re working with a device that has a short circuit, the best bet is to contact a certified supplier of quality replacement parts to work on and replace parts of the device. Left unattended, the short will continue and may turn into a more serious issue. Seek out a qualified service provider like SingleSource Communication to make sure that the short is fixed properly and up to code.
What is a ground fault?
A ground fault is a type of short circuit where the hot wire is touching the ground wire or the side of the metal box that the hot wire is in (very similar to the case of another hot wire and neutral wire).
How to fix a ground fault
The process to fix a ground fault is the same as the short circuit. If you think you have a short circuit or a ground fault, we may be able to help.
Overloaded circuits are a common issue and can usually be easily rectified by managing the number of devices used per circuit. However, if the problem persists, call a professional servicer. Contact SingleSource Communications to talk more about overloaded circuits and how we can help your business repair and replace your circuitry