What Is a Short Circuit & What Causes It?

The term ‘short circuit’ is often used to refer to any electrical wiring problem. However, in reality, it’s a major type of electrical accident that can seriously damage your system. Short circuits happen when a low-resistance path not suited to carrying electricity receives a high-volume electrical current. In simpler terms, it occurs when connections become exposed or damaged. To help you understand when to call for residential electrical repair, we describe the causes of this problem here. 

Loose wire connections. Because most attachments loosen, neutral and live wires can touch, resulting in an exposure. Repairing faulty wire connections can be risky, hence why this is best handled by a trained professional.

Faulty circuit wire insulation. Old or damaged insulation may prompt neutral and hot wires to touch. Remember that non-insulated staples, nails and screw punctures can cause wire casings or insulation to deteriorate and create short circuits.

Faulty appliance wiring. Most short circuits in appliances occur in the plugs, power cords or inside the device itself. If you’re hesitant, call for licensed residential electricians to look at shorts in larger appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators. Rest assured you can DIY rewiring for smaller appliances such as lamps.

To prevent short circuits, make it a habit to check all outlets and appliances before and after using. This way, you can easily avoid faulty wirings and connections. Pay attention to if there’s a burning smell or if there are sounds coming from the outlet. Check your circuit breaker for any defects and cracks, and always clean dirt stains or spots located on the breaker and panel. Above all, always schedule an in-depth inspection at least once a year to prevent further complications.

If you’re looking for specialists in the field, Bailey & Shipp Electric also provides generator installation services. We’re available 24/7 to handle any and all emergencies around Columbia, MD, for your home or business electrical concerns. Call us today to find out more at (410) 457-3507 or fill out our contact form.