circuit overload

Licensed Commercial Electricians in Ottawa

Circuits are made up of:

  • Wiring
  • Breaker or fuse
  • Devices (appliances, light fixtures, anything plugged into the outlet)

Each device being used adds to the total load of the circuit.  Using more than the designated load for the wiring causes the circuit breaker to trip or shut off power to the whole circuit.

Signs of Overloaded Circuits

When the circuit is overloaded, the breaker trips or shuts off all power.  There are some other indicators:

  • Dimming lights especially when another device is turned on
  • Buzzing outlets or switches
  • Outlet or switch covers that are warm to the touch
  • Burning odors
  • Scorched plugs or outlets
  • Devices (especially power tools or appliances) that seem to not have enough power.


If you notice any of these signs of overload, contact an electrician.  Overloads are serious and a licensed electrician should be able to help you plan a solution.