Colorado has been seeing temperatures dip into negative double digits lately. Brrrr! One of the common issues we encounter this time of year is a blown fuse because of the use of a space heater…a completely understandable situation given the below-freezing temperatures. This can happen in business places as well as the home. So, what should be done when this occurs?
First of all: realize that the electrical system was probably overloaded by the use of the space heater. A fuse may have blown, and a breaker may be tripped, a safety feature that prevents damage or fire. Discontinue use of the space heater and any other appliances or lights that may have been affected. Unplug all items you think may be on the same circuit. Turn all switches for lights to “off.”
Second, check all outlets for black marks. Sniff near large and small appliances for any new or strange smells. Check cords and plugs for melting and bent prongs. If you encounter any of these concerns or don’t feel comfortable working with your electrical panel, consider giving us a call. Always remember: safety first. Quality Service is licensed and insured. You’re hiring a professional when you call us.
If you would like to do some of your own troubleshooting, find the electrical panel which is generally located in the garage, basement or utility room. Make sure your hands are dry and there is no water anywhere nearby (especially on the floor underneath your feet). Observe all of the breakers to check their alignment. If you see a breaker that’s moved from the “on” position to the “off” position or is positioned halfway between, move this breaker completely to the “off” position first, then move it over to the “on” position to restore power to the circuit. Bonus points if you hear a solid clicking noise when you move the breaker to the “off” and “on” positions.
Finally, test the circuit by turning lights back on, plugging in appliances, and/or running small appliances. If everything is working as it was previously, you can continue as before being careful not to overload the circuit again. You may want to consider moving the space heater to a different circuit, if possible, or being careful of how many items are being run at the same time.
If you still experience power outages, you may have a more serious electrical problem on your hands and it’s time to call a professional. Quality Service is just a phone call away: (970) 834-3003.