How to Detect and Deal with Open Circuits in Old Houses

Usually, a failure of a switch, wire or a blown breaker (fuse) in an old house may lead to an open electrical circuit. In fact, there are many other factors that may cause an open electrical circuit such as a faulty TV-set, radio, lamp or faulty electrical wiring.

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In many cases to detect and fix an open circuit is not complicated. Any person with some electrical knowledge can fix the problem. If a fuse has been blown you can easily, check and close back the circuit.

You need only to flip back the fuse/breaker in the “on” position or you need to replace the fuse. Also, you can rapidly correct the problem if you need to deal with a faulty electrical device. However, things get complicated when you are dealing with a faulty electrical wiring. In this case, most likely you need the services of a professional electrician.

But, before seeking the services of a licensed electrician you should make sure that there are not other causes that led to this open circuit.

   1. First, you should check if a fuse or a breaker has been blown. To do that open the circuit breaker box door and look inside.
You can easily find if it is a tripped breaker. The tripped breaker/fuse is positioned in the opposite side of the rest breakers.
Flip the breaker back or replace the burnt fuse.
However, if the breaker flip back and open the electrical circuit again that means it is a short circuit somewhere or it is an overload in the circuit. Therefore, you should check if you do not have too many electrical devices somewhere on the circuit. Unplug these devices and check again.
If the problem persists, you need to call an electrician. More than likely you have a short circuit in the system.
2. Check if you have a faulty electrical device. It is simple. Find a “good” outlet and bring all your electrical devices. Plug them one by one and check them out if they work.
3. Test your outlets if they receive power. Use a voltage tester to do that. If your voltage tester show no power in the circuit turn off the breaker and remove the cover of the outlet. Turn on again the breaker and check again for power touching the wires. If you still do not have power, replace the fuse. If the voltage tester continues to show no power then you have a short circuit and you need an electrician.
4. Proceed in a similar way with a switch. In fact, repeat this procedure with all the outlets and switches.
5. Checking wired sockets is also, a simple thing. You need only to screw a new bulb into the socket and turn the light on.  Of course, if you have light then the electrical circuit is good. If not, check first the switch and then the socket.

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