on March 5, 2014
Our home is 40 years old. In my bedroom bath we have a 4-way lamppost light fixture that holds 4 60w bulbs. I was blow-drying my hair using a 1,500-watt dryer and I heard a pop. All electric in the bath cut off sharply and now nothing comes on and the light switch seems looser. No other part of the house was affected. Could you tell me what happened and what can we do?
Betty, we can only assume what happened. It sounds like you overloaded the circuit in your bathroom.
If your hairdryer and the lamppost were plugged into the same receptacle, then chances are you blew a GFI circuit breaker or a fuse. If you have checked the fuse panel and found that all is OK then you must start looking for the GFI breaker that controls the circuit for your bathroom.
A GFI receptacle contains its own breaker system (two plugs with two buttons in the center). One button tests the circuit and the other resets it. The GFI breaker isn’t always located in the room where everything goes off. Sometimes the breaker is located in a different bathroom or in the garage. If you can’t picture what a GFI breaker looks like just go down to your hardware store and ask the person there to show you one. The minute you see it you will recognize it and finding it in your own home will be much easier. And from now on leave the lights off when you are drying your hair. Better yet — get four compact fluorescents and reduce the 240 watts currently being used by your pole lamp to 54 watts. You’ll have the same amount of light as before, but you will be using 75% less energy. Aren’t you smart! And, good luck! If you need electrical guidance make sure you contact electrical professionals such as those from W3 Electric: electrical installation in Rowlett, TX
. A licensed electrician can help ensure that your electrical system is safely installed and prevent accidents.