How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Can a short circuit cause a high electric bill?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
It’s Quick And Dirty
A “short” is a dramatic event that is usually accompanied by a load popping sound, smoke, a burnt smell in the air, sometimes a flash of light, and ending with a tripped breaker. If the breaker does not trip fast enough, it can also start a fire. A short occurs when the path of electricity in a circuit literally takes a unintended and shorter-than-usual route that offers minimal resistance to current flow, and is never a good thing.
Despite whatever damage a short circuit causes, it is a brief event that quickly destroys the faulty route the electricity took, like in the photo of a short at a receptacle shown above. A short does not last long enough to affect your electric bill.
To Learn More
See our blog post What could cause an extremely high electric bill? and What causes flickering or blinking lights in a house? for related information.
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:
• What are typical aluminum service entrance wire/cable sizes for the electrical service to a house?
• Why is it unsafe to bond neutral and ground wiring at subpanels?
• Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house?
• Why is a strain relief clamp necessary for the cord connection to some electric appliances?
• Does a wire nut connection need to be wrapped with electrical tape?
• What is the minimum clearance of overhead electric service drop wires above a house roof?
• What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?
• What is the color code for NM cable (Romex®) sheathing?
• Why is undersize electric wiring in a house dangerous?
• Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?
• How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?
• Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall?
• What is an open electrical splice?
• What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection?
• I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. How do you check for aluminum wiring?
Visit our ELECTRICAL and ENERGY EFFICIENCY pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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