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Spurious coupling via direct conduction
Direct conduction occurs when as shown in Fig. 4 a stray conductive path exists between the source of the offending signal and the system being contaminated. This situation, called a short or leakage, occurs when there is worn insulation, a wiring mistake, or un-insulated signal wires immersed in a conducting medium. Prevention involves identifying and then eliminating the unwanted conductive path.

Fig. 4 Spurious current I (shown as red) from external voltage V enters signal circuit through stray conductive path and adds to desired signal current (shown as green).
Troubleshoot ground loops with ease
without disconnecting anything!
US Patent 7,791,353 B2