The rainy season is upon us and typical are floods and leaks. And it also means an increase in electrical short circuits. According to authorities, short circuits are normal during the rainy season, but more so at the beginning of the season.
Fire authorities recommend an inspection of all electrical circuits and to call in an electrician if anything is abnormal. In cases where the homeowner has no experience in the matter, best to call in a professional
Short circuits can result in fires. Damage from short circuits can be reduced or prevented by employing fuses, circuit breakers, or other overload protection, which disconnect the power in reaction to excessive current. Overload protection must be chosen according to the current rating of the circuit.
Circuits for large home appliances require protective devices set or rated for higher currents than lighting circuits. Wire gauges specified in building and electrical codes are chosen to ensure safe operation in conjunction with the overload protection. An overcurrent protection device must be rated to safely interrupt the maximum prospective short circuit current.
In an improper installation, the overcurrent from a short circuit may cause ohmic heating of the circuit parts with poor conductivity (faulty joints in wiring, faulty contacts in power sockets, or even the site of the short circuit itself). Such overheating is a common cause of fires. An electric arc, if it forms during the short circuit, produces high amount of heat and can cause ignition of combustible substances as well.