What Causes Short Circuit in Battery? & How To Prevent It?

Batteries are the source of electricity for many electrical systems; they depend on direct current. Some batteries can be charged to reoperate again, and some types can not be charged again; however, any type of battery is subject to a short circuit, affecting the battery’s performance.

What Causes Short Circuit in Battery?

A short circuit in a battery can happen for many reasons; the most common reason is when a cell inside the battery overheats, causing the separators to melt. The heat from the cell affects the separators for a long time; the separators start to melt down, causing a dangerous short circuit.

The separators can also be damaged due to factors other than an overheating cell; for example, the separators can be damaged due to a faulty cell package. Another reason for short circuits in a battery is sloppy manufacturing; if the plates inside the battery happen to touch each other, this will result in a short circuit.

When the plates touch each other, the connection between them starts a high thermal buildup, and as a result, the excessive heat can ruin the entire battery. Faulty manufacturing can be fixed, and if you have this problem, you will need to replace your battery.

One of the internal reasons that cause a short circuit in a battery is the accumulation of sulfite crystals. The sulfite crystals are formed when the plates expand and contract during discharging or charging. The deep cycle batteries are the most affected by this problem due to the increased discharge rate.

The accumulation of sulfite crystals is hard to detect, and if you don’t fix it as soon as possible, it will shorten the lifespan of your battery. 

How To Prevent a Short Circuit in the Battery?

A battery can be shorted or has a short circuit due to three main reasons preventing them will prevent short circuits, and they are electrical short has happened inside the battery, the water in the cell has been lost, which exposes the short, or the accumulation of combustible gases in the battery.

First, you will always need to check the battery’s temperature and ensure it’s suitable for it; when the battery’s temperature increases over the limit, it leads to water loss inside the battery, exposing the shorted cell and affecting the whole battery. 

You need to monitor the water level inside your battery and avoid high temperatures to decrease water evaporation. The next thing to do is to avoid overcharging your battery; batteries are fully charged at 12.5 volts. If you measure your battery after charging it and find it at 12.9 volts, you overcharge it.

The overcharging of a battery can convert the liquid into a gas, decreasing the water level and consequently exposing any shorted cells and causing a short circuit inside the battery. Therefore, you will need to check your battery regularly and maintain any issues as you find them.

A battery analyzer of good quality can be a handy tool as it will allow you to see if there is any issue with your battery; you should use it every six months. To get a better result, you must disconnect the battery’s cables before using the analyzer. If you notice that your battery has a problem, you should isolate it and stop using it until you fix it; continuous usage will lead to the aggravation of the problems.


Can You Fix a Short Circuit in the Battery?

When you have a shorted battery or a short circuit in the battery, it’s usually irreversible because it can be caused by faulty manufacturing. Therefore, if your battery is not performing at its total capacity, you should contact the manufacturer and replace it to save your charger from damage.

It’s recommended that you isolate your battery once you notice that it has a short circuit, this way, you will save your charger from damage. Batteries should be regularly checked and maintained to avoid any internal problems and fix any issue before it aggravates.

What Are the Effects of a Short Circuit in the Battery?

When you have a short circuit in your battery, this will result in a low voltage value and an unusually high-value current. The unusually high current value will result in high temperature, which can lead to an explosion or a fire; the continuous high current can also affect the whole system.

Meanwhile, the low voltage value will affect the power system resulting in very harmful consequences; for example, if you have motors connected to the battery and the voltage stays low for a few seconds, the motors will stop functioning. Likewise, if generators are connected to the circuit, they become unstable and won’t function properly.

The high temperature resulting from the high current value can also lead to the melting of the components of the battery, which aggravates the problems already found in the battery. For example, if the temperature exceeds the limit, the plates of the battery will melt down, leading to a short circuit and damaging the battery.

The liquids inside the battery also can be affected by the high temperature and start to evaporate, which will affect the battery and shorten its lifespan and causing early replacement of the battery.


To summarize, a short circuit in the battery can happen due to several factors; some are external, and others are internal. External factors can be faulty manufacturing, which is irreversible, and they also can be mechanical damage done to the battery, which can affect the cell package.

Internal factors can be like the accumulation of sulfite crystals due to the contraction and expansion of the plates when discharging and charging the battery. The accumulation of crystal plates affects the battery and shortens its life span; unfortunately, it’s hard to detect but once detected, it should be handled quickly.

Temperature also is an essential factor in short circuits in batteries; the excessive temperature can melt the plates inside the batteries causing them to touch each other, which results in a short circuit. Using a battery analyzer, you can avoid short circuits by monitoring your battery health and status every six months.

Unfortunately, if your battery has a manufacturing problem, you will need to replace it, as manufacturing problems can not be fixed. Continuous use of a faulty battery will increase the problems and affect the whole system.

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