Electrical short circuiting is a common issue. It can result in sparks, electrical malfunctions and even fires in your Fuquay-Varina home. Homeowners should understand why short circuiting happens and how to recognize it. This could help to reduce the risk of more serious issues with your home’s electrical system.
What Is a Short Circuit?
In an electrical circuit, a short circuit happens when an unexpected connection occurs between two points and bypasses the normal load. This could make it possible for a large current to flow due to a path of very low resistance. The results include sparks, overheating or circuit component damage.
There are four main parts of a circuit that shorts. The conductors are the materials that make it possible for electric current to flow, such as cables and wires. Next, is the load which is the intended electrical component or device that the circuit provides power for. You have a voltage source which is the electrical potential difference source or power supply. The fourth part is the short circuit path. This is the unexpected low-resistance path that takes the current away from the normal load.
Electrical Short Circuit Causes
Faulty wiring is a common cause. If any wires have exposed conductors or damaged insulation, they can touch a conductive surface or each other, resulting in a short circuit. Improper terminations, loose connections or other wiring installation issues can also lead to a short circuit due to unexpected pathways for current flow.
If any of your electrical equipment and appliances are faulty, short circuiting is possible. Such issues include frayed cords, internal wiring damage or exposed conductors. Sometimes the components are faulty, such as a motor or switch malfunction.
Overloaded circuits can lead to short circuiting. If you connect too many appliances or devices to one outlet, it could short circuit due to overheating. Heat generation is also possible with high-resistance joints or loose connections.
Short circuiting can occur due to water exposure. Conductor corrosion and issues with insulation are possible due to water which can cause a short circuit. If electrical components collect condensation, this is also a concern since this can lead to the creation of conductive paths.
If any electrical device or component of your electric system experiences physical damage, a short circuit is possible. Sometimes the damage is due to mechanical stress, such as crushing, bending or a direct impact causing damage to cables, wires or electrical components. Pests and rodents might chew on wire insulation or the wires themselves which could leave a conductor exposed.
Short circuiting is possible due to a power surge. This could occur due to lightning causing a high voltage to occur in an electric system. In some cases, faulty power lines are the culprit.
Defective components in your electrical system or devices could cause a short circuit. This could be due to a manufacturing defect or because of aging and wear.
Short Circuit Prevention
There are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of a short circuit happening. Make sure to have a professional electrician come in and inspect your electrical system about once a year. They will look at your home’s wiring and fuses, as well as your appliances, outlets and electronic devices. If they spot an issue, they will let you know what it necessary to prevent it and decrease the chances or a short circuit happening.
Be mindful of how much you plug into your outlets. Never overload them and keep an eye on them so that you can quickly recognize any signs of wear. You can also utilize surge protection to protect against voltage spikes.
Professional Electricians in Fuquay-Varina
Short circuiting in your Fuquay-Varina home can be hazardous and pose the risk of a fire. It is imperative that you know how to recognize the issue so that you can quickly enlist the help of a professional. Our team will get to the root of the problem fast and let you know what we have to do to fix the issue. We can also help with a wide variety of other electrical tasks in your home.
Call Dawson's Electric in Fuquay-Varina today to learn more about electrical short circuits and how to recognize and prevent them in your home.