# Is a parallel circuit better than a series circuit?

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102
Oct 28, 2016

It would be a little bit simplistic to say that series or parallel configurations of components are universally better. It depends what you want to do in the context of the circuit.

One advantage of a parallel circuit is that you can disconnect one component in the circuit without disconnecting the rest of the circuit. Series circuits do not share that property.

If houses were wired in series you would have to run everything at the same time, cooker, heater, iron, tv etc but with parallel circuits you can select what to turn off and on using switches.

Another example is that old Christmas tree bulbs were wired in series, and if one went out, the whole string went out. Newer systems use parallel arrangements, and the string will remain lit even if one or several bulbs burn out.

A possible minor advantage of a series circuit is that it takes less wire to connect the same number of components in series than it does to connect them in parallel.

In more complex contexts, components in AC circuits may serve different purposes depending on whether they are in parallel or series with the load part of the circuit. A good example of this is high pass vs. low pass filters. In a high pass filter a capacitor might be placed in series with a load, whereas when serving as a low pass filter the same capacitor might have been placed in parallel with the load.

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27
Jan 11, 2017

Yes

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In a series circuit, there is less ways for electrons to travel on - specifically one. And if the port for electron is disturbed in any way the machine would not work, while in parallel circuits, there are more ways for electrons to pass through, thus if there is a way being blocked, electrons could still pass through and the machine could still function.

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Sobiya Share
Oct 28, 2016

Yes, this is why we have parallel circuits in our houses rather than series.

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Advantages of having appliances in parallel rather than in series:

1. The p.d (voltage) across each lamp is fixed, so the lamp shines with the same brightness, irrespective of how many other lamps are switched on.
2. Each lamp can be turned on and off independently; one lamp fails, the other can still be operated.
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EET-AP Share
Feb 6, 2017

Generally you will need both types of circuits to power and control appliances in any but the simplest of electrical applications so neither is better than the other.

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As mentioned above, parallel circuits are the most well known in homes and office buildings. They are used so that every appliance you purchase locally will be powered with the correct voltage at any outlet in the house, with special plugs for high voltage heaters (ovens and dryers). Office buildings may have different lines of parallel circuits that can accommodate various higher voltages.

In buildings, Parallel circuits are used to power the appliances, but it is Serial circuits that control their power.

The light above you is powered by a parallel circuit that is also wired in series through the light switch on the wall. Without the series leg of the circuit you could not control the light in the room.
Circuit breakers or fuses in buildings are also examples of series circuits controlling operating parallel circuits.

When you plug your computer into the Parallel-wired wall outlet, the input jack LED lights up, but the computer does not come on until you press the Series-wired (c-) switch on your computer.
Inside your computer there are millions of tiny series and parallel circuits working together to keep your social media in action.

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