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How to Find and Fix a Short Circuit

Everyone should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the electrical system in their home. Sadly, very few people care to learn anything about it. In fact, a majority of the people do not even know where their fusebox is located. And when something goes wrong they are forced to wait out until the electrician arrives. It need not be so because you can fix many common electrical problems on your own, including minor short circuit.

What is a short circuit?

Short circuits are common electrical problems and they can be dangerous. In the absence of good safety features like the circuit breakers, fuses and CGFIs, they can even be fatal. Fortunately, most homes these days have safe wiring system. Still, short circuits can make electrical appliances dysfunctional and also give you a nasty electric shock.

A short circuit occurs when the worn out and bare positive and negative wires touch each other directly before reaching the appliance that the electricity is meant to power. If the wires then come into contact with wet floor or any object made of metal, the current will flow into that as well. Now if you accidently touch the wires or surface where the short circuit has occurred, you will get nasty shock and even be electrocuted.How to Find and Fix a Short Circuit

How to find a short circuit?

Since electrical current can only be felt, you will usually discover a short circuit when you get an electrical shock when using an electrical appliance. So if you feel even a minor electrical shock when using an iron, electrical kettle or any other appliance, then you know that there is a short circuit there. But a better way to find out is when the fuse has tripped or blown.

The first thing that detects a short circuit is a CGFI, which immediately breaks the circuit. In the absence of the CGFI, the fuse and circuit breakers act the guard. So if a circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown, you must suspect a short circuit. But how do you know it is a short circuit? It’s simple. The circuit breaker refuses to be reset or the replacement fuse blows.

How to repair a short circuit?

The first thing is to detect the area where the short circuit has occurred. You will need an electric tester for that. It’s a pen-like device that has an LED that glows when it comes into contact with a surface where electric current is flowing. Once you detect the source of short circuit, switch off the electricity in the area, or better still, disconnect is from the main line.

If the short circuit is caused by worn out or bare wires, then separate them and cover them with an insulation tape. If it is caused by a plug, as is often the case, then unscrew the cover and separate the wires. If the short circuit is inside an appliance, then disconnect it and take it to a qualified technician. In case you are unable to either detect or fix the short circuit, then call a good and reliable electrical contractor. Do you live in Chicago area? If you do, then contact the Chicago electrician for the best and most reliable service.