Understanding to Weaknesses of Parallel Circuits

Weaknesses of parallel circuits – Electricity is one of the needs that is really needed in human life. In fact, without electricity, some human activities will also be hampered. From this we can know how important electricity is in human life.

Since being in school, we have been introduced to electrical circuits. Starting from parallel circuits, series circuits to mixed circuits. Where each type of electrical circuit when applied will provide advantages and disadvantages of each.

Maybe for a general understanding of each type of electrical circuit you already know, for example a parallel circuit. Talk about parallel circuits, this article will explain it more broadly.

Starting from the understanding, advantages to weaknesses of parallel circuits. It is important for us to know more about parallel circuits when applied in real life so as not to cause anything harmful or detrimental.

What is an Electrical Circuit

Before getting to know more about parallel circuits, it would be better if we know what an electric circuit is. In general, an electric circuit is a path or electronic circuit that can flow from a source of voltage or electric current. Where the process of moving electrons is what will later be known as electricity.

Electrons that flow in materials that carry electric current are conductors. It is because of this that the cables used in electrical circuits will be made of copper which can conduct electric current.

Meanwhile, the lamp is an electric load with the battery as the source of electricity. Electricity will flow through the cable and to disconnect or connect the electricity will use a switch. Then, for the universal symbol for electrical loads is a resistance or resistor.

In general, there are two types of electric circuits, namely parallel circuits and series circuits. However, the two electrical circuits can be combined to become a mixed circuit.

Definition of Parallel Circuits

Parallel circuits are one of two other types of electrical circuits. Like other electrical circuits, parallel circuits have a function as a distributor of electrical energy in an electronic object. Meanwhile, other electrical circuits that have the same function as parallel circuits are series electrical circuits and mixed electrical circuits.

Even though they are functionally the same, the application process between series and parallel circuits is quite different. The reason is, a parallel circuit will have a number of circuits in it. Then, when viewed from the level of complexity, parallel circuits are more complicated than series circuits which only consist of one circuit.

In a parallel circuit there will be components connected to each other along the existing path and each component will usually have a voltage equal to the voltage across the network. The electric current in a parallel circuit has the same magnitude as the sum of the currents in each of its components.

However, if two or more components are connected in parallel, they will usually have the same potential difference or voltage at their ends. The existence of these differences can potentially affect all components of the same magnitude. Therefore, these differences can be said to be very identical.

In addition, the same amount of voltage will be applied to all the components in a parallel circuit. Meanwhile, the total current in a parallel circuit is the sum of the currents that pass through each component.

Usually, the introduction of parallel and series circuits as well as mixed circuits will be explained on one physics learning topic, especially in high school.

Properties of Parallel Circuits

Each electrical circuit will have different properties. Of course, this also applies to parallel circuits which also have different properties from series and parallel circuits. So that you understand even more, here are the properties possessed by parallel circuits.

  • Has a Larger Electric Current

Most of the electrical components in a parallel circuit will cause a smaller total resistance. This will cause the overall current condition to be greater so that there are many nominal or power expenditure figures.

Even so, it can also be interpreted that the overall resistance of each parallel circuit becomes smaller. This condition can be compared with the existence of the smallest components in the coil, although it does not rule out the possibility that the electric current obtained will be greater.

  • When One of the Streams is Disconnected, the Parallel Circuit Can Still Be On

The nature of the next parallel circuit is that it can remain on even if one of the streams is interrupted. This will be very different from a series circuit which will completely die when one of its components is disconnected.

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Whereas in parallel electrical circuits it can still turn on even if one of the circuits is cut off. In addition, every component in a parallel electrical circuit will branch out instead of branching out. This is what can further minimize the occurrence of total blackouts in parallel circuits.

  • Each Branch of a Parallel Circuit Is an Individual Circuit

The next characteristic of parallel electric circuits is that each branch that is owned is an individual circuit. Where each branch current from a parallel circuit is always separate or does not have to use the same conduction medium.

It will also be in accordance with the understanding that explains if each electrical component is arranged in a branching manner. For a parallel circuit, it will have various electric current branches. Even though the source used is one, lighting can be made independently or individually.

Advantages of Parallel Circuits

Parallel circuits have advantages that other types of electrical circuits do not have. As for some of the advantages of parallel electrical circuits are as follows.

  1. The distribution of electric current will be evenly distributed in each section.
  2. If one component is disconnected it will not interfere with other component parts. That means other components can stay lit even if one of the components in a parallel circuit is disconnected.
  3. It saves more electricity because not all the components in it are lit simultaneously and continuously.

Disadvantages of Parallel Circuits

Previously it has been explained that parallel circuits have advantages when applied. Even so actually parallel circuits also have weaknesses. So, for more details, here are some of the disadvantages of parallel circuits.

