Overloaded circuit warning signs

How do you tell if a circuit is overloaded?

Estes Services 

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You may wonder: How do you tell if a circuit is overloaded? Well, there are numerous signs to be aware of, and, in this article, our expert Atlanta electricians will go over the common signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for that we've encountered in our more than 70 years of experience.

Smells and burning odors

When a circuit is overloaded, it means the appliance or device plugged into the outlet is drawing too much power and putting a strain on your current wiring setup.

One common, and potentially hazardous, symptom associated with a maxed-out circuit is burning and smelly odors. When wires become warm, or hot, the insulation covering the wiring begins to break down and emit a fishy or burning odor.

Avoiding this issue can increase your risk of igniting a house fire, so immediate attention is recommended to mitigate this symptom. This leads us to the next point, which is heated walls around wall outlets.

Heated walls

When too much current is drawn, it can not only emit a burning smell, but it also can release excessive heat. What does this mean for you? It may be that your home electrical wiring setup is being exceeded by its current load.

If you are experiencing warm walls around your home, including any discoloration around the wall and/or the electrical wall plates, you need to get in contact with a licensed electrician.


Flickering lights is also a sign of an overloaded circuit.

And, as a result of being overloaded, it can undersupply power to the devices connected to the outlet. Ultimately, this affects the flow of electricity and undersupplies the expected ratings and specifications of the appliances and devices connected to the circuit.

Mild shocks after touching appliances

Another serious and tell-tale warning of faulty electrical wiring is when you or a loved one is shocked upon touching any plumbing, electrical, or home appliances.

This requires immediate attention, as this means the current is flowing beyond the wiring and to other appliances that conduct the flow of electricity (e.g., other metal and moist surfaces).

Such reasons can include, but not limited to, a ground fault or improper wiring. Do not ignore this sign, as this can pose a life-threatening risk, such as shock or even electrocution.

Schedule service with the Estes Services team today if your home is showing these symptoms.

Circuit Breaker Trip

If you are having to make excessive visits to your circuit breaker box, be cautious of an overloaded home electrical wiring system.

Your current electrical setup may not be suitable for the demands of your appliances, and an upgrade to your wiring or electrical panel may be necessary, including possible circuit panel replacement.

If you're experiencing circuit breaker tripping, it's best to have the writing or panel expected by a licensed Atlanta electrician.

Fix Your Overloaded Circuit Issues with Estes Services

At Estes Services, we want to help you ensure the comfort and safety of your home electrical systems. We hope this article helped you better understand the signs of an overloaded circuit panel.

Our licensed electrical contractors at Estes Services will help you upgrade the proper electrical system for your home and lifestyle needs. We service the greater Atlanta area, including Alpharetta, Buckhead, Decatur, Druid Hills, Dunwoody, Fayetteville, Johns Creek, Kennesaw, Marietta, Midtown, Peachtree City, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Virginia Highland.