What Is an Electrical Short?

Does it seem like your appliances are constantly shutting off for no reason? If you’re constantly running to the breaker box, there could be an issue with your electrical wiring. The professionals at Mr. Electric of Atlanta are here to help ensure that your property’s electrical system is safe and efficient. Our experienced electricians offer a wide range of quality services for local homeowners and businesses, including electrical wiring repair, replacement, and new installation in Atlanta, Georgia, and surrounding metro area locations. Do you suspect that your frequent electrical shorts signify a more dangerous issue? Read below for some important information to help you make the right choice for your electrical system.

What Is an Electrical Short?

Whenever you use an appliance or plug in a device, you’re relying on the electricity that flows through your wiring system. In most cases, the process runs smoothly. Yet, there are times when a hot wire makes contact with a ground or neutral wire and accidentally completes a "short circuit." This causes an excessive amount of electricity to enter a circuit for a short time, which can cause your circuit breaker or fuses to step in to protect you from danger. Though safeguards are in place, these are intended to defend against occasional problems. However, if you are dealing with short circuits more frequently, it could signal that a bigger issue is at play. Neglecting this warning sign could lead to damaged electronics, replacement of expensive appliances, and even house fires.

Common Causes of Electrical Shorts

Now that you understand how an electrical short occurs, it’s time to address the reasons why it might be happening in your home. The most common causes of a short circuit include:

  • Damaged Insulation: If the insulation on your electrical wires has become damaged, or begun to deteriorate, it can leave your wires exposed. This can occur due to age or pest control issues in areas where the wiring is placed.
  • Loose Wiring: If the wiring has become loose over time or installed incorrectly, it can cause the wires to touch. An electrician can repair the wiring, which should fix the issue right away.
  • Age-Related Wear and Tear: If your wiring is several decades old, it will inevitably break down. The insulation and the metals used can become strained, which will cause short circuits. Also, historic properties sometimes have aluminum wiring, which is very dangerous. Neglecting to upgrade your outdated wiring could be hazardous, so it’s important to make it a priority.

How to Know If You Have Experienced an Electrical Short

There are several ways property owners can tell when they’ve experienced an electrical short. They might smell strange burning odors, feel warm areas on the wall, notice burned spots on the wall, or see exposed wires. If you experience one or more of the above situations, then it’s time to call an electrician.

Do You Need Help with Your Electrical Wiring? Call Our Electricians Today

Are you looking for reliable local electricians who can care for your wiring problems? Then call the specialists at Mr. Electric of Atlanta. Our professional technicians are always available to help improve the safety and success of your electrical system. Contact our office for more information or to schedule a convenient appointment for your next electrical inspection or wiring upgrade in Atlanta, GA, or a nearby community.

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Call or submit your request here and we'll call to confirm your appointment time. We're available until 11pm weekdays, 10pm weekends. Your Mr. Electric technician will provide an electrical repair or installation cost up front, and options if applicable.