All posts tagged short circuit

The Difference Between a Short Circuit or Ground Fault?

short circuit or ground faultWhat’s the difference between a short circuit or ground fault and do I need to know? You may have heard the terms short circuit or ground fault used and wonder what they mean to you and your electrical system. If you have a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, you may have a faulty breaker, a short circuit or  ground fault or a problem with one of your appliances.

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip?

If you have a fuse box or circuit breaker box, it is put in place to protect you and your home from too much electricity. Circuit breakers or fuses are designed to work with a certain amount of electricity or AMPS. When that amount is exceeded because too much electricity is required, the fuse will blow or the breaker will trip to off. For example when you have a 20-amp fuse and your appliance starts using 30-amps you will exceed the amount of electricity and your circuit breaker will trip or your fuse will burn out.

Short Circuit or Ground Fault

What Is A Short Circuit?

A Short circuit is when a wire gets exposed or is open to touch another wire. When the wires are connected wrong or insulation wears away so that wires touch, you can end up with a hot wire touching a neutral wire and this can result in a short circuit. Often you’ll see a spark or smell smoke. Sometimes you cannot detect where the problem is. Your electrician can help determine the cause of the short circuit and rewire any areas that have trouble. A short circuit will draw more electricity and cause a short. Sometimes the hot wires melt the insulation on the wires and could potentially cause a house fire.

What Is A Ground Fault?

A ground fault occurs when the hot wire is exposed and touches either the ground wire or it touches metal in the junction box or in the appliance. For example if your air conditioner compressor has a ground fault it means a wire in the compressor broke and is touching the sides of the unit. This will also cause a surge in power that will trip the breaker or blow the fuse.  Another term for ground fault is a short to ground connection.

What Should You Do If Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

If you notice a problem with your circuit breaker, you need to have it checked out. The circuit breaker is there to keep you safe and notify you if there’s a problem. Sometimes the only problem is a loose wire at the circuit breaker box. Other times, you have either a short circuit or ground fault causing the breaker to trip or the fuse to blow. Your electrician at Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can help you determine where the problem is and make the necessary repairs. Rose Brothers serves the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area and we are ready to help you with all your electrical repairs.

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Why Do Sparks Come Out Of My Outlet?

why do sparks come out of my outlet?We often get calls from people wondering, “Why do sparks come out of my outlet?”.  This is a common question many homeowners face.  If you haven’t seen a spark coming from your outlet recently, you probably will soon enough.  Why? Because an arc at the outlet is a common occurrence.   Don’t get the idea that because it can happen often that it isn’t signally a problem though.  Here’s why:

Why Your Outlet Sparks

Current goes through your house very quickly.  Appliances and items you plug into your outlet draws the current out.  If you unplug your appliance while it is still on, you can cause a spark.  This can happen on appliances like your iron that don’t have an on/off switch but are turned on by turning the temperature knob up from zero.  You can avoid this kind of spark by making sure the appliance is turned off before unplugging or plugging it in.  When appliances are unplugged before turning them off, it causes the wires to get hot. This in turn can melt the insulation and cause a short circuit.

When Your Outlet Sparks Too Often

If you notice your outlet sparking often or sparking no matter what is plugged in, you should call your local electrician to examine the outlet. Don’t leave the question, “Why do sparks come out of my outlet?”, unanswered.  If your outlet is older or if the insulation has melted, you could have a short circuit.  This is a “hot” wire that could burn your house down.  A professional electrician can make sure your outlet is safe and fix a short circuit.  Like everything else in your home, your wiring can get old and worn out.  Fixing the wiring when you notice a problem will protect you, your family and your belongings.

Why Do Sparks Come Out of My Outlet?

There are a few possible answers when you ask why sparks come out of an outlet.  Any time you have a question about your electricity and especially when it involves a spark, you should call your electrician to have them check if something is wrong.  Don’t spend time worrying about a problem when the fix is a phone call away.  If you have trouble with a short circuit at your outlet or you notice sparks, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric.  We will be happy to help.

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Home Electricity and Preventing Power Outages

electrical contractorHome electricity is a necessity Americans have come to depend on. We need electric for lights, cooking, cleaning and in some cases life-support. It wasn’t too long ago in our history that people lived without electricity. Today, when the power goes out, we are left in limbo and inconvenienced until the lights come back on. Some areas have experienced many problems associated with power outages that have left families devastated and businesses without revenue. Fortunately most hospitals and public areas have backup power to depend on. Here are a few of the causes of power outages and what you can do to prepare for them.

Weather Causing Power Outages

Most of the power outages in the Northern Kentucky area are caused by weather. Snow, rain, ice and wind can all take a toll on electrical systems. Although it is almost impossible to plan for a flood or tornado, you can take precaution to protect your electrical system from damage from water, moisture and dust. Dust and water can damage your home electricity causing serious costly repairs. Sealed circuit boxes help protect your electrical system from water damage. Where your electric boxes are, also helps. More severe weather concerns have sometimes left entire regions without power. You may not be able to prevent such catastrophes, but you can prepare for them. Having candles, canned food, extra water or a back-up electric generator can help.

Other Causes of Power Outages

Other power outages result when power lines and wires are damaged. Large animals and birds can sometimes cause power outages. Other outages occur when automobiles wreck into power lines or the power company is working on power lines sometimes power outages are the result of human error. Other power outages are the direct result of short circuits. This is when the electrical current takes a wrong path causing excess in electrical current that can lead to circuit damage, fire or explosion. Short circuits are one of the primary causes of fires in the area. Short circuits occur for many reasons, damaged wires, water or other conducting material that comes in contact with the current. Motors that are jammed can also cause a short circuit.

Preventing Power Outages with Good Electrical Installations

One way to prevent power outages and short circuits is to make sure you have good quality materials in place in your electrical system. Make sure you hire a certified electrician who will install your electrical system the right way without cutting corners. Wires should always be good quality and the right gauge for your application. Pumps, pistons, rotors and other moving parts should be inspected and maintained to prevent short circuits caused by jammed equipment. Circuits should not be overloaded. High quality circuit breakers and fuses should be used to protect against circuit overload. All circuit breakers and electrical wiring should be kept away from water and moisture. Besides power outages, your electrical system should also be able to withstand the problems of power surges and low voltage. If you have questions about your home electricity, call your trusted electrical contractor, Rose Brothers and Sons Electric. They will be happy to help you.

 

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