Electrical shorts often seem to happen randomly and come and go without warning. However, any good electrician will tell you there’s no true mystery to frequent shorts. They’re often a symptom of a more persistent problem with a home’s electrical grid. Unfortunately, unmanaged shorts can lead to a higher fire risk. Fully understanding shorts, their causes, and prevention methods can minimize your risk.
What is an Electrical Short?
An electrical short occurs when excess electricity flows through a circuit and causes it to blow. Shorts may be temporary problems due to power surges and other short-term problems. However, chronic electrical shorts indicate a potential issue with a home’s electrical system.
For instance, “hot” wires, or those with too much electricity flowing through them, may cause too much electrical flow to a circuit. Poorly ground wires may trigger this problem, as can issues with electricity management. Understanding these causes can help you better diagnose and manage them.
What Causes an Electrical Short?
Electrical shorts have many causes, including too many or too few power outlets for a home. According to HomelyVille, a 12×14 foot room (standard for most homes) needs at least 4 to 6 electrical outlets. Too few will trigger a short by causing power to flow too narrowly in a room.
Other causes of shorts include aged wiring, damaged or weakened wire insulation, and incorrect wiring. When they occur, shorts can damage a home’s general electrical system. As a result, you need to get help from an electrician you can trust to handle these repairs effectively.
Can I Prevent Electrical Shorts?
Preventing electrical shorts requires little work. For example, you should avoid using excessive power bars in your room. Too many power bars can cause a heavy strain on your electrical system by plugging in more items than it can handle. Stick to one per outlet to minimize this risk.
You should also avoid running power cables under carpets, keep them away from heat, avoid water sources, and inspect them regularly. DIY inspection may help spot obvious problems but will only prevent some things. As a result, it’s critical to work with a professional that you can trust.
If you need an electrician to help with electrical shorts in your home, we’re here to help. Our team of contractors at Long View Lighting understands electrical issues and will provide the in-depth attention you need. For example, we can do a top-to-bottom home inspection to identify short risks. Then, we’ll eliminate these problems and help you better understand how to avoid them in the future.