What You Need To Know About Causes Of Short Circuits?

What You Need To Know About Causes Of Short Circuits

Typically, a short circuit takes place when an electrified wire comes in contact with another wire carrying current, or a small section, and a connection of less resistance is created. For instance, if a wire carrying current is exposed, and touches a metallic substance, electricity will pass along the substance and cause a shock.

Precisely, a short circuit creates a medium of least resistance between two electrical conductors. When the distance between the conductors is less, the connection of resistance also reduces. This means the circuit will result in more heat, and cause fires and burns.

Causes of short circuits

Many factors can lead to a short circuit. The following are some of the most common causes:

Faulty insulation

Damaged or old insulation normally makes the live wires, and neutral come in contact, which can result in short circuit. Screw and nail can make insulation to damage and create short circuits.

Loose connections

Sometimes, attachments may end up becoming loosing prompting live and neutral wires to touch. And it is not easy to fix this problem and sometimes you may be forced to work with them that way.

Household Pests

Animals such as squirrels, rats, and mice may eat the wires. This can cause live wires and neutral wires to touch and cause a shot.


Broken and aged appliances can get shorts with time. They usually take place in the plugs, inside the device or in the power cords. It is advisable that you hire a technician, especially if you have a larger appliance such as a dishwasher or oven. Also, make sure you call an expert if you notice any shot in your house.

How to identify a short circuit ?

One way to notice short-circuit is through smoke, flames or sparks. They can also be internal, and these are not easy to identify. However, pinpointing a shot is easy and does not need working with open or live wires.

Here is how to pinpoint one:

Check the flipped the breaker

A breaker normally trips when it is shot. The switch flips to the other direction of other breakers when it shots or overloads. Certain breakers are marked with orange or red indicators.

Check the power cords

Check all your power cords that are attached to the circuit. In case there are damaged cords or a plastic insulator has melted, then the short circuit is internal.

Switch off the power

If the device or appliance does not have any issue, turn off the lights and unplug the appliances from the damaged circuit. Also, it is wise to label the breakers with each appliance or room it powers. It is easy to pinpoint any fault if you know areas or items of your home that have faulty breakers.

Reset the breaker

Look where the tripped breaker is located and reset it. Resetting a breaker requires you to flip the switch to the opposite directions of the position it was. Now, if the switch trips again, then there is a probability of a shot in the switch or the receptacle. Call a technician to come and have a look.

Troubleshoot the breaker

Switch on all the lights until the breaker trips. The switch that prompts the trip is most likely the source of the shot circuit.

Pinpoint the appliance

If there are no trip breakers, plug in the appliances and check for one that trips and causes the shot.

The best time to call a technician

If your appliances don’t have any issue, then the issue may be somewhere within the walls. If this is the case, you need to hire a technician to look at the problem and fix.

Short circuits dangers

Short circuits are faulty connections that cause extra electricity to run via outlet, appliance or switch. The extra heat that the bump generates can cause fires, especially if it reaches to the flammable sections of the house. Broken or bare wires especially damaged or chews cords can result in short circuit and expose you and your family to cause harm. If you see damaged or stripped cord, unplug it quickly.

Short-circuits are dangerous if they are not attended as soon as possible. If you suspect any faulty connections or shorts, call an expert immediately. To read more popular posts CLICK HERE.

About the Author Mike Chua

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