Everything You Need to Know About Short Circuits

October 11, 2021 4:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Many homeowners have heard the term “short circuit” before, but unless you work in the electrical industry, you might not know much about them or how to prevent short circuits from occurring. Thankfully, we’re here to help. This post will cover everything you need to know.

When does a short circuit occur?

A short circuit happens when a high-volume electrical current runs through a low-resistance path. Short circuits can start fires, cause electrical shocks or damage any plugged-in appliances. Even though they only last for a fraction of a second, short circuits should be taken very seriously.

How to prevent short circuits

The good news is that short circuit prevention is relatively simple. Follow these tips to ensure you never have to deal with a short circuit:

  • Maintain the circuit breaker: Your circuit breaker is designed to automatically cut off power to rooms when there’s an unstable electric current. They’re essentially your number-one defense against short circuits. Maintain your breaker by inspecting it for any fuse damage, and be sure to clean it with a dry cloth occasionally.
  • Check outlets: Loose wires or damage in your electrical outlets are a leading cause of short circuits. Outlets with burn marks or that emit a burning smell have faulty wiring. Because you run the risk of injuring yourself or causing further damage, it’s never a good idea to try to perform electrical work by yourself. Call an electrician right away and avoid using the damaged outlet in the meantime.
  • Inspect appliances: The problem may not be with your outlet at all, but with whatever you’re trying to plug in. If your circuit breaker trips when plugging in an appliance, the appliance itself may have damaged wiring. Don’t go around and try plugging it into different outlets to test it out—replace the item before you accidentally start a fire.
  • Unplug appliances during storms: A nearby lightning strike can send a sudden flow of electricity, known as a surge, into your home’s electrical system. This surge can cause short circuits throughout your home and damage all plugged-in appliances. Unplugging everything of value during a storm is a great way to limit the possibility of a short circuit.
  • Schedule an electrical inspection: Because their wiring is often outdated, older homes are more prone to short circuits. If your house is on the older side, we recommend scheduling an electrical inspection. An electrician will check your home for any signs of outdated wiring and make all necessary upgrades. Even if your house isn’t that old, an annual electrical inspection can’t hurt.

Call our team if you experience a short circuit

When a short circuit does occur, or when you have any other electrical issues, get in touch with our team at Wilkinson Electric Inc. We’re a family owned and operated business with decades of industry experience. With our competitive pricing and 24/7 emergency services, we’re trusted with a full range of electrical issues. Contact us today to get a quote for your electrical project or to learn more about all of our services.

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