Circuit Breaker Loads
Most office and laboratory locations have 20 amp circuit breakers that serve two or more outlets. These breakers can handle most office equipment; however, the widespread use of personal computers and associated hardware can create an electrical overload. To determine your current electrical load, follow these steps:
- Check office/laboratory equipment for a manufacturer's rating label that indicates total watts or amps. Take special care to check appliances that use electricity to generate heat.
- Convert the watts rating to amps: Amps = Watts ? 120 Volts
- Total the amps for each circuit.
- If the total equals more than 15 amps per 20 amp circuit, you may overloading the circuit. Move enough equipment to a different circuit to reduce the circuit load; otherwise, have the Physical Plant inspect the circuit wiring.
4. Electrical Grounding
Proper electrical grounding can help prevent electrical injury. Most electrical equipment is grounded with either a three-prong plug or a two-prong plug and insulation. Because a grounding system may be defective without your knowledge, use a GFCI to ensure electrical safety. GFCIs are required in moist or potentially damp environments.
5. Electrical Panels
Electrical panels or breaker boxes require special safety considerations, including the
- Know where your panel box is located.
- Do not tape circuit switches to keep a breaker from tripping.
- Ensure that breaker circuits are accurately labeled within panel boxes.
- Ensure that panel box doors are securely attached.
- Do not block panel boxes. There should be at least 36 inches of clear space in front of a panel box.
Report tripped breakers and refer any electrical questions to the Physical Plant.