Busting 2 Household Electrical Myths

Keeping tabs on the state of your electrical panels and house wiring can help keep your appliances safe and prevent short circuits or devastating electrical fires. It is important that an electrician comes in to replace old wires and to inspect outlets that appear charred or discolored.

Other signs that all is not well with your home electrical circuit include flickering lights, sparks on switches, or a burning smell in outlets. To help you better understand and maintain your electrical system, read on to learn the truth behind 2 circuit breaker and electrical panel myths. 

You shouldn't worry about circuit breakers that trip repeatedly

Circuit breakers are often located on your home's main electrical panel, and their main job is to cut off power surges so as to prevent circuits from overheating and prevent damage to appliances. However, a circuit breaker that trips constantly is a cause of concern, as it could point to a short circuit in the wiring that should be addressed by an electrician. Breakers also trip if they are defective or if there are too many appliances pulling power from one circuit. 

Before concluding that a breaker is defective, you must first rule out the possibility of an overload. To do this, go to the breaker that is tripping and check for a label next to it that usually indicates the appliances it is protecting. Next, disconnect all appliances on that particular circuit and then turn the breaker back on. If the switch flops back and forth without a definite click when you turn it on, the breaker has probably gone bad. 

However, if the breaker works fine and doesn't trip immediately, then the problem is likely an overloaded that can be resolved by moving some appliances to a different circuit. If the breaker still trips with no appliances on the circuit, then it is defective and should be replaced. 

You don't need a surge protector in your electrical panel

Just because there are circuit breakers in the panel to protect from short circuits or an overload doesn't mean that your home and appliances are safe. Wrongly sized wires attached to the breakers or loose/arching connections could cause power surges to reach your appliances. At times, old and defective breakers may also fail to trip as they should and cause an overload in the system. 

Having a surge protector installed in your main electrical panel can help protect your electrical devices in case a breaker fails. Such a device will likely offer protection to your AC unit, hot tub, garage door opener, and other appliances that you may not be able to guard with a point of use surge protector. 

For more information, talk with a local electrical repair company, like Narducci Electric.