When you think of a short circuit, you may imagine a spark that happens when they mention one in the movies. If you’re more educated in electricity, you may know it has something to do with the wiring. Whether you know very little or more about a short circuit, it is crucial to understand what it is, what causes it, and how to determine if you’re experiencing an issue. A short circuit can be dangerous, so identifying one could prevent fires or other hazards.
Define Short Circuit
Simply put, a short circuit is the crossing of a hot wire with a neutral one. An easy way to describe a short circuit is with a metaphor. Imagine you have an appointment in a busy city. The GPS route you are taking will get you to your destination at the perfect time. However, rather than following the intended path, you jump onto a shortcut and arrive at your destination too early. Your appointment location would get too overloaded with the crowd and find itself unable to handle the situation. This is a short circuit.
The current should have traveled the intended path, but it gets rerouted upon touching the neutral wire. A shorter route creates complications, thus resulting in a short circuit.
Causes to Consider
How do unintended wires end up crossing? There are many reasons that wires could connect when they are not supposed to. These include poor wiring, loose connections, pests that shift wiring, leaks, construction interference, or wire sheathing disintegrating over time.
Signs of a Short Circuit
You may notice that there has been a short circuit previously by a metallic or burning smell. There could also be some discoloration around the outlet or light switch. Otherwise, a present short will cause your breaker to trip. You may also hear a pop or see sparks. If this is the case, the electronic appliance or device in use will no longer operate. Be on the lookout for any signs that danger is a concern.
What Makes it Dangerous?
A circuit breaker is meant to prevent house fires from occurring due to a short. This does not mean that you will never have a fire when a short circuit happens. Relying on the breaker to prevent a fire from a known issue would be a mistake.
Not only do shorts cause fires, but they can also electrocute individuals. Injuries as a result of a shock can also occur. To ensure the safety of yourself and your family, locate and fix a short circuit as soon as possible.
Can I Fix a Short Circuit Myself?
You could fix a short circuit yourself, but it would not be entirely safe. Messing with the wiring and electricity of your home is a dangerous act. Play it safe and hire a professional to help you.
Get Help from Morrill Electric in Amesbury
A professional that is educated and prepared to locate and fix short circuits is Morrill Electric. Morrill Electric is an expert in electricity and can make your home safe from faulty wiring or similar issues. Get in touch today for assistance. Fill out a contact form or give us a call at 978-388-1522