The Black Friday sales are in full swing this year, and many people are in the stores looking for those exceptional deals on all things including household electronic appliances. Traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, both online and in-store, the period from Black Friday to Christmas makes up to 30% of the annual retails in the entire US.
Overload Circuits with Black Friday Purchases
The majority of Black Friday purchases involve major electronic appliances like TVs, surround sound systems, and multiple kitchen appliances. The only problem is that with these new purchases comes new responsibility; making sure your home electrical system is equipped to handle the extra workload. One of the main issues is overloading circuits.
What Happens When You Overload Circuits?
Major appliances are usually on their own dedicated circuits, like your refrigerator, freezer, washer/dryer, dishwasher, air conditioner, television, and surround sound system. If they are sharing the same circuit due to poor installation when bought (perhaps from an unsuspecting parent on Black Friday) they could trip the breaker, which results in a shutdown. This will prevent electrical fires from happening. But if this happens continuously through consistent overloading the breakers trip switch will wear down which can cause major issues and put your family in danger. We would advise that if you’re purchasing any major electrical appliances this Black Friday, make sure you know the correct and safe way to install them.
Very similar to overloading circuits the designated amount of electrical current that is supposed to normally flow from an outlet is hooked up to more appliances than it is capable of. Using too many extension cords, multiple plug adaptors, or appliances that draw high amps running at the same time can cause an outlet overload. The circuit breaker will trip, or the fuse will blow which will prevent an electrical fire from happening. But as in the above paragraph, these safety precaution devices will wear down, leaving you and your property exposed to the dangers of electrical fires.
Extension Cord Safety
With these new Black Friday purchases there comes the dilemma of trying to fit them all into one room (if warranted). That is why it might be surprising to find out that extension cords see a spike in their sales throughout the holiday period, from Black Friday to Christmas. When using extension cords be sure to follow these helpful tips:
- Purchase only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory.
- For outdoor projects, use only extension cords marked for outdoor use.
- Read the instructions (if available) for information about the cord’s correct use and the amount of power it draws.
- Select cords that are rated to handle the wattage of the devices with which they’ll be used. A cord’s gauge indicates its size: The smaller the number, the larger the wire and the more electrical current the cord can safely handle.
- Choose cords with polarized or three-prong plugs.
- For use with larger appliances, thick, round, low-gauge extension cords are best. For smaller appliances and electronics, you can use thin or flat cords.
Modernize Your Electrical System
If you live in an older dwelling that is not built electrically to withstand the demands of modern appliances, now is the time to get an upgrade. At East-West Electric we have the experience and capability to completely revamp your home’s inner electrical system. Here are just a few of the things that will not only help your electrical system handle the extra workload but make your home safer:
Installation of Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI Receptacles)
A GFI (or GFCI as mentioned above) is a Ground Fault Interrupter. It works by comparing the current on the neutral side to the input current on the hot side. If there is a difference between the two this means that there is a current leaking somewhere, quite possibly through a human. When this anomaly is detected, usually within 20 milliseconds, the power is shut off quickly, which should result in minimal electrical damage inflicted on the person.
Installation of Arc Fault Circuit Breakers
Or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) is a product that detects arcing electrical faults to reduce the chance of a fire being ignited at the source. Electrical fires are one of the main causes of death and destruction when it comes to electrical hazards. AFCI works by using advanced electronic technology to monitor the circuit for the presence of normal and unusual arcing conditions. AFCIs can detect and distinguish the low-level hazardous arcing currents, preventing electrical fires before they even occur.
Preparing Your House for New Black Friday Electronics | Clearwater Electrician
We all love purchasing new items for our homes to improve our quality of life. Whether it is a TV, Surround Sound System, Computer, or Home Automation system, you will need a modern electrical system in your home to withstand the demands of their energy requirements. If you’re experiencing regular circuit breaks and think it is the added pressure that these newly purchased items have an effect, call East-West Electric now at (727) 771-9403. You can also submit our online contact form and an experienced Clearwater electrician will come out to inspect your home for free.