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What Is an Electrical Short?

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

What is an electrical short at home? We use electricity in almost everything we do nowadays. While it may flow smoothly most of the time, occasionally there may be some obstinate problems such as short circuits. Short circuits are created when the hot and neutral wires touch and the circuit is completed through a shorter passageway. With no resistance, the current rises and heats up the wires, causing electrical fires. It’s important to know the causes and how to identify a short circuit so you can seek help from an electrician when needed. If you come across a short circuit, call Super Electric of Reno and Sparks and our well-trained professional electricians will help you solve the issue.

Electrical Short

Causes of Short Circuits

  • Faulty Wiring – While plugging appliances into your outlets, if you notice anything abnormal about the wiring, it may lead to circuit problems. Short circuits can appear within the appliance itself or the wires. Be mindful of your appliances and make sure to get a nearby electrician to check them out. Do not attempt to rewire faulty wires by yourself, it’s very dangerous.

  • Faulty Insulation – Electrical wires are insulated with non-conductive material. If the material wears out, is damaged, melts, or gets picked on by critters, the live wires may possibly get in contact with the neutral wires, causing a short circuit.

  • Loose Connections – Having loose connections in wires is a safety hazard because it causes the hot and neutral wires to touch. If the contact between wires isn’t tight enough, then the resistance increases and causes heat to increase as well. If the short circuit is effective enough, it can cause shocks and fires.

Preventing Short Circuits

If you’re not taking any preventative measures towards the possibilities of short circuits, then it will only increase the chances. Try these tips to help keep you safe and out of trouble.

  • Check Your Outlets – Most causes for short circuits happen in the wiring behind the walls, for example, faulty wiring and loose connections. Even if they stay behind your walls, there are still other signs that help you observe and indicate the problem at hand. Outlets burning, buzzing and popping, sparks, and old age can all contribute to the reason you should keep an eye on your outlet. Make sure to also check your appliances as well. Better be safe than sorry.

  • Reduce Electricity During Storms – A bolt of lightning can cause an electrical surge. With the sudden overpowering of electricity, serious damage can be done. It’s best to keep the use of electricity low during storms, so you should unplug anything you’re not using. Once the necessities are the only appliances that are left plugged in, the chances of a short circuit taking place have decreased.

  • Electrical Inspections – Inspections to prevent short circuits and other problems should be done once a year. Have professionals at Super Electric of Reno and Sparks we can take a look at your electrical system to make sure everything is running smoothly. With better maintenance, you can be more confident and trusting in your electrical system.

Follow these preventative tips for a safer lifestyle with your electrical system. Get to know your surroundings better so that you’ll learn what to do if a situation comes up.

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