Component Failure Analysis

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

Can resistors short?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
  3. Search better n00b

    0 vote(s)
  4. Go away.

    2 vote(s)
  1. Kosher Ham

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    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:

    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
    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'
  3. Kosher Ham

    Thread Starter New Member

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


    Jan 24, 2008
    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
    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.