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How does an electrical circuit work?

For an electrical circuit to work it must be a complete circuit which allows the electricity to flow in and out continuously. In most cases turning on a switch completes the circuit allowing the electricity to flow. An example of this is a light in your home, when you flick the switch on the wall it connects the circuit allowing electricity to flow from the switchboard to the light bulb on the ceiling and back again.

There are two types of electrical circuits which you may come across. Whilst both allow for electricity to flow, though both have different ways of managing it.

Series Circuits

Series circuits are a single circuit that goes in a loop from the power source.

Series Circuit

The problem with these types of electrical circuits is that if one of the bulbs blows or fails it stops the circuit from being complete as the current can no longer continue to the next bulb or back to the power source. These are old style circuits that aren’t used to much in modern electrical systems.

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Parallel Circuits

Parallel electrical circuits have multiple paths between each other and the power source.

Parallel Circuits

Due to parallel circuits having multiple paths within the circuit, if one of the light bulbs stop working or there is an electrical fault, the current can still continue to flow and keep the other lights in the circuit working.

For instance, looking at the image above, if the outer bulb fails the inner bulb will still work as its smaller rectangle section of the circuit is still in contact with the power source. The same will happen if the inner bulb is to blow.

Having issues with the electrical systems in your Brisbane home? Contact our experienced electricians today on 07 3353 3248.

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