Top Reasons For Electrical Short Circuits

Exceeding the maximum amperage of an electrical circuit you’re using, the power point in your home can overload. This includes plugging too many appliances to running appliances with a high amp at the same time. These can lead to short circuits and possibly a fire.

Way Too Many Appliances

With a lot of older homes, having too many power points in each room is very common. What’s worse is that we’re often tempted to plug in double adaptors or a power board to add on to the number of outlets. As acceptable as this is, they need to be used in moderation.

Here’s the problem, we often piggy-back double adaptors onto another, or a power board into another power board and this can exceed the circuits amperage, and as mentioned, this can lead to a fire.

As a precaution, it’s best if you use one or two appliances at a time. Another alternative is to turn appliances off or leave them unplug when not in use, but the best move would be to have an electrician install another power point in different rooms.

High Amp Appliances

Generally, different appliances use up more amps than others. Here’s an example, battery chargers draw less amps than an electric kettle, which draw way more amps. If only have a single power point in your kitchen, it would be best if you didn’t run mixers, kettles, blenders, microwaves, toasters and other power-hungry devices at the same time. Also, avoid plugging in hair dryers, electrical razors, heaters and other electric devices at the same time in your bathroom.

Overload Protection

The meter box in our homes contains a variety of overload protection devices, and when the amperage is exceeded, each is designed to cut the power for those circuits. Here are the two main devices:

Fuses

These devices have ceramic holders with thin strips of wire made to melt when high amounts of current passes through them. The thickness of each fuse wire is what determines the amount of current it will take before is ‘blows’.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are a modern version of fuses. These don’t use wire but instead highly sensitive switches, activated when too much current goes through them, leading to tripping and breaking the circuit.

These aren’t the only devices with built-in overload protection, power boards also have them. They come in the form of small circuit breakers that trip when more power is drawn that the board can’t take. These power points also have a reset switch to allow it to return to normal after the circuit breaker tripped.

Overload Precaution

When a fuse or circuit breaker trips or blows, it usually means that there is a problem with the circuit. There’s two plausible reasons for causing this, there could be a fault in the circuit itself, or you’re running several high-amp appliances at the same time. Before resetting the circuit breaker, or replacing the fuse, get the problem looked at. You might not be able to find the issue yourself, so getting in touch with a professional electrician to inspect the wiring before a minor electrical issue that could potentially be a problem for power points or become a larger and more dangerous problem.

Add a Passive Design

The act of heating and cooling in your home makes up 40% of energy bills. Every appliance that heats or cools your household draws up tons of energy and they are the most dangerous when it comes to overloading power points. Passive design, a design method that uses natural elements to cool, heat and even light homes, is an essential concept to familiarize yourself with. Passive design uses the energy of the sun to maximise cooling and heating, in relation with your property’s sun exposure. Using this design will help reduce your energy consumption considerably.

Get an Audit for an Overload

Overloading can be detrimental to your power points and avoiding overloading them will maximise the power safety of your home. Make sure you pay attention to potential electrical hazards, and if you have any concerns, make sure you call an electrician immediately.

At Copper Electrical, we perform power point installation for residents in NSW. We’re dedicated to serving your needs effectively and efficiently. Get in touch with us.