Now that summer is in full swing, you’re probably working on your tan, swimming, and enjoying s’mores by the fire. Summer provides plenty of opportunity for rest and relaxation, but are you prepared for all the potential electrical issues you may encounter? To make sure your entire summer is smooth sailing, check out these common summer electrical issues, how to prevent them, and how to fix them if they occur.
You’ve probably heard of a blackout, but what about a brownout? While a blackout is when you completely lose power, a brownout occurs when energy demand is so high that partial power outages occurs. A blackout is unexpected and can last for hours or days. In contrast, brownouts are planned by the utility companies. System capacity is reduced to control the high demand. You’ll notice that a brownout may be on the verge if your lights start flickering or your appliances are making groaning noises. There’s nothing you can do to prevent or manage this, as it’s controlled not by one person, but by high energy demand caused by high temperatures. Utility companies do recommend that you refrain from using appliances and electronics if possible. The voltage will fluctuate, so you may want to unplug electronic devices entirely, especially the ones that require a lot of power.
Tripping the Circuit Breaker
You may notice that you are frequently tripping the circuit breaker in your home during the summertime, and it could be because you are running your air conditioner. When you trip the circuit breaker, it is because the circuit cannot safely handle all the electricity flowing through. The circuit trips to prevent a fire. Avoid plugging in too many high-energy appliances and electronics to the same circuit. Move electronics to another circuit or stagger your usage. If you notice that you continue to trip the circuit breaker, it’s time to call your electrician. You may have faulty wiring.
If you’re plugging in window air conditioners and fans throughout your home to keep it cool, be sure that you aren’t overusing extension cords. Extension cords shouldn’t be used as a permanent solution, but rather a temporary solution. While you are using them, check them for damage. If they are warm down the length of the cord, stop using them immediately. Cords may also be a tripping hazard, but you should not bury them under rugs. If you find yourself relying on extension cords too often, tamper resistant outlets should be installed by your electrician instead.
At Nies Electric, we are happy to help you with all your home electric needs. Contact us today!