There are some electrical terms that are often used in vague and incorrect ways by the general public. This can make things confusing for us techs, especially those new to the craft, because these terms have precise meanings when used by those in the trade. A couple of these words are short and ground.
Short is often used by the non-technical to refer to any "bad" circuit. The term "short circuit" is a popular one to throw around in this sense. In reality, a short is just one of multiple different ways a circuit can fail. The definition of a short circuit is as follows: a circuit that allows current to travel along an unintended path with no or very little resistance. For example, if you were to have the terrible idea of putting one end of a jumper wire on line and the other on neutral in an AC circuit, this would create a short -- and probably some sparks and a tripped breaker as well!
The important thing is that a short is a specific kind of failure, not a catch-all for any electrical failure. Short does not even refer to instances where a load makes contact with ground -- for example, when a dryer heating element breaks, and one half of it sags and touches the chassis. This does create an unintended path to ground, but it is not a short, since the portion of the heating element that current is flowing through still has some resistance. That's why this failure does not always trip a breaker.
Speaking of ground, let's clear up some confusion there. It's not entirely your fault if you get confused by this one, because it's a single word that's used to describe two very different things, depending on if you're talking about AC or DC.
In a DC circuit, ground is the intended return path for current -- analogous to the function of neutral in an AC circuit. DC ground is the reference point you need to use for any DC voltage measurement, and it is absolutely not the same thing as AC ground.
AC ground, on the other hand, is never an intended return path for current. It exists only as a safety measure to allow AC voltage to safely discharge in case of a fault, such as the broken heating element example from earlier. If wired correctly, the chassis of any given appliance should be connected to ground.
As you can see, those are pretty different things, but with the same word used to describe both of them. The important thing to take away is that AC ground and DC ground are by no means interchangeable. if you measure DC voltage with respect to AC ground, you will read 0 VDC no matter what, because AC ground is not the return path for DC current.
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