A short circuit is an electrical fault (defect in insulation or conductivity in the electrical system) in electrical wiring, that occurs when two conductors of different polarity or phase come into physical contact with each other, having lost the insulating coverage between them. It can be produced in both alternating current and direct current circuits.
WHEN DOES A SHORT CIRCUIT OCCUR?
Direct contact causes the resistance of the circuit to drop to zero, generating a sudden increase in the intensity of the current (it loses its balance) according to Ohm’s law (the potential difference that is applied between the ends of a given conductor is proportional at the intensity of the current flowing through the conductor).
This situation produces, in most cases, a small explosion, although it is also true that there are some types of short circuits in which this does not occur.
A short circuit may be caused, among other things, by faulty installations, a faulty apparatus, the contact of any conduit with water, fault or degradation of electrical wiring, or the connection of an apparatus of different voltage to that of the installation.
HOW TO FIND IF YOU GOT A SHORT CIRCUIT
- To detect a short circuit, the first thing to do is, without touching anything, look on the main electrical panel or fuse box of the house if there is any switch that has tripped. The easiest way to find out which one “jumped” is to see which one has the reset button down.
- Next to the panel, you will find a sheet indicating which circuit in the house each switch corresponds to.
- Once you have located which circuit corresponds to the switch that is down, look for the area of the house where that circuit is. Turn off and disconnect all electrical appliances that are connected to that circuit.
- If you have already disconnected the devices, reset the failed switch. If the switch does not trip again, it means that the problem was caused by one of the devices that were connected to that circuit.
- If the switch fails again, then the problem is with the circuit and not the devices you connected to that circuit. In these cases, it is recommended that you call a professional specialist.
STEPS TO FIX A SHORT CIRCUIT
A short circuit is a serious fault in the electrical installation and to solve it you should contact a professional. However, below, you will find some steps to identify the short circuit and to be able to offer the maximum information to the professional in charge to solve it.
- Disconnect all PIAs from the electrical panel.
- Wait about 10 seconds and connect all the PIAs. If you recover the light, the short circuit comes from one of the unplugged appliances (to determine which appliance it is, you will have to connect them one by one and raise all the switches until it jumps again).
Once you have disconnected all the devices if the PIAs continue to skip, it means that the problem is in the house electrical wiring, and you will have to contact a professional to solve the problem.