In today's electronic world, we often hear people use the term "short-circuiting," but what does it mean? In this article, we will define short circuits, discuss their causes, and show you how to draw their diagrams as well.
A short circuit is an electrical circuit in which current between two nodes travels along an unintended path with very low or no resistance. This usually happens when an accidental, direct connection is formed between two points in a circuit.
It leads to an uninterrupted flow of a large amount of electrical energy from one end to another, which heats the wire and the power supply. The heat melts the insulation and can cause damage to the surroundings.
Dangers of Short Circuits
When the insulation melts and wires come into contact, there is a high chance of a fire, an explosion, or the emission of harmful chemicals from batteries and cells. Not only that, but short circuits are highly fatal. In search of a short path, the current can also pass through the human body (fingers, hands, etc., while turning a switch on).
Causes of Short Circuits
You can prevent the dangers of the short circuit mentioned above by examining its causes and countering them. Several reasons may result in short circuit, but the most common ones are:
- Faulty Circuit Wire Insulation: When the insulation of the wire is old and damaged, it may allow the hot and neutral wires to touch, which would cause a short circuit. Deteriorated wires and non-insulated staples, nails, and screws are also a cause of short circuits. Moreover, animals such as mice or rats can chew the wires and expose the inner wire conductors leading again to short circuits.
- Faulty Appliance Wiring: Another reason for short circuits is the faulty wiring of appliances. Often old appliances have short circuits within the plug, power cord, or wiring of the appliance. When the appliance is plugged in, it becomes an extension of the circuit. Thus, any problems in the wiring of the appliance become problems of the circuit.
- Loose Wire Connections: The link between wires can loosen, which can allow neutral and live wires to touch, causing a short circuit.
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Other than short circuits, there are two other essential circuits: closed circuits and open circuits.
Closed-circuit is the type of circuit that has a complete connection, and the current flows through it in a loop. For example, when a bulb is connected to the two ends of a cell via metal wires, the bulb glows. This means the circuit is closed.
On the other hand, an open circuit does not have a complete connection, and the current does not flow through it. If the wire is broken or the switch is open, the bulb would not glow in the example given above. This means the circuit is open.
Learn some common electrical circuits examples.
Difference between Closed, Open, and Short Circuit
|Closed Circuit||Open Circuit||Short Circuit|
|Connection of Wires||Internally connected||Externally disconnected||Externally connected|
|Flow of Current||Current flows in a loop||No flow of current||No flow of current|
|Resistance||R = 0||R = ∞||R = 0|
Drawing short circuit diagrams is a simple yet a bit complicated task. There are two ways in which you can go about it. You can either draw these diagrams by hand or use a consumer-oriented software such as EdrawMax.
1. By Hand
Drawing a short circuit diagram by hand is very easy. Just follow the steps given below.
Step 1: Select the circuit symbols that you require.
Step 2: Take a pen and a piece of paper.
Step 3: Start by placing the symbols in the correct positions. Draw a cell on the left side and a resistor on the right side to make a short circuit.
Step 4: Now, all you have to do is draw straight lines to form connections.
This is what your diagram should look like.
Step 5: Show the flow of the current and label the diagram.
Your short circuit diagram is now complete!
2. Use EdrawMax
You can also use EdrawMax to make a short circuit diagram. It makes your task easier and quicker. Follow the steps given below to create a short circuit.
Step 1: Launch EdrawMax.
Step 2: In the Basic Diagram panel on the left of the screen, scroll down and click on Electrical Engineering.
Step 3: You will be given different options at the top of the screen. Click on Basic Electrical.
Step 4: Click on the + sign to open the canvas.
Step 5: From the Basic Electrical Symbols panel, draw the circuit of your requirement.
Step 6: Go to File and then click on Save as to save your drawing at any location on your computer. You can also press Ctrl+S to save your work.
Short circuits tend to be very dangerous as they can cause property damage and, more importantly, human life. For this purpose, it is vital to take care of them. There should be no faulty connections or any other kind of mistakes in the circuit design.
To ensure that your circuit design is correct and functional, it is best to create it beforehand. This is where EdrawMax comes in. Use it to create as well as assess your circuit design. This will leave a slight or almost zero chance of any hiccups during the practical application.
So, go ahead and get working!