Short Circuits—How to Avoid Dangerous Electrical Malfunctions

Author: Passey Electric. |


A short circuit is a dangerous electrical malfunction that occurs when a hot wire touches a neutral wire, resulting in a large amount of current flowing through the circuit. Short circuits can cause fires, electrical shocks, or other damage to the wiring and appliances in your home. 

Knowing the signs of a short circuit and how to respond can help protect your home and family from harm. This article will discuss the dangers of short circuits and how to identify and address them with the help of residential electrical services. 

What Is a Short Circuit?

The uninterrupted, continuous flow of electricity from your home's electrical panel back to your property is known as an electrical circuit.

The circuit, which still works even after you put anything in or flip a switch, supplies power to the outlets or lights on this circuit.

Many individuals may be unaware of the common electrical issue known as a short circuit.
A short circuit happens when an electrical current chooses a less direct path back to the ground than those offered on the course.

When another path of least resistance is present, the electrical current reverses direction and proceeds down this more direct, shorter route to the ground.

A short circuit results when a hot wire carrying electrical current makes contact with a conductor it shouldn't, such as a neutral wire, a grounded object, or any combustible material.

Short Circuit Types

Hot and neutral wires make contact in a typical short circuit. As this occurs, resistance decreases, and the stream reverses direction. A ground fault short circuit occurs when a hot wire contacts a grounded area of a device, outlet, or appliance (this could be anything supplied by the electrical current).

There are several potential causes of an electrical short circuit, including the following:
Water or liquids touching exposed wires; weak connections on your circuit breaker; wires pierced by nails and screws; obsolete or damaged electrical system parts (such as outlets, switches, lights, or appliances); deterioration of electrical wire sheathing; surges or accumulations of electricity. 

Steps to Take to Avoid a Short Circuit

Conduct Regular Electrical Inspections

Your electrical system needs to be frequently examined, much like your car gets a yearly tune-up. A qualified best electricians can inspect your system and identify any strange electrical connections.

Either deteriorating electrical system wiring or old, broken appliances typically bring a short circuit. Even though you could perform specific electrical jobs independently, you should let experts inspect your electrical system.

Circuit breakers that help avoid short circuits should already be in your home. When it detects an irregular electrical current, a circuit breaker will turn off the electrical components of your panel.

Check your circuit breaker frequently for any damage, loose box connections, or other issues to keep it in excellent working order.

If your circuit breaker trips often after being reset, your circuit might have a wiring issue (or in a connected appliance). It can also indicate that your electrical panel needs modernization.
When energy jumps between two metal contacts, arc fault circuit interrupters prevent electric arcs from developing (AFCI Security 3). (usually at loose connections).

AFCI devices prevent short circuits by cutting off the electricity before they occur. These tools provide efficient defense against arcing-related electrical short-circuit fires.

Examine the Tools

Checking your outlets is essential, but you must also ensure that all your appliances operate well. Problems with the wiring, faulty connections, or sheathing cracks could cause a short circuit. You can avoid short circuits by safeguarding your electrical system and yourself. Call the experts if you think your Calgary home might experience a short circuit.

Examine Outdated Outlets

Because they are the primary point of contact between you and your electrical system, check the outlets before plugging anything in. Stay away from that outlet when you hear buzzing, see burning, smell smoke, or see any sparks. Then, dial an electrician straight away.


A short circuit can be a very dangerous situation and should be avoided. It is important to always remember to use caution when dealing with electricity, as it can be very dangerous. If you suspect a short circuit, it is important to immediately turn off the power to the device, unplug it, and call professional electrical services if necessary. Short circuits can cause sparks, fires, equipment damage, and even death. Taking the necessary precautions can help prevent a dangerous situation and keep you and your property safe.

In Raymond, Southern Alberta, Passey Electric offers comprehensive electrical solutions to homes, farms, and commercial buildings. Whether you require new construction or maintenance, we have the resources and expertise to meet your demands. We provide anything from new services and residences to hot tubs and lighting upgrades. Contact us for residential electrical services in Lethbridge!