How to Avoid Short Circuits in Your Home

16 January, 2023
How to avoid short circuits in your home

Pretty much everything we have in our homes is powered by electricity, making it quite a beneficial force to have when it is handled correctly. However, problems can also stem from electricity, causing damage, creating danger, and instilling fear. One of the most common issues is what is known as a “short circuit”—a problem that nearly every homeowner faces at one point or another.

An electric circuit is a closed-loop network that allows the flow of an electrical current to loop around and return. In houses, a typical circuit travels from your electrical service panel through the wires of your home to your appliances and then returns to the panel once again.

A short circuit is an abnormal condition and occurs when the electrical current flows through an unintended, shorter pathway instead of through the right circuit.

In most homes, short circuits are usually caused by broken insulation, improper wiring, or overloading. It is often hard to predict exactly when a short circuit will happen, as there usually are not many immediate warning signs. They can result due to a number of issues ranging from appliance damage to electrical shocks to fires, all of which could lead to disaster.

How can you prevent short circuits in your home?

Fortunately, there are various steps you can take to avoid experiencing short circuits in your home and to stay safe and sound. The following are some of the best preventative measures that you can take:

1. Check the outlets before using them

Did you know that behind all of the outlets in your home, there are boxes with multiple wires attached? Some of the most common causes of short circuits are tied to these outlets, resulting from either their age, loose box connections, or faulty wiring. Although it may be hard to recognize some of these issues since they’re hidden behind your walls, examining your outlets before using them can make a big difference.

When you are examining your outlets, there are a few particular things that you can look for to know if they may be at risk of causing a short circuit. If you notice that there are burn marks on your outlet or a burning smell is coming from it, this could indicate a major problem.

In addition, if it is making buzzing or popping sounds, or emitting sparks when in use, you should refrain from continuing to use it, as these signs also indicate potential risks.

2. Check your appliances before using them

It is equally as important to check your appliances before plugging them into outlets as it is to examine the outlets themselves. When an appliance has faulty wiring or circuitry, this can also lead to short circuits. Even when there are no issues with an outlet, if you plug a faulty appliance into it, you can damage it and, worse yet, cause a short circuit.

There are a few major indications that your appliance is faulty, so looking for these signs and catching them could save you from a short circuit or worse. First, if you notice an appliance has damaged cords, casing, or wiring, or several cracks, you should refrain from using it.

You should be especially cautious of appliances with exposed circuitry and dispose of such appliances or have them professionally repaired.

3. Reduce your electrical usage during storms

Believe it or not, lightning strikes are another way that short circuits can be caused. In fact, this is one of the most dangerous types of short circuit scenarios, as the significant surge in electricity could cause some serious damage.

For this reason, keeping your electrical usage to a minimum during lightning storms is a good idea. This will help you prevent short circuits while limiting the damage if a power surge occurs.

4. Perform maintenance on your circuit breaker

Every home’s electrical system has default protection against short circuits, which is known as the circuit breaker. A circuit breaker is a component in your electrical panel that shuts off when it deems electrical currents unstable. If you want to ensure prolonged functionality from your circuit breaker, it is best to maintain it regularly.

You can do this by checking for any damage, such as cracks or loose fittings. You can also use a dry cloth to clean dirt or other stains located on your circuit breaker and panel to keep them clean.

5. Schedule an annual electrical inspection

Just as you should get examined by a doctor at least once a year to ensure you are healthy, your house can benefit similarly from an annual electrical inspection. During an inspection, qualified electrical professionals can fully examine your system to pinpoint issues that may pose potential risks for short circuits and other electrical problems.

After identifying such risks, these professionals can offer advice for the best course of action to correct any issues that are present, thus keeping your home safe.

How Hi-Lite Electric Can Help You Avoid Short Circuits

If you would like to get a professional’s opinion about the state of your house’s electrical system, or if you need electric repair in Toronto, you can call Hi-Lite Electric, as we would be happy to come and have a look.

Our thirty-five years of experience allow us to pick up on even the tiniest details that are easy to overlook. We also know exactly how to handle any issues that we come across in a quick, efficient, and safe manner.

We know the true importance of having a functioning electrical system, which is why we offer same-day electrical repairs as long as you call to book an appointment before 8 a.m. We can handle any issue, no matter how minor or serious, since we keep all of our vans fully stocked with the necessary equipment to perform adequate repairs. Our technicians can even perform specialized repair services, as they are all highly trained and experienced.

Whether you have noticed some signs of trouble or just want to stay on track with your maintenance and check-ups, we would be glad to examine everything to put your mind at ease.

We can also provide valuable advice on how to maintain your electrical system and appliances to minimize the chances of experiencing problems. Doing so will help guarantee the safety of you and your family, which is always our top priority.

For more information about how we can help you prevent short circuits and other electrical problems, or to book an appointment for an electrical inspection and safety check, call Hi-Lite Electric Inc. at 416-800-5536 (in Toronto), 289-236-1333 (in York), or 289-236-1347 (in Peel), or contact us here.

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