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How to understand the electrical shorts?

Electrical ShortsIt has happened to many: You go to heat something in the microwave, but instead of food, the appliance immediately switches on and off. Unless the socket has tripped, the problem is probably an electrical short circuit. This difficulty can occur in electrical circuits or in the wiring of an appliance. In any case, electrical shorts are always annoying and sometimes dangerous.

How does an electrical short circuit work?

What happens in an electrical short circuit may seem like an enigma, as electrical circuits are intricate systems. Simply put, electricity flows through the circuit to power devices such as lamps, household appliances and battery chargers. However, if a ‘hot wire’ makes contact with a neutral or ground wire in an electrical outlet or appliance, a so-called ‘short circuit’ occurs. When a circuit is short-circuited, an excess current in the circuit occurs for a short period of time. Excess current can cause serious damage to electrical appliances or even a fire, with potentially devastating losses.

What are the causes of an electrical short circuit?

The cause of an electrical short is when the hot wire comes into contact with a neutral wire (which is the wire that provides the return path to the switchboard) or with the earth wire (the green or bare wire that also returns electricity to the switchboard, especially during a short circuit).

What are the causes of this problem?

Aged wiring. When wires age, they can become a safety issue. Older homes may also have aluminium instead of copper wiring, which increases the chances of overheating and short circuits.
Damaged or weakened wire insulation. Wires inside the home and appliances are insulated to prevent contact. However, if this insulation is damaged, more frequent short circuits may occur. Damage can be due to natural wear and tear or even gnawing by rodents.
Incorrect or loose wiring. If cables are loose or incorrectly installed, they are more likely to touch, creating a short circuit.

How To Tell If You Have an Electrical Short

Since the causes of electrical shorts are many, it is important to identify the warning signs so that you can solve the problem in the present and prevent future damage to your home and appliances. To find out if it is an electrical problem, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you smell burning or smoke near the plugs?
  • Do you feel hot spots on the walls, which are not close to heat sources?
  • Are there discoloured spots or burn marks around sockets?
  • Does a particular switch, perhaps in the kitchen or office, trip more often over time?
  • When exposed wires are seen in a basement, crawl space or other similar areas, are there signs of wire damage?
  • If the answer to one of these questions is yes, an electrical short circuit may have occurred. If the answer is yes to more than one of these questions, the probability of an electrical short circuit is not only greater, but is of sufficient concern to require immediate investigation.

If you have one appliance that constantly stops working while in operation, then electrical short is most likely in the appliance’s wiring. When the problem is in the appliance itself, replacement or repair is necessary. If the appliance is good, then the issue is somewhere else in the wires or outlet that feed the appliance.

How To Find an Electrical Short in Your House

Although there are many ways to check for electrical shorts in the home, electrical wiring, especially potentially faulty wiring, is risky to deal with. Sometimes a short circuit is easy to find, but it often takes a professional with specific tools to find the cause of a short circuit. The Emergency Electrician Wolverhampton have the knowledge and tools to identify and fix your electrical shorts, and keep your property safe. If you suspect you have an electrical shot or would like your system inspected for safety, call us or schedule an appointment with us today.

We collaborate with: Emergency Plumber 24h, Emergency Plumber Derby, Emergency Electrician Worcester and Emergency Locksmith 24h.

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