Just because one of your appliances is acting up doesn’t mean it’s limited to that one appliance. A faulty appliance can send electrical surges into your home’s electrical system. This can cause damage to other appliances, worse, it can lead to destructive electrical fires.
Malfunctioning Appliances and Your Home Electrical System
When a faulty appliance sends bursts of electricity into your electrical system, the circuit breaker is supposed to trip. If this happens, it’s your first indication that something is wrong. Circuits trip to prevent further damage to the electrical system. Therefore, you shouldn’t just flip the breaker back on and ignore what is causing it. Ignoring the problem will only make the problem worse and potentially more dangerous. So even though circuit breakers are designed for protection, appliances that are malfunctioning can lead to surge damage, physical damage and fire damage.
Appliance & Power Surge Damage
If you’re like most homeowners, your computer is plugged into a surge protector. You most likely have your TV and other electronics plugged into one too. You may even have a whole-home surge protector installed in your home. Surge protectors work to protect sensitive microprocessors from getting damaged when a power surge occurs. These power surges happen when there is a lightning strike or a power outage. These surges can happen internally and can happen every day. Small surges of power can be sent to air conditioners and refrigerators when they initially switch on and use extra power. Many times, these smaller surges of power are sent to appliances that share the same circuit. This is when faulty appliances can send too much power and affect other appliances. When this happens, these appliances can be permanently damaged in a split second. These smaller surges can also cause cumulative damage that can decrease the life of the appliance.
Physical Electrical Hazard & Damage
Larger surges can burn electrical components, literally. These include the fragile connectors in light switches and electrical outlets. These components can be replaced, but you’ll always remember from the scorch marks or melted plastic are left behind. A fraction of a second is all it takes for a surge to make a switch or outlet inoperable. This damage can even happen if the breaker has tripped. It’s important to contact a licensed electrician to replace any damaged components and to determines the source of the surges.
Fire & Smoke Damage from Broken Appliances
The worst outcome from a malfunctioning appliance is an electrical short that sparks a fire. This can happen when tiny fires flare out inside metal appliances that can ignite insulation, curtains, wallpaper or other material. This can cause fires to get out of hand quickly. For this reason, it’s extremely important to determine the root of the issue or dealing with the appliance that is malfunctioning. It is also important to make sure you have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for the safety of your home and family.