Plugging in a circuit that's shorted

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Howie, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Howie

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    I recently plugged in my powercord to a circuit I built, to the wall, which was connected to a short. The powercord was soldered to a switch and a fuse that I soldered both in parallel, not realizing this.

    The outlets wouldn't work after I plugged in the cord, until I resetted the switch- now the outlets are working fine.

    My question is, shouldn't this have caused permanent damage? Maybe the fuse broke? Wouldn't the fuse have to be replaced before the outlets started working again?
  2. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    You said, "the outlets didn't work until I resetted the switch".
    The "switch" was a circuit breaker that replaces a fuse.
  3. Howie

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    0 automatically turned off as protection and I simply resetted it to work again?
  4. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    Old-fashioned home wiring used fuses that you had to screw in. The fuses looked like the bases of a light bulb, with a window on top so that you could see if the fuse link was burned out or not.

    Sometime in the late 1950's or early 1960's, circuit breakers in panels became economical for use in home wiring.

    Circuit breakers for wall outlets in homes are generally rated for 15 amps. They are designed to "trip", or go open-circuit, if there is a momentary large current drain, or a slight overcurrent drain for a period of time.

    Your circuit breaker protected the wiring by tripping instantaneously. Otherwise, you may have wound up with melted/burned wiring, and quite possibly a fire.

    Once you removed the short, and re-set the circuit breaker, all is well again.
  5. mik3ca

    Active Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    I think this is an april fools joke.
  6. Howie

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    Hahaha...I should've posted this today, but no, just because it's simple and widely-used doesn't mean everyone understands exactly how it works..

    Thanks Wookie! =]