For anyone hosting Christmas for the entire family or striving to have the house that is the envy of the neighborhood, tripping breakers and blowing fuses is a real concern. Overloaded circuits could put your Christmas dinner in the dark. York Electrical Services, your local electrician in Fort Collins is here to help you keep the lights on all season long.
What causes your breaker to trip?
There are three primary reasons for your breaker tripping: overloaded circuit, short in the wiring, and an old breaker. Here are some things you can do to keep from tripping your breaker:
- Look for the studs when hanging wreaths or pictures. Your wreath may be light enough that you don’t think you need to nail it to a stud. While the weight may not be an issue, there can be wiring right behind the drywall. If your nail goes through the wires, it can cause a short in the circuit, trip your breaker, and become a potential fire hazard.
- Check the wiring on appliances before plugging them in. The cold weather may have you digging in the basement for a space heater or electric blanket. Before you plug it in, check the cord for any chew marks, cuts, exposed wires, or other damage that may have happened while the heating unit was stored.
But what about those pesky overloaded circuits? You can’t just replace your breaker with a breaker rated for higher amps unless you also upgrade all of your electrical wiring. Instead, follow these tips to keep from overloading your circuits:
- Unplug electrical appliances that are not in use. Electrical current still runs to the appliance when not turned on. It reduces the draw on the circuit to unplug the coffee maker, game systems, etc.
- Spread out heated styling tools. Hair dryers, flat irons, and curling irons, each draw more power than you might think in order to generate heat. Having too many devices in use at the same time can overload the circuit.
- Only use extension cords for added length. If a room has limited sockets, it may be tempting to use an extension cord to increase the number of electronics you can plug in. While you can do this safely in some cases, such as setting up the TV and game systems, do it sparingly.
- Use LED Christmas lights. Incandescent string lights can use twice as much electricity, and you may only be able to connect up to two strings when using C9 string lights. If you want to decorate the entire yard, roof, and face of your house, those amps can add up. Using LED Christmas lights will lighten the load substantially.
- Use multiple outdoor circuits. It’s possible that two outdoor outlets are on the same circuit, so check before plugging in too many lights. Even if you can reach across the entire yard from one side of the house, spacing the load out across multiple outlets will help reduce the stress on a single circuit.
- Know your amp usage. If a room has more than one outlet on a different circuit, you can avoid breaker trips by vacuuming or using a space heater on the lower load circuit.
As always, York Electrical Services is here to help! We offer free estimates and are clean, honest and professional. Call us today for scheduling. Have a wonderful holiday season!