Electrical overloads can lead to electrical hazards such as electrocution and electrical fires. In addition, they can cause damage to electrical appliances, leading to the need for costly repairs or replacements. Therefore, in order to stay safe from the effects of electrical overloads, you need to be aware of some of the common indicators of electrical system overload. Here are some of the red flags to watch out for.
Some of the common power problems caused by an overload in an electrical system are frequent tripping of circuit breakers or blowing of fuses and momentary blinking, dimming, or flickering of lights, frequent power outages, and failure of certain appliances to function as usual. It is not unusual for your circuit breaker to trip or your fuses to blow over time. However, be concerned if your circuit breaker is tripping more times than the usual or if fuses are blowing almost every time. The cause of this could be an overload somewhere in your electrical system.
Since electrical overload usually occurs when an electrical system is supplying higher amounts of current that what it's rated for, the excess current can lead to fraying of the insulation material on the wiring. Therefore, check for any signs of damage on the wiring and make sure the insulation is replaced once the overload problem has been rectified.
Overheated Electrical Components
Overheating of some of the major electrical components in your electrical system such as breaker panels, cords, plugs, wall outlets, switch plates, and wiring is also another sign that there is an overload somewhere in the system. Under normal circumstances, these electrical components may feel slightly warm to the touch. However, if these components show signs of burning or melting, or feel extremely hot to the touch, your electrical system is likely overloaded somewhere. Overheating usually indicates that the overload problem is serious and should therefore be checked by an electrician as soon as possible. This is because excessive overheating can lead to electrical fires.
Sparking, Sizzling, Cracking or Buzzing Sounds
If you hear such sounds coming from the wall outlets or near the electrical panel, it will be an indicator of a wide range of electrical problems. However, overloaded electrical systems are usually the major cause since overloading can damage the circuit breakers, the wiring, and other connections, leading to such noises. Therefore, make sure you call an electrician when you hear these sounds. Apart from sounds, watch out for vibrations as well.