What causes short circuits?

installing lighting

Short circuits can lead to a range of problems in businesses and homes. Not only can a short circuit trip your circuit breakers and disrupt your day, but a simple short circuit could also cause electrocutions and even electrical fires! But what is a short circuit? And what causes short circuits? Well, here at Walker Electrical, we are Preston’s leading electrical professionals. We work with companies and businesses, across a variety of industries, throughout the North West, to provide high quality, professional electrical solutions. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything you should know about a short circuit.

What is a short circuit?

So, first of all, what is a short circuit? Well, a short circuit is the name given to a very particular electrical fault. This is when the electrical current does not pass through all of the wiring, and instead, chooses a shorter route. This is because electricity always wants to go back into the ground, and will take the most direct route. Including through a human being! By taking a shorter route, more electricity than expected will pass through these wires, and the electricity may even flow where it is not expected too.

What causes short circuits?

A short circuit can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A fault with the insulation- if the circuit wire insulation is faulty, the current can then pass to neutral wire, causing a surge in electricity and a short circuit. The circuit wire insulation can be negatively effected by age and use, as well as screws and nails, and animals like rats.
  • A fault with the connections- a circuit needs strong connectors to keep the current flowing. If the connector is loose, electricity will be able to pass to either neutral wire, or a grounded part of the circuit, causing a short circuit.
  • A fault with the appliance- when you plug an appliance into the circuit, it becomes a circuit extension. And if the wiring is faulty, this can short the whole circuit in your property.

For more information or advice, or for professional support, get in touch with the team today, here at Walker Electrical.