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How are parallel circuits used in homes?

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Parallel circuits are used throughout your home - because they allow current to keep flowing through various paths, so it is not restricted to flow through one path.


Here are two examples of parallel circuits in your home.

  • Most times, the electrical outlets in a particular room will be on a single circuit, because the single circuit can usually handle the load of several devices. (It's rare that everything is running all at once.) If this was a series circuit, you would need to have something hooked up to every outlet and powered ON in order to turn a single device on.

  • Within a multi-bulb light system, a parallel circuit ensures that when one bulb burns out, the others still stay lit because each light has its own circuit. In a series circuit all of the bulbs would go out - then figuring out which one is "burned out" is like figuring out which bulb has gone on a string of Christmas lights. Yikes!

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