The Value of Circuit Breakers

The technological advancements in electronics have been so incredible over the past few decades that it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the newest devices on the market, or those that are coming soon. But it’s not just people that struggle to keep up with new electrical products – homes can also struggle to accommodate them as well.

Consider how many more appliances we use today that we didn’t use 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Our kitchen is filled with appliances such as microwaves, blenders, food processers, juicers, and coffee machines. We don’t just have a television and VCR player in our lounge rooms, we have full home entertainment systems. We have desktop computers, portable computers, tablets, smartphones, game consoles, printers, and scanners. Yet your home still has the same number of power outlets it had when it was built, and in many cases that was decades ago.

The wiring hasn’t changed, so how is it meant to cope with all these new electrical devices? A common problem for many households is that they don’t have enough outlets to power everything, and this can be dangerous. Overloading your circuit is hazardous, and it often results in your circuit breaker tripping.

Circuit breakers are designed to handle a certain electrical load. You should always ensure you get your qualified electrician to work out the type of circuit breaker you need for the appliances you are running. For example, a Ground Fault Interrupter Breaker protects you from electric shocks that might result when an appliance is near a wet area.

If your circuit breaker overloads, it probably means you are using too many appliances running out of the same outlet. The circuit breaker will automatically switch off when too much is being demanded of it, in order to prevent electrical wiring from overheating and catching fire. If the circuit breaker overloads, it is pretty simple to switch it back on. Usually it’s just a means of flicking the circuit breaker switch back to the “on” position after removing the overload that caused it to trip.

You should be careful not to overload your outlets, particularly in an older home, and be aware of where you plug in appliances that use a considerable amount of power. Microwaves, for example, use a lot of power, so it is probably not wise to run another appliance from the same outlet.

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it could be faulty or there could be a short circuit. A qualified electrician will be able to diagnose the problem and replace your circuit breaker if need be.

Remember that working with electricity can be dangerous. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you are putting yourself in harm’s way, which is why it’s usually best to hire an electrical contractor. Call Matt Devitt Electrical today on 0437 670 317.