How to Troubleshoot a Short Circuit at Home

Troubleshooting a Short CircuitMost people have been through an electrical outage at home at some point. The first thing you should do is find out if your neighbors have the same problem. If they do, then it probably has to do with the utility company. You will not need a circuit breaker identifier for that one, TASCO, Inc. explains

On the other hand, if your house is the only one that has lost power, or you only lost power to one area, you probably have a short circuit. You can try fixing it yourself.

Check the appliance

If you were using a hairdryer or something that uses a lot of electricity, it may be a simple overload. If you can smell something burning, then the problem may just be your gadget. Unplug the appliance from the socket and check if it has its own fuse. It usually has a clear label, so you should easily spot it. If it does, take it out and inspect it. If the tiny metal strip in the middle of the tube is in two pieces, it is a blown fuse. Replace it as soon as possible.

Check the socket

If the gadget seems fine, turn your attention to the socket. If it is a ground fault circuit interrupter or GCFI outlet, all you have to do is push the reset button. Test if it is working by plugging something else into it, like a lamp. If it does not work, or it is not a GCFI outlet, then the problem is probably in the circuit box.

Check the circuit box

All electrical outlets lead to the main circuit box, and in most cases, you can tell which breaker is out because it is in the middle position. If this is the case, just push that switch to the OFF position, and then push it back to the ON position firmly. If the breaker springs back to the middle position, you might have a loose connection or burned wire. You can use a circuit breaker identifier to check where the problem might be.

Some electrical problems in your home are easy to solve if you can find the source. However, when it comes to loose or burned wiring that needs replacement, you should call in a licensed electrician to fix it for you.