What causes electric wiring to heat up?

Electrical wires are responsible for carrying electricity to various types of appliances and devices. While electricians perform safety procedures to ensure that electrical wires do not overheat, malfunctions or defects in the appliances and electrical cords may cause wires to become too hot. When electrical wires begin to overheat, it may cause fires and shocks.


Too many electrical cords plugged into the same electrical socket may cause some of the wiring to overheat, because of the inconsistencies of flowing current. When the current becomes too strong and causes the electrical wires to overheat, it may create a fire or present an electrical shock to someone who touches or unplugs the cord. Electrical cords that are not equipped to transfer power to heavier pieces of machinery may also cause wires to overheat, and it's important to purchase a cord that has the proper thickness and the appropriate recommended uses.


If the appliance connected to the electrical cord isn't working properly, it can also cause the wire to become too warm and present a dangerous situation. A short somewhere in the circuitry of the appliance could create too much electricity. If this is a possibility, it's important to carefully unplug the appliance and fix any problem it may be having before using it again.


Electrical cords that are overheating may have a malfunction in them that is presenting a danger to those in the vicinity. Electrical wires are well insulated to protect them from water and other elements. If the wires are exposed to air, they may generate too much heat and become dangerous. In order to prevent a malfunction from occurring, individuals need to routinely check the condition of electrical cords for signs of fraying or any other possible damage.


While covering electrical cords may be ideal for the aesthetics of a home, it doesn't allow the wires to dissipate heat safely. If an electrical cord is covered by a rug, blanket or piece of furniture, it may cause the wires to overheat and start an electrical fire.

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About the Author

Ted Marten lives in New York City and began writing professionally in 2007, with articles appearing on various websites. Marten has a bachelor's degree in English and has also received a certificate in filmmaking from the Digital Film Academy.