1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to find short circuit?

  1. Aug 19, 2011 #1
    How do i find if there is a short circuit in the circuit diagrams. i am really confused. please help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If you can find a path from + to - that avoids going through any resistor or other load, you have a short.
  4. Aug 20, 2011 #3
    That's a fairly general question. In general, there are 3 types of circuits.
    1. Open Circuit
    2. Closed Circuit
      • Complete Circuit
      • Short Circuit
    An open circuit is any series of electronic components where a path can not be draw from the power source through components and back. These do nothing.
    A complete circuit is a where a path can be drawn from the source, through components, and back again. Generally speaking these are good.
    You're interested in the short circuit, which is a type of closed circuit with no load. In short, no pun intended, there is a path from the positive voltage terminal back to the negative with no inductive, capacitive, or resistive elements. These are almost always bad, and lead to an ungodly amount of current flow, thus heat, melting, and component failure.

    Examples(assume all connections are specified):
    -A battery with the negative terminal connected to one end of a resistor is an open circuit.
    -A battery with one end of an inductor, capacitor, resistor, or any combination thereof connected to both terminals is a complete closed circuit. That is one resistor lead goes to the negative terminal, the other to the positive.
    -A battery with a wire leading from one terminal to the other, or from any voltage potential to ground is a short circuit.

    Depending on the complexity of the diagram, it may or may not be tricky to find shorts. You should scan you diagram and post it if you want more specific help.

    **edit** Oops, someone beat me to it, lol.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  5. Aug 20, 2011 #4
    thanks to both of u.that was a satisfactory explaination. I'l try to solve the problem this way. and i'l post the Diagram itself if i am still unable 2 deal with it. thanks once again.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook