What To Do If You Have An Electrical Short In Your House

Published: 29th November 2011
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When you have an electrical short in your house, you may be experiencing a great deal of blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. You might also hear a popping sound, which can be loud, any time the circuit becomes activated. Basically an electrical short occurs when an electrical path develops accidentally inside a circuit, causing an erroneous connection. If you feel you've got an electrical short anywhere in your house, you must locate it and get it repaired immediately. If it is not fixed, the electrical short can damage your wires through melting insulation, damaging the circuit, or causing a fire. If you have worked around electricity before and so are confident with it, you can go through steps below to locate and repair the electrical short by yourself. Otherwise, calling a licensed electrician is the better option.

Initial Examination

Checking your appliances is usually the first step when attempting to locate an electrical short. If you know which appliances that you were using once the short occurred, unplug these appliances. Next you should reset the breaker or change the fuse which is linked to the circuit which has supplied electricity to those appliances. Energize the circuit, making sure that the fuse doesn't blow or the circuit breaker does not trip. If something happens here, even when there aren't any appliances plugged in, then it's likely the short is in the wiring or in the receptacle. If there appears to be no issue, then it is probable that one of your appliances is causing the issue. Test every appliance independently. If you discover one of the appliances that triggers the circuit breaker to trip or the fuse to blow, you will want to replace or repair the appliance.

How To Deal With Shorts Within The Wiring

If you cannot find the appliance that is the reason for the short, then there is the chance that you have some sort of wiring problem. The initial step should always be to turn off the problematic circuit. Make sure to check out the voltage using a volt/ohm meter to make sure that the circuit is turned off before proceeding. When you verify that the voltage is showing as zero on the meter, you can take off the receptacle, pulling the wires out with pliers and a screwdriver. Be sure that you adjust the volt/ohm meter to determine ohms. Connect one of the leads to the bare end of your black wire, and the other lead to the bare ends on the white wire. When the meter indicates O.L. (infinite ohms), this is a sign that the receptacle itself has to be replaced. If the volt/ohm meter is indicating continuity, the short is probably within the wire or perhaps the circuit breaker. Should this be the case, the main breaker will have to be turned off to further investigate the matter. This is the point where your best choice is usually to contact an electrical contractor to be able to stay safe. An electrician will be able to identify the problematic fuse or breaker connection and take away the wires. When the breaker is defective or if the wire is shorted an electrician will make the repair in a very safe manner then test and make certain that the issue is completely resolved.

So, be sure to call your licensed electrician in the event that you are having problems with an electrical short inside your home. He will locate the problem and help you to get it fixed correctly.


If you need a great Roseville electrician or an electrical repair Sacramento then AAA Electrical Services is where you need to look. Visit their website or give them a call at 916-972-7515. They're a top notch electricians and can help you with all your electrical needs.

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