Component Failure Analysis

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Kosher Ham, Feb 23, 2009.

Can resistors short?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
    71.4%
  3. Search better n00b

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Go away.

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. Kosher Ham

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    3
    0
    Hey all-

    I've been having this discussion at work about resistors- and since the people I'm discussing this with are higher in the hierarchy- I'm losing dearly.

    I have been taught that resistors do not short- that no one will ever measure a resistor which reads as a short.

    However the powers-that-be at work say that resistors in and of themselves can and do short. An email was sent to me as a way to source their findings which is an article on component failures:

    http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/chpt_5/7.html

    Throughout the article it does say resistors short- and even shows math for it. I don't buy it though. I believe the article just uses a math drill as a lesson- that it's just something you will only see on paper.


    Please discuss.


    C/N's- Do resistors short?
     
  2. Externet

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 29, 2005
    758
    57
    If resistors fail in shorting mode; I have not seen such, and I have dealt with many, many failures.

    The nearest is carbonizing the PC board due to heat and that carbon causing a near short path to pads.

    But too many people use the word 'short' because they do not another to name/distinguish a failure. If something lets some smoke out or does not work, they dumbly say is 'shorted'
    Miguel
     
  3. Kosher Ham

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    3
    0
    Bump for day crew.
     
  4. jamers

    Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    12
    0
    In my experience the most common failure for resistors is if they overheat they would increase burn and then increase resistance. Shorting I have not seen.
     
  5. wr8y

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    232
    1
    I'v been doing component-level troubleshooting for 28 years. I would not use the term "short", as that implies zero ohms.

    I admit that they usually burn up because of excessive current due to another part's failure, but I HAVE measured resistors to see if I could reuse them and found them to show WAY lower resistance than they should.

    Also, I remember finding wire-wound resistors that had heated, fractured, sagged, and shorted to ground or another part! I guess you could call that a short.
     
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