Top Electrical Mistakes That Can Lead To Short Circuits

May 25, 2022
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The consequences of a lousy wiring or electrical system can be troublesome and even catastrophic if left unaddressed. Thus, it is essential to have a robust electrical system in your office or place of business as the faults or failures in any component can pose hazardous risks. Hence, whether you are working in the electrical industry or tackling a project on your own, there are some typical electrical mistakes that you should watch out for.

Wiring outside of electrical boxes 

Connecting electrical wires outside boxes is a common yet hazardous electrical mistake that you should avoid at all costs. The primary use of electrical boxes is to protect wire connections against accidental damage and prevent electrical fire hazards by containing heat and sparks. Thus, it further helps you ensure the safety of your employees, workers, and property. 

Using a “too small” electrical box

Always make sure to use an ideal-sized junction box to avoid over-stuffing the box with wires. Tightly-crammed wires into small spaces can lead to potential risks associated with overheating or short-circuits. Therefore, follow the minimum box sizes specified by the National Electrical Code to prevent any unforeseen situations.

Wires cut too short

Cutting wires too short makes it difficult to make proper connections, leading to tremendous risks. These poor connections can also result in overheating, short circuits, and other electrical faults. Thus, consider leaving wires protruding approximately three inches from the box to allow you to move them around while making connections quickly.

Exposed plastic-sheathed cables

While most people know that wires shouldn’t be left exposed, they are still easily forgotten once they are boarded up in the home's framing. However, even when left unexposed, these wires are still prone to danger. Thus, always cover plastic-sheathed cables carefully as per the electrical code to protect them against unwanted damages.

Unsecured cables and wires

When installing cables and wires, secure them with the clamp to prevent lousy and strained connections. You can select a clamp based on the electrical box you use. For instance, the built-in cable clamps are not essential for single plastic boxes, but it requires stapling within 8 inches of the box. Similarly, you can use internal clamps for larger plastic containers and pin them within 12 inches. 

Unsupported switches and outlets

Besides their sloppy appearance, vaguely connected or unsupported switches and outlets are prone to safety hazards. These wires can move around or get pulled during use, disrupting the connection between wires and terminals. Thus, as a result, it can lead to unwanted overheating and higher arching, increasing the risk of short circuits and fires.

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