How to detect a short circuit in the network?

Surely in the news, you have repeatedly heard that the cause of a fire in an apartment was the occurrence of a short-circuit current, which led to adverse consequences. The fact is that a short circuit in the wiring is quite dangerous and happens quite unexpectedly if you did not check the entire network in the house on time and eliminate the probable cause of the occurrence. Next, we will consider in detail how to find a short circuit in the wiring of an apartment or house and fix it on our own.


Short circuit in the electric network arises with a sharp increase in current strength, which in turn increases with a decrease in the wiring resistance. As a result, the increased current creates critical temperature values, resulting in the ignition of all flammable materials, including core insulation.Cable insulation breakdown

The reasons why a short-circuit current occurs is primarily:

  • Network aging. The insulating layer wears out over time and breaks form in the places of inflection, where the contact is exposed.
  • Flooding by neighbors resulting in moisture worsens the sticky side of the electrical tape, which protects the twist.
  • Mechanical damage to core insulation. For example, if you drive a nail directly into the place where the cable lies. That is why it is recommended initially find the wire in the wall, and then move on to construction work.
  • The negative effect of rats who sacrifice their lives and simply cut the cable. In this case, danger can be avoided by applying measures toprotect rodent wiring.
  • Long network overload, which leads to a melting of the insulating layer.
  • The failure of the electrical appliance, which in turn "shortens" the electrical circuit.

Simply put, if two exposed veins of different poles come into contact (phase and zero), a sharp increase in temperature and further adverse consequences of a short circuit will arise, which we will talk about later.

Possible consequences

Everything is obvious here and you probably know what threatens the occurrence of a short circuit in the electrical circuit.Fire as a consequence

Among the main consequences, it is necessary to highlight:

  • the melting of cores, which in case of explosion can damage human health including splashes;
  • ignition of the insulating layer, which may result in a fire;
  • failure of electrical appliances (possibly irrevocable).

Search methods

It is very difficult to determine in advance where a short-circuit current may occur, and no one cares about such an event. Most often come to search after knocking out circuit breaker.

Find a short circuit in the wiring of the house as follows:

Visual inspection. If the insulation in a certain place is damaged and the two exposed wires are in contact, the reason is here. Most often, damage is found in junction boxes, outlets, and switches at the junction points.We saw a burnt shell - most likely this is the place of malfunction.Old wiring in the house

Using a megaohmmeter (or multimeter) it is necessary to check the resistance of the circuit. Connect one wire of the tester to the phase, the other to zero (then to ground). If the scoreboard is zero, then the wiring is normal, if there is any value, the contacts are in contact. About, how to use a multimeter, we told in the corresponding article!Using a multimeter to check wiring

We draw your attention to the fact that finding a short circuit with a multimeter is not always possible, due to its low voltage. As a rule, this type of tester is used on a chain section of no more than 3 meters.

If the cause of the situation is the appliance itself, and not the network, it can be quickly calculated. If a short circuit occurs in the hidden wiring, the circuit breaker immediately knocks out. First, turn off all equipment from outlets, then turn on the machine and alternately connect each device. Exclusion method You need to find the failed wiring section and repair it.Connecting an electrical plug to a power outlet

By the way, there is a popular method for finding a short circuit on a line - by sound. The bottom line is that in the place where the contacts are short, crackling will be heard. A similar way is to determine by smell burnt plastic problem zone in the apartment or house.Short circuit inside the outlet

We do not recommend relying on old-fashioned methods and we recommend giving preference to testers who will help you to accurately find the place of the malfunction even in the wall.

We also recommend that you watch the video instruction, which demonstrates the search method using the radio:

How to find short circuit in wiring

Remedies and Prevention

First, consider how to fix a network short circuit:

  1. The damaged area must be removed and the contacts reconnected, carefully insulating the bonding point.
  2. If the socket or switch is burnt, do not try to restore them. It’s cheaper and safer to buy and install a new product.
  3. Old wiring must be completely replaced, as even if you solve the problem once, after a while it may occur elsewhere.
  4. If the reason is in household appliances do it yourself breakdown.

Regarding preventive measures, you must take the following actions:

  1. If the socket began to sparklerepair it or replace it with a new one, as often this product closes.
  2. Be sure to revise the lighting network and the power group of the wires every few months, because Short circuit may occur not immediately, but over time. The beginning of the process can be detected by the color of the instrument housing - it will turn yellow and melt if a short circuit flows along the line.
  3. Be sure to install the circuit breaker and residual current device. These devices effectively cope with problems such as short circuit and prevent deplorable consequences.
  4. When installing electrical wiring, correctly calculate the cross-section of the cable so that there are no overloads from powerful devices.
  5. All cable groups do not need to be closely stacked next to each other during installation work, so as not to damage the protective sheaths.
  6. Check the wall before drilling homemade metal detectorso as not to accidentally stumble on a cable under the plaster.

In the end, we recommend watching another useful video on the topic:

Search for short circuit by device

That's all the information on how to find a short circuit in the wiring of the house and fix it without calling a specialist. We hope that this instruction was useful for you and helped in solving the problem. We also recommend finding out how to make grounding in the house!

How to find short circuit in wiring

Search for short circuit by device

(34 votes)


  • Kairat

    Thank! The article is interesting and easy to read and the video is interesting.

    To answer
  • Sergei.

    I read a lot, how to determine the place of KZ in the apartment, all nonsense, and not specifically. But this is worse than a cliff.

    To answer
  • Vyacheslav

    Due to the fact that I was replaced by old machines. I’m not afraid that when I get a fire from a short circuit. My protection wiring

    To answer
  • Vitaliy

    If the tester shows ZERO, this is a short circuit. Further your article and reading does not make sense. You are not an electrician. The wiring resistance must be at least 0.5MΩ. Burnt wires in the outlet are not a sign of a short circuit, but rather a sign of poor contact (the wires in the socket of the outlet are badly clamped), which can then lead to a short circuit when the insulation burns out. If the network includes transformers, then the tester readings will be close to zero. Before measuring, the entire load is turned off. And you can find short circuit in hidden wiring only with home-made and industrial devices. Principle of action - the signal is not heard after a short circuit. Unfortunately, industrial appliances are expensive and amateur
    require radio engineering experience

    To answer
    • Admin

      If exposed charred wires touch, there is a short circuit in this place. Regarding the tester, you did not correctly understand the proposal. Of course, I didn’t put it that way a bit. It was meant that large values ​​or "1" say that there is a short circuit. If the value tends to zero, i.e. less than one, then the wiring in this section is serviceable. For devices, it is also discussed in the article.

      To answer
    • Bulba

      You are not an electrician. The wiring resistance must be at least 0.5MΩ.

      Vitaly, your terminology does not reach a competent electrician, there is no concept of resistance to wiring. There are resistances on the parts of the circuit. Phase - zero, Phase - grounding, insulation resistance of wires.

      To answer
  • ytsu

    The article is good.
    Another option, as a child, my father showed that any thin needles are attached to the ends of the tester with a cambric, if it is not there, with electrical tape, better with a match, or something to thicken, then fasten and wind so that it does not slip, it will be easier, and alternately piercing cable meter by meter, looking for resistance.
    About to turn off the power, I think there is no need to talk.

    To answer
  • Yura

    Room how to find a burnt box

    To answer

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