Types, Causes & Prevention Of Electrical Short Circuit In Spring TX

Ever experienced sudden sparks, charred sockets, or burnt smell with no idea where it’s coming from? This might be short circuits, a leading case of home electrical fires. When electric current travels along an unintended path that has low electrical impedance or resistance, it results in an excess voltage stream which causes excess current flow in the source of power. This is the concept referred to as a ‘short circuit’. The electric current, therefore, flows through the short route, due to minimal resistance, hence its name. It’s the opposite of an open circuit which on the other hand refers to infinite resistance between two conductors. Here’s all you need to know about short circuits, and how to protect yourself:

Different Kinds Of Electrical Short Circuits

1. Normal Short Circuit

It’s the most common kind and occurs when a live/hot wire transmitting current touches the neutral wire. Consequently, this instantly leads to resistance reduction therefore a large current volume flows through the created pathway.

2. Ground Fault Short Circuit

It occurs when the live/hot wire carrying current comes into contact with the grounded wire, also known as the earthing. It may also be a grounded metallic box that conducts electricity or a grounded appliance that allows current through it too. Essentially any grounded system will yield the ground fault short circuit.

The Main Causes Of Electrical Short Circuit

1. Faulty/Deficient Circuit Wire Insulation

When rubber and plastic insulation around live wires, earthing and neutral wires are old, worn out, or damaged, either of the two types of short circuits is inevitable. Wiring should, therefore, be carefully done to avoid damage. Nails and screws present could also tear insulation apart, yielding short circuits. Moreover gnawing pests like moles, rats and mice are known to gnaw on insulation hereby tearing them apart and increasing the chance os the live wire coming into contact with other wires.

2. Faulty Appliance Wiring

Similar to faulty wiring insulation, poor wiring inside appliances may lead to short circuits not only inside the appliance but to the home. This is because, on plugging into the socket, the appliance becomes a continuous electrical current in line with the homes. Any defects, therefore, presumably become house defects and may lead to a short circuit in the power cords, plugs, as well as the socket itself. This is why most appliances come with a short circuit protection system.

3. Loose Wire Connections

Loose wire connections and attachments also increase the chances of the three wires coming into contact thus short circuits. To solve this, an electrical consultant should be contacted rather than a DIY fix as a solution as this could lead to further loosening of the wires or absolute damage.

Preventing Short Circuits

1. Repair faulty wiring

All electrical outlets have a series of interconnected wires. Ensure they are repaired as soon as you observe any of the signs below as it may be a sign of damaged or worn-out insulation, loose wires, or faulty wires:

  • Sparks
  • Burnt smell
  • Buzzing sound

2.  Minimize Electricity Usage During Storms

An excessive surge of current from lightning strikes can induce a dangerous short circuit. Reduce electrical use in rainstorms to prevent the prevalence of such occurrences.

3. Circuit Inspection

Do this annually by procuring an experienced electrician to ensure all wires are tight, insulated, and as good as new!

4. Install Short Circuit Prevention Devices

They help prevent incidences when the circuit is exposed to a short circuit by cutting off the current. They include:

  • Fuses
  • Circuit breakers
  • Ground-Fault and Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), (AFCIs)

Contact us or call us to get help in diagnosing the issues with the electrical system of your home so that your safety is assured and you have peace of mind.  Visit our blog for more related articles!