Both commercial and residential properties most commonly use circuit breakers as the primary electrical control and safety system. As residential and commercial buildings range on electrical needs, the circuit can range in capacity. It is essential to understand circuit load capacity to ensure the safety of the home or building. Simon Electric would like to share more about the proper circuit capacity loads and why it is important to never exceed a single circuit.
Typical Electrical Load Capacity
Each circuit line has its own load capacity that ranges from 15 amps, 20 amps, or 30 amps per circuit. HVAC systems often require their own dedicated circuit line that can go higher. Often appliances that require more power, such as the HVAC system, refrigerator or washer and dryer, will have a dedicated circuit line that should never be shared with any other device.
Circuit Breaker Mechanism
As homes and commercial buildings are fitted with multiple circuit lines, it is important to understand the role of a circuit breaker. The circuit line is connected to a breaker which is housed in the electrical panel. Each circuit has their own capacity limits. If the circuit is overloaded it creates heat. Therefore, a mini explosion can occur. It can melt the plastic covering, and potentially start a fire. The home primary security system to deter this electrical hazard is the circuit breaker. When a circuit overloads the circuit breaker trips, preventing a hazardous fire from occurring.
Causes of Electrical Overloading
Even though circuit breakers are designed to prevent overloads, they still occur on occasion. To ensure a circuit from overloading, a single circuit should simply never be overloaded. Overloads most often occur when too many electrical devices are plugged into one single outlet. Sometimes, there may not be enough outlets to power your TV, sound system, computers and electrical appliances. As a result, some may use outlet adapters or power strips to supply power to each device. This is a common mistake which is the leading cause of overloads. Another cause for power overload is power surges, which can occur during a thunder or lightning storm. Other time power surges can occur is when power is lost during a blackout. A surge of power can occur when power is first restored.
Upgrade Electrical Panel
For homes that don’t seem to have enough outlets or power needs, it is often recommended to upgrade the home’s electrical system and add a few more circuits in the needed areas. Often the electrical panel also needs to be upgraded to supply more amps. However, electrical upgrades are very beneficial and needed in older homes. Some common signs that the circuits are overloading and need an upgrade are:
• Lights dim when appliances are in use.
• Buzzing sounds from outlets and light switches.
• Outlet and/or light switches are hot to the touch.
• Electrical burn odor comes from outlets and light switches.
• Scorched marks are on outlet or plug.
Electrical Inspections, Troubleshooting, Emergency Repairs & More in Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter & Boca Raton & Palm Beach County Florida
For homes that don’t have sufficient electrical capacity and overloading circuits occur frequently, contact a professional electrician for inspection and possible upgrades. If you find you need a quality electrical service, contact Simon Electric and schedule our services today!