How To Avoid Overloading Your Electrical Outlets

Photo of multiple devices plugged into an electrical outlet

Getting from home, plugging in your phone charger, and watching TV are staples. Suddenly you may notice that one day your phone charger stops working, or worse that when you go to plug in your charger, that outlet starts sparking. You may not have realized it at the time, but you may have overloaded your electrical outlet.

Signs Of Overloaded Outlets

The problem with many electrical systems is old electrical outlets that cannot meet the demands of modern appliances. What may have flown in the 70s and 80s will not cut it for the contemporary home in the 2020s.

A promising sign to pick up on is light bulbs that dim or flicker when you plug devices into an outlet. Notice that your kitchen light always dims when you turn on the blender? Your outlet may not have the capacity to support multiple devices, or you may be looking at an old circuit that needs an upgrade.

Even more apparent signs include mild shocks or sparks when using an appliance. While these shocks and sparks can be annoying, they can progress into more than just a minor annoyance without proper repairs.

Lastly, you'd be surprised, but even the smell of burning plastic is a good sign that your outlet is in dire need of an upgrade! Overloaded outlets can overheat, failing to draw enough power for your plugged-in appliances, leading to malfunctions that burn the plastic casing around your outlet or even wires.

How To Avoid Overloads

Luckily for many homeowners avoiding overloaded outlets is simple! Avoid plugging too many appliances into one outlet using a power strip or extension cord in older homes. We notice that homeowners want to have several devices connected into one outlet for ease of access, but not enough outlets. Daisy-chaining extension cords or using power strips can quickly overload your outlet, as they will not have the capacity to power all your devices.

This may seem obvious to some, but do not plug-in appliances such as refrigerators or stoves into an extension cord or power strip. These appliances that use large amounts of energy require their dedicated outlet to function correctly.

The easiest way to avoid electrical mishaps in your outlet is to get them inspected and possibly upgraded. That's why at The Local Electrician we have years of experience with home electrical systems. If you want to upgrade your home's outlets, call (832) 688-4419 today!