5 Common Causes of Short Circuit and How to Avoid It

5 Common Causes of Short Circuit and How to Avoid It
September 29, 2021

Many big electrical accidents in our history have been the result of simple short circuits. It can lead to death, injury, or fires. If the fire occurs in a significant place like a library or a museum, a lot of damage can occur.

Interestingly, there are a lot of common causes for a short circuit, but if you take the necessary precautions, you can prevent it from occurring. Let’s dig into the details.

1. Overload of Electricity

An overload of electricity in the circuit is the main and primary cause of a short circuit, with all other causes leading to it. When too much electricity flows into a circuit, it causes the circuit to burn due to high impedance. This can lead to fires or blackouts, depending on the scale of the damage incurred.


The best method to avoid damage from overload is to make use of a fuse. Each fuse has a range, and if the electricity goes over the range, it burns, cutting the connection. This avoids bigger damage.

2. Wear and Tear of Electrical Wires

With time, electrical wires can wear and tear due to a number of reasons. This wear and tear may bring to wires into contact, and that would result in an unintended electric flow which causes a short circuit. The greater the area of contact, the bigger the resultant damage.


Make sure that you replace your wires after a time. To determine which timeframe is appropriate, you can contact the manufacturer or the dealer you got these wires from.

3. Poor or Loose Connection of Wires

Wires that are not properly connected may lead to an inconsistent flow of electricity, and over time that increases the chances of a short circuit. The connection can be loose from the get-go, or it can occur at another time due to some abnormal movement or a pest (like a rodent).


You should check the plugs and the sockets from time to time. If they seem to have gotten loose with time, or if you hear a spark, it would be in your best interest to replace them.

4. Manufacturing Fault in Appliance

Often the appliances manufactured may have a fault in them. This is the kind of short circuit that is the hardest to avoid. You cannot determine that the product is faulty, and with time it can lead to a short circuit. We can only hope for the appliance to be a small one.


It can be really hard to avoid this short circuit, but if, every now and then, you give a good look at the new appliance you have brought, you may see the signs of a short circuit.

5. Contact with a Lot of Water

Water is a good electrical conductor, and if water gets in the midst of a set of wires, it will allow the electricity to go wild, and potentially, may lead to an unavoidable short circuit.


Make sure all your connections are utterly waterproof. Make sure that water doesn’t come in contact with them even by accident, can keep the wired connection away from the water connection.


There may be a lot of other causes, but it is humanly impossible for us to avoid all of them. However, if we look after these 5 common causes, we are pretty much safe, because accidents then are highly unlikely. Even if they do occur, by any chance, we can expect little to no damage.

Contact us today at Swartz Electric for all of your electrical needs. 719-457-2218