Did half your lights go out and everybody shouted out, "Not again!" A popping circuit breaker can be an indication your home is in need of professional electrical service. Circuit breakers are designed to switch off power to the circuit when too much electricity is being drawn through the lines, preventing a short and possibly a fire.
Older Homes were Designed for a Smaller Electrical Load
If your home was built more than 20 years ago, its electrical panel was likely not designed to support the demand being used on a regular basis. Many times all the lights and outlets serving the bedrooms were all tied together on a single breaker. Back then, you did not expect every room to support laptops, flat-screen TVs, powered toys, towel warmers, heated dog beds…the list goes on. The breaker is probably not an indication of a fault in the wiring, but simply too many devices drawing power all at once.
Too Many Small Appliances Add Up
Every small appliance in your home draws a small, but measurable, amount of electricity just by being plugged into the wall. When the blender, toaster, and coffee maker are all working at the same time, you can pop a breaker. Having multiple circuits for each room allows the power to be spread out across your electrical panel, which decreases the heat generated through a single wire—improving your home's safety while keeping the lights on.
Adding a Breaker or Upgrading the Panel
A qualified electrician is able to simply add an extra circuit by installing an extra breaker into your existing panel. Before completing the job, it is wise to have a power assessment completed for your home, which will determine if your panel is in need of a total upgrade. Many modern homes now include a 150 to 200 amp electrical service able to support the higher demand for all the new tech toys. A house built in the last century will likely only have 100 amp service, which may be maxed out, resulting in those popped breakers during Sunday dinner.
If you breakers are popping, give us a call at Harrison Electric to schedule an inspection with one of our licensed electricians and get a quick quote to upgrade your electrical service for the 21st Century.