Short circuits are one of the common reasons behind damages to appliances and homes, in general. Here is an overview at the possible causes of short circuits and how you can prevent them.
What Is A Short Circuit?
A short circuit happens when a section of a wire that carries current gets in contact with another part of a circuit or a different wire and provides the electricity another path with less resistance. For instance, in case a wire with a defective insulation becomes exposed and hits a metal light switch, electrical current can flow through the light switch and lead to a shock.
To put it simply, a short circuit provides electricity a path with least resistance between 2 conductive points. These two points will have less resistance because they have less distance from one another. This also means your short circuit will give off more heat and may lead to burns and fires.
What Are Its Causes?
Short circuits can be brought on by different problems. The most common culprits are provided below.
Faulty Installation – damaged or old insulation lets live and neutral wires to touch, thus leading to a short circuit. Age, screw and nail punctures can also cause insulation or wire casings to deteriorate and trigger short circuits.
Loose Connections – attachments can easily loosen up and in some cases these let live and neutral wires to come in contact with one another. Repairing defective wire connections is challenging and in a few instances need working with live wires.
Household Pests – rats, squirrels and other animals love to nibble on electrical wires. This can cause live and neutral wires to cross and lead to a short circuit.
Appliances – Broken or old appliances can trigger short circuits over time. Shorts in appliances can happen in the power cords, plugs, or within the device. It is best to hire an electrician to check the shorts especially in larger appliances such as dishwashers and ovens.
Be sure to call a professional North Myrtle Beach electrician if you think you’re dealing with a short circuit.
Identifying A Short Circuit
Most short circuits are indicated by smoke, flames, and sparks. They may also be internal, which is difficult to spot. Thankfully, determining a short circuit isn’t that hard and doesn’t need working with open or live wires.
Find the flipped breaker – a short circuit causes a tripped circuit breaker. The switch that is connected to the tripped breaker is going to flip the opposite side of the other circuit breakers once it shorts or overloads. A few breakers are labeled with orange or red indicators.
Check power cords – check the power cords that are connected into the electrical outlets along the electrical circuit. In case you discover any that are damaged or melted insulation plastic, there is a greater chance that the short circuit is within the device or appliance itself.
Switch off the power – if no problem device or appliance is discovered, turn of all the lights and unplug all appliances that are connected to the affected circuit. It is also recommended to mark your breakers with every room or appliance it suppliers power to. Knowing the item or section of your house that has a defective breaker will assist you in pinpointing potential short circuits.
Reset your electrical breaker – find your tripped breaker and reset it. To reset a breaker, you can simply switch in the opposite direction of its existing position. In case the switch trips right away, you might have a short circuit in the switch or receptacle. It is better to get in touch with an electrician who can check it for you.
Troubleshoot your breakers– Switch on every light switch up until the breaker trips once again. The switch that will trigger the trip is most likely the source of the short circuit.
Identify the appliance – in case none of the switches trips the breakers connect your appliances back one at a time. The appliance that will trip the breaker has a short.
When to call an electrician – in case no problem is found in any outlet, switch, appliance or light fixture, the issue might be concealed in the wiring in the walls. The best solution is to hire a professional electrician to check and fix the problem.
Call NMB Electrician Pros if you suspect that you’re dealing with short circuits or other electrical problems at home.
NMB Electrician Pros
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582