A smoking or melting circuit breaker is a scary sight. Smoke, scorch marks, and burning smells are all signs of a serious problem with your electrical system. Smoking or melting circuit breakers are a significant safety hazard that can harm you and your Dallas home. Damaged circuit breakers may cause electrocution, shock, and fire.
Failing circuit breakers may also damage your appliances and other electrical equipment. When you notice warning signs like smoke or melting, you must act quickly to prevent an electrical fire. Shut off the power to the circuit, and call our electricians at Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric. An experienced electrician will diagnose the cause of the smoking circuit breaker. Depending on the cause of the failing circuit breaker, we will repair or upgrade your home’s circuit breaker.
The Importance of Circuit Breakers to Your Dallas Home
Circuit breakers perform an important safety function in your home. A circuit breaker monitors the amount of electrical current flowing through the circuit. The circuit breaker senses sudden increases or decreases in the amount of current. Sudden fluctuations in the current indicate several potential safety hazards.
When the circuit breaker senses sudden fluctuations in the current, the breaker trips and shuts off the electrical current. This action prevents damage to your appliances, wires, and other electrical components. More importantly, cutting off the electrical current may prevent electric shock, electrocution, and electrical fires.
The Parts of a Circuit Breaker
Every circuit breaker features an on-off switch, a current detector, and a tripping mechanism. When the switch is in the on position, electricity moves through the circuit. If you flip the switch to the off position, electricity stops flowing through the circuit. The circuit breaker also features a mechanism with either a bimetallic strip or a magnet. When the bimetallic strip or magnet detects a change in current, the mechanism trips the circuit breaker. This mechanism stops the electricity and prevents electrical damage or fire.
Every circuit breaker has a rating that tells the electrician how much electrical current the breaker can handle. Electrical components and appliances that require electricity draw a certain number of amps from the circuit. Some appliances, like air conditioners, water heaters, and hot tubs, demand a lot of electrical power. These appliances need a circuit that provides the right amount of power. When you plug too many electrical components into one circuit, the available voltage drops. You may notice that your lights flicker and your appliances slow down. An electrician can inspect your circuit breaker to ensure your electronics don’t exceed the rating.
Causes of a Smoking or Melting Circuit Breaker
An overloaded circuit occurs when your electrical components draw more power than the circuit can supply. The excess electrical current creates heat, which may melt or damage the circuit. When you have an overloaded circuit, you may notice melted wires and insulation. You may see scorch marks around the circuit. If you suspect you have an overloaded circuit, call an electrician immediately.
Water, moisture, exposed wires, and faulty wiring can cause an electrical problem known as a short circuit. Short circuits occur when the electrical circuit deviates from the intended circuit path. This short circuit sends excessive heat to another point on the circuit. The sudden heat surge heats the wires. Wires and insulation may smoke and burn. Homeowners may notice sparks and arcs of electricity. This is a fire hazard that requires prompt attention from an experienced electrician.
If you notice that your lights frequently dim or your electrical appliances aren’t performing normally, you may have a defective circuit. As your home ages, so do your electrical components. Over time, your home’s circuits may show signs of wear and tear from use. Moisture may corrode the circuit. Insulation may break down with age. These conditions can cause frayed and exposed wiring. You may notice overloading and short-circuiting. An electrician from Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric can diagnose and fix this problem. Our team members can replace or upgrade your circuits.
Prevent Circuit Breaker Hazards With Regular Maintenance
While a smoking and melting circuit breaker is a serious hazard, Dallas-Fort Worth homeowners have options to prevent these emergencies. Regular maintenance can prevent many of the common problems with circuit breakers. These appointments are important for keeping you and your family safe from electrical hazards, including electrical fires.
During a maintenance appointment, the electrician will conduct a thorough inspection. This inspection begins with a visual inspection of your circuit breaker panel. Our team looks for common indicators of damage, including corrosion, burn marks, loose wires, and damaged insulation. We also may spot unusual odors from heat, moisture, and rodents.
The electrician will ask you about any unusual behavior from your electrical components, such as flickering lights. We also test the circuit breakers that function properly. Our team members also test the capacity of each circuit breaker using a digital multimeter (DMM.) A digital multimeter measures voltage, current, and amps. This device helps an electrician diagnose problems like overloaded or short circuits. Based on their findings, the electrician can make necessary repairs and upgrades that can prevent dangerous problems like a melted circuit breaker.
During an electrical inspection, the electrician also will inspect your home’s wiring. We’ll look for frayed wires and loose connections that can cause expensive repairs or safety hazards. We’ll fix any wires and ensure your electrical devices perform properly. An important part of a maintenance visit includes ensuring your home’s electrical system is up to current building codes.
We also check for unsafe practices, like daisy-chaining power strips or plugging too many devices into one outlet. Our team members also check your outlets for any signs of discoloration or damage. We test GFCI outlets to ensure correct wiring. If necessary, the electrician will fix any wiring and make other repairs. In some cases, we may recommend moving the GFCI outlet to a safer location.
During a maintenance appointment, our electrician also will take a look at your meter. Your home’s meter can indicate common electrical problems. The electrical meter indicates your electric usage. During a maintenance visit, our electricians will check for unusual readings and ensure the meter is functioning.
Regular maintenance is important for ensuring that your electrical system is safe. By hiring an electrician from Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric, you can prevent common causes of electrical fires, including melting and smoking circuit breakers.
Keeping You Safe in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area!
At Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric, we pride ourselves on keeping our customers safe. Our team members prioritize your peace of mind. We respond quickly to your electrical repair and maintenance requests. We can replace outdated wiring and upgrade your electrical panel. For added peace of mind, we also offer surge protector and generator installation, repair, and maintenance. We can help you add an extra layer of security to your home before the bad weather hits. For owners of electric vehicles, we also can install an EV charging station in your home. We know that your home is your prized possession, so we can help you with your other home repair needs with your heating, cooling, and plumbing systems. Customers all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area call us for their air conditioner repair, drain line cleaning, and pipe repairs. There is nothing our team can’t handle.
Prevent common circuit breaker and electrical problems by scheduling an inspection with Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric today.