A short circuit is a result of two different wires connecting with each other giving the electricity passing less resistance. In simpler terms, a short circuit is a result of two conductive wires working very close by, giving less resistance and more heat due to less distance. For example, a wire passing current touches a working switch, the touch would create less resistance for the current to pass, result in heat, and eventually in a short circuit. A short circuit is generally identified by sparks or flames or smoke.
A short circuit can be caused by various reasons. Such as:
- Old or faulty wiring can lead to a short circuit. If these wires touch a working wire, it can cause a short circuit. Keep maintaining and rewiring to avoid such short circuits. It also helps save money for future and is a very precautions measure.
- Loose wiring can allow a neutral and a live, working wire to touch, leading to lesser resistance, and a short circuit. Wiring should be checked upon and maintained regularly to avoid short circuits. It should be seen that there are no open and hanging wires left about.
- Insects and animals like rats, mice, rodents, squirrels, often tend to cut or chew on wires. The chewed upon or cut wires can cross another and lead to a short circuit. Ensure on a regular basis that the wires are in a good conditions, and keep away the insects and animals by using various household methods.
- Old devices and appliances can also cause short circuits. The main sources of their shorts are power plugs, power cords, or the device or appliance itself. Keep checking up on the appliances to ensure they work as new and if they need some kind of maintenance.
You can always know the causes behind a short circuit, or even how to avoid it. But what happens when a short circuit takes place? What should you do during a short circuit?
- Check the breaker for a flip. If a short circuit happens, breakers tend to trip. The switch would flip in the opposite direction of other breakers when a short circuit takes place.
- Check the power cords. If you find any of them damaged or its plastic melted, then the short circuit most probably took place inside the appliance or device.
- Turn the power off. Turn the main switch off. Unplug all devices and appliances on the affected circuit. Label the breakers with identification of rooms and appliances they harbor as well from before. This makes it easy to understand which breaker in the house is faulty.
- If you find your breaker flipped, flip it in the opposite direction again. If it flips back over, possibilities are, the short circuit can be in the breaker itself.
- Try troubleshooting your breakers. Keep switching the switches until your breaker trips again. That switch is most probably the reason behind your short circuit.
- Check the device. If the switches don’t make the breaker trip, then try plugging the devices back and try troubleshooting again. If the breaker flips now, then the short circuit might be in your device.
- If nothing works, call a professional electrician.
Short circuit can be very dangerous and fatal. It is very necessary to take action against it. It can be caused by various factors, such as old, faulty, or loose wiring, insects and animals, and old devices or appliances. If a short circuit happens, check the breaker for a flip, check the power cords, turn the power off, try troubleshooting, or check the appliances. If you still cannot find a solution, call Electrician Bellevue.