For most people, electricity is the lifeblood of their lives. They rely on it to run electronics, appliances, machines, and any other home-based systems. But despite all the technological leaps so far, electrical faults can occur at home anytime.
In some cases, bad wiring or an overloaded circuit breaker might cause such a fault, but there are still a few other less-obvious causes. Discover some of the most common electrical faults at home and how to fix them.
Circuit Breaker Tripping
A circuit breaker is an automatic device that controls the flow of electricity in a circuit. When it detects an overload or short circuit in the system, it cuts off the power supply to prevent accidental damage to the wiring system.
Some of the major causes of a tripping breaker include:
- A Short Circuit
The circuit breaker senses that too much current flows through a certain conductor section in the system with very little resistance and trips off immediately to protect your system against accidental fires.
- A Circuit Overload
When too much current flows through all conductors in the system (including both neutral and live wires), the circuit breaker trips immediately to prevent damage to the entire wiring system.
- Faulty Circuit Breakers and Fuses
Your circuit breakers and fuses may become ineffective and break power off unnecessarily when they get old.
Other than an overloaded circuit, all other causes require the intervention of an expert. Therefore, if you unplug some of the connected devices and the tripping persists, reach out to an electrician. They can help determine the actual cause and come up with a lasting solution.
A hot outlet is a serious electrical hazard that you need to take seriously. It occurs when an electromagnetic field generated by a live wire causes the temperature inside the outlet to increase.
Other reasons for a hot outlet include:
- Plugging in too many appliances at the same time heats up the outlet and may even cause it to catch fire.
- Using a damaged power extension cord or adaptor. In case of a short circuit, the connected outlet will get very hot.
- Unplugging an appliance from the outlet while power is still on. You can damage your outlet as well as the connected device.
You should turn all your appliances off before you plug them in to solve this problem. Also, check for any damage on your power adaptors and replace them if you suspect a problem. Most importantly, never overload your power outlets with too many electrical devices. Contact an electrician for more information.