Back to Basics: Tips to Prevent Overloading Circuits and Blowing Fuses

 

We’ve all been there: blow drying our hair, vacuuming up, turning on the kitchen blender, only to have the lights go out from an overloaded circuit, and ultimately, a blown fuse. Wires and a variety of devices being plugged in are all a part of our everyday lives, so it’s easy to forget that they can easily overload a home’s circuit breaker, until it’s too late. Luckily, the experts at Farryn Electric have three tips that can help shed some light on this topic, so you can keep your circuit breaker happy, your fuses from blowing and your home running smoothly.

shutterstock_560399305Breaker and Wattage Conversion is Key
In order to figure out how many devices you can plug in without blowing a fuse, you must first figure out how many circuits your panel can handle. To figure this out, open your electrical panel to find the information of how many amps each circuit can handle without being overloaded. From here, multiply the amperage rating by 120 volts—this will give you your total wattage capacity. For example, the maximum wattage of a 15-amp circuit (multiplied by 120 volts) is 1,800 watts.

Keep Extension Cord Usage to a Minimum
A tripping circuit breaker can be a pain, so if you want to keep this from happening, you may want to think twice the next time you whip out your an extension cord as an easy solution. While extension cords can give your circuit some temporary relief, it’s important to note that they are not a long-term solution. And as with most things in life that come with a user manual, it’s important to read the one that comes with your extension cord and to follow the tips in it provided by the manufacturer.

Wattage Comparison is Crucial for Plugged-In Devices
Between kitchen appliances, grooming tools, entertainment devices, cleaning equipment and light bulbs, it can be easy to not realize how many things we have plugged in—until a fuse is blown, that is. Here’s a quick list of some devices you may plug in daily (or always have plugged in) to give you an idea of how much your circuit is being utilized:

  • Dishwasher (1,200-2,400 watts)
  • Blow dryer (600-1,200 watts)
  • Television (200-500 watts)
  • Speakers (220-1000 watts)
  • Vacuum cleaner (250-1,200 watts)
  • Light bulb (20-250 watts)

To decrease your chances of blowing a fuse, compare the wattage and amperage rating of each of these devices with the amount of power your circuits can handle. This information should be easy to find on their packaging, rating plates or tags. Once you know these numbers, it will be easy to determine if your circuit is overloaded or not.

If you’re finding that you’re constantly cursing (in the dark) because of a blown fuse, there may be an issue with your circuit’s wiring. The only way to figure this out? With the help of the experts at Farryn Electric! Not only do we have the tools and expertise to detect the issue for you, but we’ll easily fix it, so you can blow dry your hair, plug in those new surround-sound speakers and vacuum the day away without having to worry about blowing a fuse. Contact us today!

Beat the Heat: Knowing the Dangers of Space Heaters

Space Heaters

Space heaters can be a huge help during chillier days, but they can also be a huge safety hazard. From starting home fires to overloading circuits, space heaters can be a danger to you, your loved ones and your home. But knowledge is power, and the electrical experts at Farryn Electric are sharing our space heater knowledge with you, so they can heat your home, rather than hurt it.

We Didn’t Start the Fire, But They May
Space heaters pose both a shock and fire hazard—that is why it is crucial to check the unit regularly. Some things you should be checking for are frayed wires and accumulation of dust on the unit’s coils, grates or grill. Just as other appliances in your home have life spans, so does your space heater. If yours is an old model, upgrading to a newer model will provide you with an appliance that should have new and improved safety features. To help decrease the chances of being electrically shocked by your space heater, do not use one in a room where moisture builds up, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

It’s Easy to Feel the Burn…and Not in a Good Way
Many times, some areas of a space heater can become dangerously hot to the touch. When this happens, they pose a threat to children, pets and adults. For kids and your furry friends, a hot to the touch space heater means they are extremely vulnerable to getting burned; for adults, burns can occur by accidentally brushing against the hot surface. Another hazard that occurs in this situation is that clothes can catch on fire. To keep everyone and everything in your home safe, don’t leave pets or young kids alone with a space heater and opt for a unit that’s equipped with a protective guard around its heating element.

They Become a Burden When They Overload Circuits
Because space heaters use a lot of electricity, they can easily overload your circuits, which can result in a power failure or fire. To decrease your chances of overloading your circuits make sure you have dedicated circuits installed, just as you would a washer or gas dryer. If you’re using an extension cord with your space heater—or if you’re utilizing the extension cord to power too many appliances in general—contact a professional who will ensure your electrical outlets and your home are safe.

Top Heavy Heaters Are Not to Be Taken Lightly
When it comes to space heaters, bigger does not necessarily mean better. In fact, tall space heaters are particularly susceptible to tipping over, which means they pose a higher threat of starting a fire.  Although the industry has taken great steps in installing anti-tip detection, older models may not have this safety mechanism.

Whether you need your electrical outlets repaired before you plug in your space heater or are interested in having permanent heating sources installed, Farryn Electric has what you need! Contact us today for all of your electrical needs.

 

Tips to Make Your Home’s Exterior Holiday Lights Sparkle Safely!

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Exterior holiday lighting brightens up the holiday season—it creates a heartwarming scene, it conjures up feelings of nostalgia and it makes homes glisten in the winter night—but decorating your home with these festive lights can create electrical safety issues that can harm you, your family and your winter wonderland. To protect your home this winter, the exterior lighting experts at Farryn Electric have come up with four ways to ensure your home can sparkle this holiday season, while also keeping it safe from electrical safety hazards.

Safely Use Extension Cords for Your Glowing Garlands
Adding lights to garland takes your home’s decorations to a whole other magical level, but they require the use of extensions cords—the right ones, that is. Whether you have garland accentuating your front door, wrapped around lamp posts or swirled around structural pillars, be sure to use extension cords that are specified for outdoor use only and that are in good condition with no fraying or other damage.

Embellish Walkways with Expertly Placed Wires
When you’re standing on a walkway lit up by sparkling lights, it’s hard to not feel like you’re walking through a winter wonderland. However, outlining your walkways, exterior steps and driveway with holiday lights requires a lot of wires—the placement of which matters. To prevent tripping, wire-damage and fire hazards, keep wires out of heavy foot traffic areas, away from areas that typically collect water and safely covered with products made to cover them.   

Illuminate Your Lawn with Lights Without Overloading Circuits
Too often, people forget that their lawn is prime real estate for holiday light decorations, but all this extra lighting can make your circuits work overtime. To ensure your don’t blow any circuits this holiday season, look at the amp-rating on your lights as well as the amount of lights your circuit can safely handle. To prevent electrical issues, it’s recommended that you should load your circuit up to 80%. If you have a 20-amp circuit, this means that you can safely handle 16-amp lights.  

Avoid Tree Fires When Lighting Up Your Landscaping
Landscape lighting will certainly make your home stand out this holiday season, but just as Christmas trees have been known to cause fires, so can your outdoor shrubbery. Whether you’re adding exterior lights to trees or bushes, avoid tree fires by utilizing LED lights—these are the safest choice in lighting because they emit the least amount of heat.

Realizing you have extension cords powering too many of your holiday decorations, need to fix an outlet issue or want help with your exterior lighting? Then enlist the help of a professional (after all, Santa doesn’t do all the work himself either)! At Farryn Electric, we make exterior lighting easy—from accent lighting on your home to lighting on your walkways and pillars, you can have a merry and bright home without having to stress about any electrical issues. Contact us today to set up your exterior lighting appointment!