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How to Prevent Electrical Overloading

Keep your family and property safe at all times

In this era of automation, machines have become an indispensable part of modern living and, with so many appliances in the home, overloading one or more of your electrical circuits is a real risk.

Overloading can occur when you plug in too many gadgets on one power point, or you operate high-wattage appliances simultaneously and this can lead to a short circuit, which could start a fire. Electrical circuit overloads occur when the power demand exceeds the power capability of the circuit can handle.

If you have any concerns, contact your local qualified electrician immediately. If you are in the Newcastle, Maitland, Central Coast, or the wider Hunter region, contact us at Real Electrical Solutions and we will arrange an appointment with you.

What are the signs of an electrical circuit overload?

These signs can serve as a warning that your electric circuit is overloading:

  • Circuit breaker trips. When the circuit breaker trips, it makes a clicking sound and is most likely due to electrical overloading. The safety switch will automatically shut off the power when this happens.

  • Lights are dimming. When you switch on multiple appliances and the lights start to dim, this could be a sign of a possible electrical overload. The main exception to this is if your lights dim when ducted air conditioning starts up, as these systems require a momentarily large current to activate.

  • Outlets or switches are buzzing. It is not normal for switches and outlets to make buzzing sounds. This could mean that there is more electricity than usual.

  • Power points feel warm. When the outlets feel warmer than usual, it could be a sign of too much electricity being drawn out.

How to prevent circuit-overloading

Older houses may not have been designed with enough outlets, which means that many households tend to rely on extension cords to run multiple appliances. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous, as the limited number of outlets can only handle a specific amount of wattage. Drawing more electricity from your circuit can damage your appliances, overload the circuit or become a safety hazard. Here are a few tips from the team here at Real Electrical Solutions on how to avoid overloading your circuit:

Inspect your wiring

Does your room only have one or two power points? If so, it is okay to plug in a double adapter or power board to increase the number of outlets but do this only in moderation but, when too many double adapters and extension cords are piggybacking on top of each other, it could exceed the circuit amperage and possibly start a fire.

The alternative is to plug in one or two appliances at a time and shut down appliances when they are not in use. A more permanent solution, however, is to have a professional electrician install additional power points, spaced out on different power circuits. It is also vital to have a dedicated circuit for power-draining machines - the air conditioner should not be connected to the same circuit as the washing machine, refrigerator, or dishwasher, for example.

Check appliance cords for fraying – no copper wire should be exposed! Damaged cords are a potential safety hazard for your house and your household.

Evaluate the power consumption of each appliance

Check the tag on the cord of each appliance to see the wattage and think about how long you typically run these machines daily. Once you know how much power your devices consume, you can compare your circuit breaker amperage or wattage limit.

Unplug energy-draining appliances when not in use

Some devices draw more amps than others – a phone charger is a low-amp device, while an electric kettle is a high-amp appliance. If you have only one outlet in the kitchen, try not to run your kettle, toaster, coffeemaker or blender at the same time - doing so might exceed the amperage of that particular power point. Similarly, in the bathroom, avoid operating the hairdryer, electric razor, and water heater simultaneously.

The standby power of your appliances can eat up a lot of power too, so make sure you unplug them when not in use. This applies to televisions, computers, and portable kettles. Keep in mind that as long as that standby light is on, it will consume electricity.

Switching off appliances also helps increase longevity. If you have multiple household members operating energy-draining appliances, create an alternating schedule for them to avoid overloading the circuit.

Switch to energy-saving appliances.

The fast-growing and extremely important green movement has made energy-saver appliances readily available. These appliances can reduce the amount of electricity loaded onto your circuit and even reduce your power bill, which reduces the amount of carbon needed to produce that electricity and reduces your bills – it’s a win-win!

Update your circuit protection

Every meter box comes with a series of overload protection devices designed to cut the power off automatically when the amperage limit is breached. The two main devices are fuses and circuit breakers. Fuses are traditional ceramic holders that contain thin strips of wire designed to ‘blow’ when too much current passes. In modern homes, circuit breakers are the equivalent of old fuses. These highly sensitive switches are activated when too much current passes, causing them to ‘trip’ the circuit.

If a fuse blows or the circuit breaker trips, it probably means you are running too many high-amp appliances, or the circuit is faulty. Ask a licensed electrician or a member of the Real Electrical Solutions team to inspect your wiring before the problem escalates.

Rewire your home

If you have an old home, you might want to consider replacing the entire wiring to make sure it can handle the power demand of modern appliances. It may be a considerable expense, but the long-term safety and security are worth the cost.

Arrange an electrical safety inspection from Real Electrical Solutions, today

An electrical safety inspection involves having a licensed electrician check all your electrical wirings within the property. The job includes evaluating the current condition of each electrical circuit, electrical switchboard, and safety switch.

Here at Real Electrical Solutions, our ASP Level 2 electricians are available 24/7 to help resolve electrical overloading circuits. We have been serving clients from Newcastle, Maitland, Central Coast, and Hunter Region – repairing overloads and inspecting circuits in a safe manner while completing the job in the shortest time possible.

For more information on circuit overload and home rewiring, get in touch with our team by calling 0403306842 or sending an email to


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