Over loaded outlets/ Tripping GFCI? This time of year is the number one season for house fires. How many Christmas lights do you have plugged in to a single circuit? Not a single outlet but with-in the circuit that the outlet or outlets are tied to. There are a few signs that will tell you that you have too much plugged in. Is the end of the plug warm or hot to the touch? Does your GFCI device trip when you have the lights plugged in for any period of time? Does a circuit breaker trip after a certain period of time? Is this breaker warm?


A 15 amp, 120 volt circuit can handle 1,440 watts of power. A 20 amp, 120 volt circuit can handle 1920 watts of power.  You can calculate this by looking at the package of lights and multiplying the number of total bulbs by the wattage of each bulb. Older homes need to be especially wary of the over loading problem due to the age and number of installed receptacles on a single circuit. If you have any of these issues with your outlets, breakers, or GFCI devices it would be of great benefit to have a licensed electrician look at the problem and give you an expert opinion.



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