An overloaded circuit occurs when you plug too many appliances in outlets within the same circuit. If a circuit can only handle 15 amps but the total actual load is 20 amps, it will cause your circuit breaker to trip. In a worst-case scenario, if you don’t have safety breakers or fuses installed, it could start a fire. At a minimum, the tripping of the circuit is an inconvenience.
When a breaker trips, you need to unplug the appliances that you think are the culprit for the overload. Usually, these are appliances that consume big electrical loads, like the microwave, water heater, electric kettle, hairdryer, stove, and refrigerator. By standard, large appliances like refrigerators and stoves have a dedicated circuit. In case you don’t know it yet, don’t plug another appliance into the same outlet like that for the refrigerator.
Open your electrical panel and then look at the breakers. Breakers have an on and off switch. A tripped breaker will have its switch in between the on and off positions. If your breakers are correctly labeled, you will see it easily. Once you’ve seen it, turn the circuit breaker off and then wait for a few seconds. When you turn it on, the power for the circuit will be restored again. If it trips again, it means that there’s still another appliance that needs to be unplugged or there could be a problem with the circuit breaker itself.
To avoid circuit overloading in the future, you should plug appliances in a circuit that has a spare load. Also, avoid using extension cords because they are only meant for short-term usage.
You can also contact a licensed American Air electrician. Tell him which circuits you usually have problems with; the electrician can troubleshoot the issue and make a recommendation. This may involve adding to the circuit breaker so it can handle more loads. Overloading can also happen when the wiring connections are faulty and have already corroded. An expert electrician can also inspect these and recommend a course of action.