What Business Owners Should Know About Electrical Overloads

Do the lights go out when you turn on a computer? Does the outlet make a sizzling type of noise whenever you plug something into it? If you're experiencing these types of scenarios – you likely have an overload on your hands. Learn what you need to do.

What Is An Electrical Overload?

When your electrical system is overloaded, it's quite simple – you're using more electricity than your panel is designed to support. The more technical definition is an occurrence where a greater level of amperage is being span across an electrical circuit than it is able to support.

This issue can happen in older buildings that haven't had the panel updated in several years, in a business that has been added more office spaces or has installed several new large appliances without upgrading, such as an additional kitchen breakroom.


When you overload your electrical system, this is more than just a simple inconvenience. It can also pose a number of dangers. The most imminent threat is an electrical fire. When you overload your panel, the current doesn't properly flow through the connections and wires. The result is a breaker panel and wiring that overheats. As it overheats, it can start to burn and eventually catch on fire.

One of the greatest dangers about an electrical fire is that they often occur below the surface, as the fire can start in the wiring behind the wall and create a substantial fire before the building owner is even alerted. Even if you're lucky enough to avoid a fire, an overload can also cause substantial damage to the devices you have plugged.

Take Action

If you're experiencing any of these issues or you haven't had your system updated in some time, it's a good idea to take action. You can start your efforts by making a note of the issues you're experiencing. You then want to reach out to a local electrical contractor.

While the contractor will inspect your panel on their own, having this list of problems can help offer some insight as to what's going on with your panel. Should the contractor inform you that it's time to upgrade your system, make sure you aren't ignoring this recommendation. The protection of your business, employees and customers may depend on it.

An overloaded electrical system is an issue all business owners should approach with a high level of seriousness. Don't ignore this issue in your business, contact an electrician, like Plymouth Electric Inc.