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What Happens When You Overload An Outlet?

With the world changing and many of us still working from home, the amount of electricity we are using increases – and our electrical outlets work harder to keep us going. But what happens when you overload your outlet? 

How Do You Overload An Outlet?

Looking down at your extension cord to see a tangle of plugs and wire should raise a little concern. You can definitely overload your circuit by adding too many plugs to your outlet, and you can even cause a fire. The overload occurs when you are passing too much current through the circuit, constantly causing the breaker box to reset and eventually wear out. With too much electrical current, heat starts to build up – and can even be enough to start a house fire. 

What Happens If My Outlet Stops Working? 

If your outlet stops working entirely, it’s because your breaker has tripped. Don’t worry, your outlet isn’t completely broken. You can fix this by resetting the breaker. If your outlet looks damaged in any way, maybe disformed or bent, this means that there was some sort of larger problem – maybe a heating or an electrical fire. In this case, do not reset your breaker. Instead, call an electrical services company to completely replace your outlet. 

What Can I Do To Prevent An Overload? 

After learning about how dangerous an overload can be, being aware of what constitutes proper electrical safety is key. Most importantly, if your plugs start to get incredibly hot, unplug them from the electrical outlet. Beyond the possibility of starting a fire, you could also damage whatever electronics are attached and burn yourself, as well. 

Another good practice in electrical safety is knowing what voltage your circuit can hold – as well as how much current you are taking from the circuit. The voltage is like the pressure of a circuit, measured in volts – so think of it as its power. The current is the amount of energy, expressed in amps, found on any of the appliances you’re using. Understanding both components of your electrical appliances is a step closer in making sure you and your home are safe. 

Stay safe by calling Gulf Coast Electric, the most trustworthy electrical company in Destin, to speak to our employers and get your outlets inspected today.