Can Electrical Wires Be Exposed? Can It Cause Fire?

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Electrical wires are used in every appliance or device; they carry the current either to the appliance from the source or from the source to the appliance. The wires are always insulated and covered for the safety of users because the current passing through the wires can cause electrical shocks.

In some cases, electrical wires can get exposed from facing damage, or they get worn and torn over time. Exposed wires are very dangerous, especially if they are live wires, which always carry electrical current.

Can Electrical Wires Be Exposed?

No, any electrical wire carrying a live current must not be exposed at any time; leaving live wires exposed is very dangerous. However, some wires can be left exposed, like the ground wires, usually found exposed. This is because they are used to disperse any power surge found in the circuit.

Meanwhile, live or hot wires are always insulated and covered because they carry a current. This is because it’s their job to carry the current from the source to the appliance or the device consuming the power. So if a live wire is exposed, this increases the chances of someone getting shocked.

Electric shocks can cause serious injuries and lead to death; in addition, exposed wires are not efficient in delivering the power needed by the appliances. As a result, this can affect the appliances and their efficiency.

Can Exposed Wires Cause Fire?

Exposed wires are not efficient in delivering the full amount of power appliances need. Therefore, the appliances try to compensate for this lost power by withdrawing more power. Unfortunately, this will increase the heat applied to the wires and overheat them, which can result in causing a fire hazard.

The wires used in homes and inside walls are the ones that have a higher chance of starting a fire if they are left exposed. Because they can not be seen when inside the wall, so you will not be able to notice if there are any sparks or signs. The electric fire is very dangerous as it can be put off by using water because water is a good electric conductor.

Therefore, you will need to either use a fire extinguisher or sand to put the fire. So it’s better to keep fire extinguishers near the exposed wire to be cautious if any fire happens.

What Are The Dangers of Exposed Wires?

Exposed wires have many dangers like electric shocks, fire hazards, power surges, blown fuses, and circuit trips. Many still use wires even after they get frayed since they are still working, but this is against safety regulations. In addition, the power delivered by the exposed wires is not distributed.

This makes the power insufficient for the appliances and the devices; therefore, the appliance will try to draw more power to keep its efficiency. As a result, this puts more load on the wires and makes them overheat; eventually, this increase in heat will cause a fire hazard.

Another result for additional power withdrawn is if you have any fuse connected to the circuit, the chances of it blowing up are higher. In addition, if you don’t have a grounding system for the circuit, the power surges can cause electric shocks to anyone who touches the electric circuit or gets near.

Therefore, if you leave the wires exposed, ensure your grounding system is working properly to disperse these power surges as they will be more common.

How To Repair Exposed Wires?

  • Method 1
  1. First, you will need to buy good-quality electrical tape and start wrapping the electrical tape around the wire. The electrical tape should cover the exposed area of the wire completely and in one revolution.
  2. After wrapping the first revolution, you must apply two to three more layers on the wire. This can make the electrical tape bear more damage and last longer.
  3. Electrical tapes are available in many colors, so you can try finding a color that matches the color of the wire. You should know that electrical tape can tear and wear over time; therefore, you should regularly check on it, and if you notice any damage replace the layer with a new one.
  4. This method is more suitable for minor and small damages; you shouldn’t use it for great exposure or large wires and cables. 
  5. Electrical tape can be suitable for repairing chargers of laptops or mobile phones, headphones wires, and electric appliance cords. 
  • Method 2 
  1. For this method, you will need to buy a packet of single-use sugru, open the pack and take out the rubber silicon putty. Then, you will need to warm it up for about 30 seconds to make it more shapeable. You must place the putty between your fingers and squish it forth and back.
  2. Next, place the putty on a flat and clean surface and start rolling it forth and back using your fingers to make it thin and long. Then, apply some pressure on the piece using your hand to shape it into a rectangular shape, so you can use it to wrap the wire.
  3. Place the sugru over the cable, center it over the exposed area of the wire, then start wrapping it tightly around it. When you finish wrapping the sugru, its ends should meet together; you will have to stick them to each other tightly, so it doesn’t unwrap. 
  4. The last step is to leave the sugru to dry for about 24 hours in a dry place; you can hang the wire in a safe place to avoid anyone touching it. 
  • Method 3
  1. First, you will need to get a shrinkable band with a ratio of 2:1; this means the band shrinks to half of its diameter after the band gets heated. Next, cut the shrinkable band to a length twice the length of the exposed area in the wire. 
  2. Center the shrinkable band over the damaged area by sliding it across the wire; you will see that the band extends from both sides. Using a hair dryer or a heat gun, start heating the shrinkable band; you will need to hold the dryer or the gun a distance of 1 cm from the band.
  3. Move the gun or the dryer along the length of the shrinkable band until it shrinks tightly on your wire; this will take about 3o seconds or less. 

Can You Use Electrical Tape to Cover Exposed Wires?

Electrical tape can be used to cover exposed wires and any electrical issues; however, it should be a temporary solution. You can not depend on electrical tape to permanently solve your problem because the risks of exposed wires can still happen even with electrical tape.

The electrical tape can get worn or torn, bringing you to zero as the wire will be exposed again. In addition, if the tape clears the chances of somebody getting electrocuted, it doesn’t solve the problem of additional power consumed or overheating.

As a result, the tape could melt down and start a fire; it’s easier and safer to replace the wires or the cords with newer ones to ensure that there are no risks. You can also consult or hire a licensed electrician to do the replacing tasks for you to ensure full safety.

How To Fix an Exposed Wire Outside Your House?

The first thing to do is to cut the power off this wire to ensure that it doesn’t electrocute you or anybody in your house. Then, you will need to buy another wire to replace the exposed one, or you can call a licensed electrician who can take care of this process.

It’s better to hire an electrician to ensure that you and your household members are safe; outside wires can be more dangerous because they are exposed to weather conditions like rain and moisture. In addition, they can sometimes not be seen and can result in electric shocks.

Conclusion

To sum up, you mustn’t leave any live wire exposed under any conditions; all live wires should be covered at all times. Live wires’ job is to carry the current from the source to the appliances or the devices, so they always carry currents. When exposed, they are very dangerous and can electrocute anyone nearby.

Exposed wires don’t deliver the power needed efficiently; therefore, you will notice that the appliance withdraws more power to compensate for any power loss. Therefore, undistributed power happens, increasing the load on the exposed wire and making it overheat. 

The overheating of exposed wires can easily cause a fire hazard. Also, the overload can blow any fuse connected to the circuit and cause more unexpected power surges. If the circuit is not well grounded, this can result in electric shocks. 

Related Readings:

Can an Outlet Cause a Fire if Nothing Is Plugged In?

What Color Wires Can Go Together? Complete Guide

What Happens if You Switch Neutral And Ground Wires?

Do Ground Wires Need To Be Insulated?

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