Avoid Outlet Overload

Prevent the dangers that can occur by overloading an outlet with these helpful tips:

  • Never plug more than two appliances into an outlet at once or “piggyback” extra appliances on extension cords or wall outlets. Use only outlets designed to handle multiple plugs.
  • Know the amount of power you’re placing on an outlet. Some recommend each outlet should not exceed 1,500 watts.
  • Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc.) should be plugged directly into their own wall outlet since they are heavy power users.
  • If you find you are overloading an outlet in your home, you may need to contact a professional electrician to help resolve the problem.


You’ll also want to watch for these warning signs of electrical system overload. If you have any of these present, you should have your home inspected by a professional.

  • Lights often flicker, blink or dim momentarily
  • Circuit breakers trip or fuses blow often
  • Cords or wall plates are warm to the touch or discolored
  • Crackling, sizzling or buzzing is heard from outlets

Sources: National Fire Protection Association, Electrical Safety Foundation International, Safe Electricity, National Ag Safety Database