Electric Circuit Tester: Your Handy Tool in Distinguishing Short Circuits

Common Wiring ProblemsPerhaps, you have made a model out of some wires, a light bulb and some batteries for a science project before. Using this model, you were able to have an idea of how circuits work — normally seen in homes through switches, plugs, wirings and circuit breakers. One of the most common wiring problems that can happen to any home, however, is a short circuit.

How Short Circuit Happens

Appliances using a single circuit and have defective wall switches may result in short circuits. When this occurs, a hot wire comes in contact with either a neutral or ground wire, causing too much current to flow through the circuit. This can cause a fuse to blow up or most commonly referred to as “tripping.”

Short Circuit or Overloading?

At times, it can be difficult to tell whether a wiring problem is caused by short circuit or overloading. Fortunately, there are ways for you to get to the root of the problem. If the fuse has blown up, replace it then restart the breaker. Flip the switch on and see if the breaker trips again, if it does, then it is likely that it has experienced short circuit. To test if the fixture is on the hot side, you must use an electric circuit tester.

The Use of Electric Circuit Tester

This device is specifically designed to test an electrical circuit. With its handles wrapped with an insulator, an electric circuit tester is highly effective in determining whether the circuit is live or not. This is ideal for preventing short circuits from happening again. By having bare metals at the tip of the tester come in contact with a grounded conductor or a metal box, it will send signals that the receptacle is live or not.

If it is live, the tester will light up or show an activity that indicates the presence of electricity on the given object. For tasks such as these, it's best to hire a professional to ensure the safety and get the results you need to clear up problems in your house.

The next time you have electrical problems, you should have the right tools to do the necessary tests. Better yet, hire a professional to ensure your safety.