Electrical Problems, Overloaded Circuits

How do you know if you have an electrical problem?

Hi everyone, Your Edmonton Electrician here to answer your questions about any electrical problems you may have! In today’s post on your Edmonton Electrician we bring up common questions and concerns regarding how you may know if you do in fact need a electrician!

Frequent blowing fuses or breakers tripping? Are electrical extension Cords your permanent solution? Do you have funky odours? Does it smell like electrical burning? Do you hear electrical buzzing from your plugs? Buzzing from your wall switches? These are common household electrical issues that we resolve everyday. As your Edmonton electrician we provide a quality service in an industry where quality electrical contractors can be hard to find. Below we will get into what electrical issues you might see, and what electrical issues may be beyond your everyday senses.

Today on this edition of your edmonton electrician we touch on the frequent topic of overloaded circuits. This refers to frequently tripping breakers, or blown electrical fuses. First of all, if you still have fuses in your home, this is a wake up call to have a qualified electrician come in and replace your old fusebox with a breaker panel. You may not see it, but fuses in a home can become a major problem down the road. Call your edmonton electrician if you are at all curious of why a fuse box could be potentially disastrous.  For starters screw in fuses especially are prone to arcing and creating electrical fires. There’s good reason that new homes have breaker panels and not fuse boxes. Like anything in the real world, electrical parts can fail or become ineffective. Breakers and fuses are no different. With time and use breakers will fail. Usually if you find yourself having to reset a breaker there is a problem. Under normal conditions you should not have to reset your breakers. As your Edmonton Electrician we always advise those who must frequently reset their breakers to contact their Edmonton Electrician. If you need to keep resetting a circuit breaker, it is trying to tell you something. That breaker is doing its job by telling you that something is wrong. At that point there can be a small number of problems. With certified licensed electricians we come to the following conclusions in these situations. The circuit with the tripping breaker is overloaded. This is one of the most common electrical problems. As your Edmonton Electrician we come across this problem daily. If you have a vacuum, washer, heater, or most electric kitchen appliances on a circuit with something else, then the chances are good that your circuit breaker is going to trip. A home can have many high current drawing loads, especially in kitchens. Generally if it has a heater or a motor, or a pump, you don’t want to run that and something else at the same time, in your home. Overloaded circuits are very common but should never be overlooked. When you have an overloaded circuit it is time to call a professional reliable electrical contractor. As your edmonton electrician we are always available to take you from an overloaded circuit to a safe electrical system. With overloaded circuits problems can snowball. If you find that you had to frequently reset a breaker multiple times and then for some reason you don’t need to anymore, this is a major electrical problem. Breakers can fail open which is good in a way because then you can’t continue overloading a circuit. This is a good time to call your edmonton electrician and have them come and replace your circuit breaker. However if a breaker should fail closed on you, then at this point you are relying on your main breaker to stop an overloaded circuit. This is extremely problematic. If you have a 14 AWG wire on a 15A breaker that has been seized closed and you continually overload this circuit you will have a fire hazard. 14 AWG Wire in your home should not be protected by any breaker sized greater than 15A for the concern of a fire hazard. This is in the Canadian Electrical Code 2018, table 2, as well as directly on rule 14-104. On this same topic, on older homes there have been federal, federal pioneer, and federal pacific brand name breakers. These are known for high failure rates, in addition to electrical fires. If you ever find that you ARE able to run high current loads on the same circuit without it tripping and you also have a federal, federal pacific, or federal pioneer panel then you may be at risk for an overloaded circuit without even knowing! If this is the case it may be time to call a reliable electrical contractor. If you find your main service panel is a nova line, federal pioneer, federal, or federal pacific or has the old federal pioneer stab lok breakers then you may be at risk for an electrical house fire. As your Edmonton Electrician we greatly encourage you to contact us for a free in home estimate. Due to a number of factors like grounding and bonding, distance from meter, number of breakers, sizes of wires, accessibility and furthermore there is no blanket cost for a panel upgrade. With that said simple panel swap upgrades in our region range anywhere from $1500 – $3000 with certain exceptions requiring more time and money. This can be a hard bill to swallow. It’s a hard bill to justify if your home is continuing on how it is. However it could be a deadly decision not to. Call your edmonton electrician today and get your free in home estimate.

On another note, should you have frequently tripping breakers or blown fuses and an overloaded electrical circuit is not the issue it could be something else. Usually adding another circuit or relocating the high current drawing load will fix the problem. If this is not the case then your problem lies in a couple of areas, typically your service or the device. As your edmonton electrician we always advise our customers to look for the stamps of CSA or UL on any new products they choose to bring into their home. These reflect the Canadian Standards association and the underwriters laboratories standards associations. These organizations help ensure the products are suitable for safe use in canada. If a product does not have these certifications then it may be a dangerous item to be bringing into an electrical system, especially in a residential home. If you have tried your device on numerous circuits and it trips the majority, then the problem will lie either with your device, or with the fact that it may not be rated for the right electrical specifications that it has been tried with. Further up the line in uncommon situations the problem may lie with your main electrical service. In rare cases a main breaker can fail on one line of your incoming power. This would mean essentially that half of the house will work electrically. It would also mean that anything requiring the 240v difference will be non functional until the issue has been fixed. This means your electric dryer, electric stove, any 220/240VAC loads in your home would be non functional. In a more common scenario a neighbor may have done some improper electrical work in their home and shorted out the blocks transformer up the line from their home. This electrical work is illegal, against code, and will bring further issues from your local power authority, whether it be EPCOR, FORTIS, or another similar power provider. All electric panel work or meter work should be disconnected up the line, whether it be from the meter, or through the power linesman at the pole, transformer, or electrical distribution. This work is completed through a detailed permit process, typically with a certified licensed master electrician and coordination with the appropriate power authority. Now Should all the power to your home become disconnected and you have zero power whatsoever this can be narrowed down to a few options. Either one, your main breaker has failed, or two your service provider is having a power outage, or three a cable or splice has broken between your provider and the circuits in your home. As your Edmonton electrician we strongly recommend you call a proffessional electrician in this case. Issues like these have the risk to bring on greater problems when they are not handled by a professional electrician.

As your edmonton electrician we at Hauer Power Electrical Inc have master electricians, journeyman electricians, red seal electricians to have your electrical project done safely. Big or small we wire it all, because if it has wires, then it needs us. WCB accredited, licensed, and insured, we are ready to solve your electrical problem, today! Call us for an on site estimate free of charge, to your home or business, and let’s get in touch today!

As your Edmonton Electrician we can fix this for you today!

Give us a call for a FREE in home estimate!

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