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Electrical Blog

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How to Avoid Overloading Your Breaker Panel

Salem, OR is not only known for its plethora of beautiful gardens that come alive each spring, it is also well-known for its history. Salem has a wide array of historical buildings as well as a large assortment of older homes, and many of these homes are struggling to keep up with the demands of modern-day electricity usage. The average home today has more than 10 appliances, and this does not include any extras such as multimedia devices, mobile devices and other electronics. Many people live in older homes that do not have enough outlets to plug in all the appliances and electronics.

To compensate for the lack of outlets, many homeowners resort to using extension cords, power strips and wall outlet adapters, and this causes circuits to become overloaded. When circuits are overloaded, house fires can result. To prevent house fires, you must avoid overloading your circuit breaker panel. You can do this by having an inspection performed by a licensed electrician, being mindful of amperages and eliminating the use of extension cords, power strips and wall outlet adapters.

Have an Electrician Inspect Your Electrical System

If you have not had your electrical system inspected, you must contact a professional electrician to perform an inspection so you can know what your electrical system can truly handle. One of our electricians at B & O Electric can perform a room-by-room inspection as well as carefully examine your home’s breaker panel. We will advise you if any wiring needs to be replaced and will also let you know if more outlets need to be installed in your home. If your breaker box needs to be upgraded, we will advise you of this as well.

Be Mindful of Amperages

Another way you can avoid overloading your breaker box is to be mindful of the amperages of each of your circuits. Some circuits have higher amperages than others, so you must make sure you are plugging the correct appliances into the correct circuits. For instance, a standard-sized refrigerator has a high amperage, so you must plug it into the circuit that is designed to support it. If you plug the standard-sized refrigerator in the wrong circuit, such as in a bedroom, the circuit will overload, and a fire may start. Bedroom circuits have lower amperages than the circuit that is designed to run kitchen appliances.

Avoid the Use of Extension Cords, Wall Outlet Adapters and Power Strips

You may be tempted to overload one outlet by using extension cords, wall outlet adapters and power strips; however, you must not do this because you risk overloading the circuit and causing a fire. Appliances must be plugged directly into the wall outlet. If you find that you have more appliances and electronics than outlets, consult with an electrician to have more outlets installed.

If you want to make sure your electrical panel can handle all the demands you put on it, contact B & O Electric. We will thoroughly inspect your electrical panel as well as your home’s entire electrical system, and then we’ll advise you accordingly. If we spot any problems during our inspection, we can fix them immediately.