Electrical Short Circuit – Causes & Prevention

Power Play – Mastering Electrical Reliability

Short circuits are critical electrical accidents that can severely damage your electrical system. They occur when a low-resistance path receives a high-volume electrical current.

The Main Causes of Electrical Short Circuits.


Faulty Circuit Wire Insulation

If the insulation is damaged or worn, it may allow the hot wires to touch with neutral. This will result in a short circuit. The age of the wire, nails or screws can cause the insulation to deteriorate and allow short circuits.

Loose Wire Connections

The live and neutral wires will come into contact if there are any loose wire connections or attachments. If you notice faulty wire connections, do not attempt to repair them; instead, contact a professional immediately.

Faulty Appliance Wiring

When you plug a device into a wall socket, its wiring becomes an extension of the circuit. As a result, any issues with the appliance wiring will become circuit issues.

Electricity and Water

When water comes in contact with electrical wiring, it can cause a short circuit. This is because water can conduct electricity, causing current to flow through the water and into the ground. This can cause damage to the wiring and probably a fire.

Damaged Outlets, Switches, and Electrical Appliances

Old or damaged electrical devices can cause a short circuit.

Overloaded Sockets

Overloaded circuits are another cause of a short circuit. When too many appliances or devices are plugged into a single circuit, it causes the electrical current to overload the system.

Ways to prevent an electrical short circuit


Ensure Proper Grounding

The grounding system provides a low resistance path for fault dissipation and acts as a reference to the functioning of protection systems & the behaviour of control sensors. Hence, Effective grounding systems are essential for attaining safe and reliable electrical operations.

Use of Lightning Protection System

A short circuit caused by a lightning strike can be extremely dangerous as it can severely damage lives and assets. The use of lightning protection would help to mitigate this hazard.

Monitor Outlets & Appliances

Any faulty wires, loose box connections, or if the outlet is over 15-25 years old may lead to a short circuit. Repair or replace such appliances.

Short Circuit Protection

Short circuits can occur in the power cords, plugs or inside the appliance. Therefore, ensuring short-circuit protection for all appliances is essential.