Why Do Electrical Faults Happen?

People often associate accidents and emergencies with the term “electrical fault” ‒ and they’re not wrong.

In electrical systems, an electrical fault, or simply, fault, is the abnormal behaviour of electric current.

An electrical fault can come in different forms, depending on the electrical components responsible. Moreover, it carries a wide range of safety hazards, from minor to severe.

Electrical faults are also primarily responsible for most household fires in Sydney ‒ that’s why protecting your household from electrical faults require a better understanding of why it happens.

Causes of Electrical Faults

An electrical fault is not a natural occurrence which occurs for all households. However, it can manifest over time due to many factors within your electrical system. Besides, electrical faults in your wiring system, appliances, and pieces of equipment develop primarily because of corrupt electrical practices such as:

  • Negligence ‒ Lack of proper attention and care for the appliances
  • Misuse ‒ Poor and incorrect use of equipment
  • Abuse ‒ Deliberate ill-treatment of appliances

Aside from that, here are other reasons why electrical faults happen.

Incorrect Outlet and Switchboard Power Ratings

Your electrical switchboards, wiring systems, and power outlets are among the most common points where electrical faults happen. One reason why this occurs is a low and incompatible power rating between the power source and appliances.

Moreover, by ignoring the labels and energy capacities of power points, you run the risk of developing an electrical fault the moment you plug in a high-demand electronic appliance, such as a microwave or air-conditioner.

Besides, the frequent use of contact points within power outlets cause them to wear and tear over time. Once you notice loose plugs when using a socket, have a level 2 electrician replace it before the fault develops into a severe electrical hazard.

Inadequate Electrical Protection

Whether you like it or not, faults may also occur in your protective devices. In choosing the right Residual Current Devices, switchboards, and circuit breakers, you should consider the amount of load for your electrical system. 

However, people connect more and more devices in the long run without thinking about their protective system. Hence, it will reach a point where your protective system can’t handle the load and may lead to nuisance tripping.

In the worse case, protective devices can wear off, posing a serious electrical hazard. If left neglected, your switchboard or RCD may heat up and melt ‒ leading to short circuit which may arc and start a fire.

Using Extension Cords for Nearly Anything

For situations where you need to use electricity outside the confines of your outlets, extension cords always come in handy. However, people also commit the mistake of using to plug more devices in an outlet with no vacant sockets.

Furthermore, connecting multiple extension cords to add more sockets or to extend electricity significantly will add more load to the power point. Hence, causing it to heat up and wear out the insulation. 

Moreover, worn-out insulation is the most common yet least obvious example of electrical faults. Instead of bridging multiple cords, it is best to use a single cable of the desired length. It will also help if you choose those with portable RCDs or similar protective devices. 

Poor Wiring System Installation

Loose electrical fixtures, faulty grounding, wobbly light switches, you name it ‒ every minor flaw during the electrical installation process can boil down into costly and life-threatening electrical emergencies.

It is usual for electrical components such as light switches, bulbs, and outlets to experience wear and tear. However, a poor installation will hasten the deterioration. If left overlooked, you might suffer the consequences sooner than you think.

That’s why during the planning process, it would be best if you rely on accredited level 2 electricians to establish your property’s electrical wiring system. Not only are they allowed to install and repair electrical components, their training and experience also help them identify faulty hot spots and fix them before electrical emergencies happen.

Summary

Our negligence and malpractice of electricity are the primary causes of electrical faults. Besides, your electrical system gets more vulnerable to faults over time due to deterioration as well as wear and tear. However, electrical faults are preventable ‒ by being proactive and seeking help from a reliable level 2 electrician at Gordon Powers.

Our certified Level 2 electricians are experts who will diagnose and isolate any electrical fault within your power system. We have the tools and experience to identify faults, preventing short circuits and other electrical emergencies. Wherever you are in Sydney, we’ll be in and out within the hour.

Call us at (02) 9199 7480 for an appointment or inquire with us via email.