How to Troubleshoot a Dangerous Short Circuit VS Ground Fault in Laguna Beach, CA; Detection, Protection & More

A home can develop a number of different electrical problems. Often the electrical symptoms can seem very similar. However, the problem itself can vary greatly. Two different problems can share the exact same symptom such as in a short circuit and ground fault issue. To better determine which problem your home may be facing, Peterkin Electric would like to define short circuit and a ground fault.

What is a Short Circuit?

A short circuit is defined as any electrical flow that strays out of its intended circuit. Often the electrical flow goes out of its intended circuit with little to no resistance. The usual cause of a short circuit is when bare wires come in contact with each other. Wire can come in contact with each other when connections become loose and the wires are now exposed. When wires come in contact with one another, it sends out a large current, causing the electrical flow to stray away. In most cases when a short circuit occurs, it will cause the circuit breaker to trip. Once the breakers trip, the flow of energy suddenly stops.

Why are Short Circuits Dangerous?

Short circuits can be dangerous as the exposed wiring can cause a fire. Wiring can be exposed for other reasons than just a loose connection in a light fixture or outlet. As time passes, the protective coating over the wiring can become damaged due to screws, nails, or pests, such as rodents. Some signs of damaged wiring can be when the breaker frequently trips, you detect a burning smell or feel heat from the face plate of a light switch or outlet. If the same breaker continues to trip, it is strongly recommended that you seek a professional electrical service. When an electrician comes, they will inspect the home electrical systems.

What is a Ground Fault?

Ground fault is defined as an unintentional pathway of a stray electrical current that flowed directly into the earth. Essentially, a ground fault is actually a type of “short circuit.” However, the flow of energy is greatly different from a short circuit. When the hot wire comes in contact with the ground wire, it will send a sudden burst of electricity through the ground wire and not through the rest of the circuit.

Ground Fault Protection

When a burst of energy travels through the ground, it is considered a little less hazardous than a short circuit. This is because the energy safely disperses out through the ground. However, the primary danger is if an object or person comes in contact with electricity’s path. In such cases, it can once again redirect the flow of energy harming a person or causing a fire. Again, to protect your home against the calamity, it is important to prevent wires from becoming loose or damaged. After a recent rodent infestation, major remodeling, or when an electrical system becomes dated, it is recommended to have the electrical system inspected.

Electrical Breaker Panel Repairs in Laguna Woods, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Lake Forest & Orange County, California

If the home or commercial property develops electrical problems and requires professional electrical services, contact Peterkin Electric. We provide electrical inspection, repair and full electrical installations and more. To schedule our services, contact Simon Electric today.