Signs of Overloading and Overheating of Conductors

As a homeowner, you need to know the signs your conductors are overheating. However, as trends have consistently shown, most homeowners don’t have the necessary details to help them understand when their conductors are overloading and are thus forced to spend money to buy new conductors. Here are some of the signs your conductors are overloading.

1. Buzzing or Sparking

If your conductors are overloaded, you will constantly hear a buzzing or sparking noise. The sound will be more pronounced when you touch the conductor with your hand. The current passing causes the sound through the conductor. If you hear this noise, it’s time to unplug some of the appliances and devices connected to the circuit. The regular occurrence of this noise indicates that you need to upgrade your electrical system.

2. Tripped Circuit Breakers or Blown Fuses

If you have a lot of devices and appliances running on the same circuit, you will likely trip the circuit breaker or blow a fuse. This usually happens when the conductor gets too hot and can’t handle the current anymore. If this happens frequently, you need to get a new circuit breaker or install a higher-capacity fuse. Make sure to call a professional electrician to do this for you.

3. Burning Smell

Another sign that your conductor is overloaded is when you smell burning from the electrical panel or outlet. This happens when the insulation on the conductor melts due to the heat. You need to turn the power off immediately and call an electrician to replace the conductor. Allowing this to continue can have devastating consequences, such as starting an electrical fire.

4. Discoloration

If you notice that your outlets and switches are discolored, it’s another sign of an overloaded conductor. The heat from the current passing through will cause the plastic to change color. In some cases, the plastic might even start to melt. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately. You must ensure the power is turned off and call an electrician to inspect the problem.

5. Flickering or Dimming Lights

The issue of flickering or dimming lights is a tricky one. Sometimes it could be caused by an overloaded conductor. However, it could also be caused by a loose connection or a faulty appliance. If you notice that the lights are flickering or dimming frequently, have an electrician check your electrical system to determine the cause. You don’t have to wait until the lights go out entirely before you act.

6. Regular Power Problems

The issue of power problems is another tricky one. Sometimes, the problem could be caused by an overloaded conductor. However, it could also be caused by a faulty appliance or a loose connection. If you notice that you’re having power problems regularly, have an electrician check your electrical system to determine the cause.


If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call an electrician. Trying to fix the problem yourself is not worth the risk, and electrical work is best left to the professionals. Not only will they be able to fix the problem quickly and efficiently, but they will also be able to advise you on how to prevent the problem from happening again. Contact Ham’s Electric, Inc. today to schedule a consultation.