You have most likely heard the term “short circuit” before in your life, but are you sure that you totally know what it means? Here we will be going over what exactly a short circuit is, how to identify a short circuit, and steps on how to prevent it from happening in your home. Knowing full well what you’re working with will guarantee that you are prepared to handle such a task.

What Exactly Is a Short Circuit?

A short circuit is a term that is, for the most part, overused and misdirected. An actual short circuit is when a certain wire is connected or situated in a way that does not allow for optimal electrical flow. When a sub-standard connection is made, flow can travel down a multitude of undesignated paths and will have relatively lower electrical resistance. When an influx in power is surged through the system, the shorted wire can result in a blown fuse, as a majority of that power was interjected throughout unintended areas of the terminal.

How to Identify a Short Circuit

Before you get down to locating the source of the short circuit, you have to start with the breaker. Since the short circuit causes the breaker to trip from a power surge, it is the best way to locate the source of the problem.

The first step is to power off every switch on the breaker. After that, power on each switch individually. If a specific switch caused a second trip in the breaker after being turned on, that is the source of the short circuit. If none of the switches result in a breaker trip, it must be an appliance. Unplug appliances individually, much like the switches, and plug them back in to see if the breaker trips again. If an appliance is the source of the surge, the problem could lay in the power cord or even the appliance itself.

On a side note, short circuits are extremely dangerous and should be handled with caution. If you do not know how to properly handle a situation such as this, do not take risks. Contact a professional Sydney electrician, or one in your area, for an expert’s opinion.


Taking necessary steps to avoid a short circuit or a power surge will greatly reduce the damage done, as well as preventing a trip in the breaker. Investing in a circuit breaker, safety fuse, and power strips will save you on costly repairs to your electrical system in the even that a power surge or short circuit were to occur.

As long as you have the required knowledge and take the necessary precautionary steps to avoid injury, locating and understand a short circuit is far from the most difficult electrical job. Taking steps to avoid power surges and short circuiting is equally as important as understanding how to fix them. Understanding this information is a valuable skill that will prove to be useful time and time again.

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