Arcing is a hazard that can present a very real danger to homeowners with outdated electrical wiring or damaged electrical components. Electrical arcing occurs when there is a gap between conductors of high-voltage. This gap can be caused by nearly anything, whether it is a physical separation between bared wires or corrosion on a single wire.
Electricity finds the quickest way around this obstacle, and it may leap from one object to another. This is called an arc flash. Arc flashes produce intense heat, up to 35,000 degrees, and can superheat the air around them, creating a loud noise.
The Risks of Arcing
Arc flashes can occur when electricity attempts to bridge gaps on its own, or when inadvertent contact is made between the edges of the gap. Unfortunately, contact can be made with tools, the human body, or any other materials that conduct electricity. One of the reasons why it is so important to have a professional electrician handle any electrical work in your home is to avoid the risk of arc flashes.
Arc flashes are attempts by electricity to close a circuit. The risk comes from the possibility of a person being the bridge across which the circuit is closed. Arc flashes can cause severe injury, and even death. Arcing can cause property damage and ignite fires, which is a secondary risk of the phenomenon.
Protecting Against Arcing
The best way to avoid arc flash hazards is to respect your electrical system, and only have a professional electrician perform electrical work. Have your home's electrical system inspected on a regular basis, and if your home is older or contains old aluminum wiring, you may want to consider rewiring your home.
If your home service panel contains fuses that regularly blow or circuits that frequently trip, it's time to call your electrician. TAP and Sons Electric provides lifetime warranties on service panel replacement, and we can also inspect and rewire your home to reduce the risk of arc hazards. Contact us at (480) 507-2900 to learn more about protecting your home.