  1. The installation process required in the installation of parallel circuits is somewhat more difficult.
  2. Because it is more difficult, parallel circuits require more wires compared to other types of electrical circuits.
  3. In terms of cost, parallel electrical circuits are also somewhat higher than other types of circuits.

The Difference between Parallel Circuits and Series Circuits

Although series circuits and parallel circuits are both electrical circuits. However, both have quite basic differences. If you don’t know what is the difference between a parallel circuit and a series circuit, then the explanation below can help.

  1. Components in a series circuit will be arranged in the form of a single path, namely from one end of the supply to the other. As for the parallel circuit, it will be arranged in several lines at the two terminals at the end of the battery.
  2. In a series circuit, current will simultaneously flow through all components of the circuit. Meanwhile, a parallel circuit will have a different amount of current in each stream that passes through a branch in a parallel circuit.
  3. Each component in a series circuit will have a different voltage. Whereas in a parallel circuit will have the same voltage on some of the components in it.
  4. When an error occurs in one component in a series circuit it will cause resistance to the entire operating circuit in it. Whereas in parallel circuits when an error occurs in one component in the network it will not be a barrier to the function of other parts in it.
  5. Error detection in series circuits will be more difficult than in parallel. Likewise with parallel circuits which will experience the opposite conditions from series circuits, namely error detection is easier.
  6. The resistance in the case of a series circuit will be more than the highest value of resistance that exists in the series connection. Whereas the equivalent resistance in a parallel circuit is always less than the individual resistances that exist in a parallel combination.
  7. In a series circuit if Vt is the total voltage, it will equal V1+V2+V3. Whereas in a parallel circuit Vt is the total voltage which will be equal to V1=V2=V3.

Parallel Circuit Formula

In a parallel circuit has several calculation formulas in it. Some of the formulas in the parallel circuit are as follows.


The current in a parallel circuit will be symbolized by “I” and will have units of amperes. Where this unit was also taken from a scientist from France named André-Merry Amperé who also had an important role in the development of the theory of electrodynamics. Meanwhile, the formula for writing the current in a parallel circuit is as follows:

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Itotal = I1 + I2 + I3 + …..…. In = V (1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 + ……… 1/Rn)


Voltage in an electrical circuit will be symbolized by “V” and has units of volts. The unit volt is taken from the name of the Italian scientist, Alessandro Volta. He also succeeded in discovering various things in the field of electricity, such as the theory of electric voltage. Meanwhile, the writing of the voltage formula is as follows:

V = V1 = V2 = V3 = V4 = ……… Vn

Barriers or Resistors

Resistance or resistor in an electric circuit is written with the symbol “R” and has units of ohms. The unit was taken from a German scientist named Georg Ohm. Please note that Georg Ohm is the inventor of the theory of resistance or resistors.

The following is the writing of the resistance formula:

1/rtotal = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 + 1/R4 ……… 1/Rn

Resistance or resistor is very related to current and this will make us need to find an electric current based on the information we get from the amount of voltage and resistance. Because of this we also need Ohm’s Theory such as:

I = V/R

Besides that, there is also an electrical contradiction when we are doing resistance calculations. Electrical contradiction is an event in which an electric current will flow through metal or non-metal materials. Electrical contradictions will usually be represented by the symbol “G” with siemens units. Meanwhile, the writing of electrical contradictions is as follows:

Gtotal = G1 + G2 + G3 + G4 + …..…. mt


Inductors in electrical circuits will be written with the symbol “L” and have units named henry. The unit is taken from the name of a scientist from the United States named Joseph Henry. Where he managed to find electromagnetic theory that can be applied to various kinds of equipment. Then to write the formula is as follows:

1/ltotal = 1/L1 + 1/L2 + 1/L3 + 1/L4 ……… 1/Ln


The last one is about capacitors which are written with the symbol “C” and have units of farads. The unit is taken from the name of a British scientist named Michael Faraday. He succeeded in discovering a number of theories and objects, particularly in the fields of electromagnetics and electrochemistry. Then writing the capacitor formula is as follows:

Ctotal = C1 + C2 + C3 + C4 + …..…. Cn

Examples of Objects That Utilize Parallel Circuits

Until now, parallel circuits are still being used in a variety of needs. So, below are some examples of objects that utilize parallel circuits.

  • LED light

LED lights are one type of light that can shine brighter and often twinkle. The working principle of LED lamps also adopts parallel circuits, especially for those that twinkle.

Did you know that if one light bulb goes out on an LED light it won’t make the other light components go out too. This is none other than because the switch in the LED lamp has a special branch that already uses a parallel circuit.

This will make the LED light flicker and will not experience a dead condition simultaneously even though there are components that are in an off condition.

  • Traffic lights

Traffic lights are also an example of an electronic object that uses the working principle of a parallel circuit. Where traffic lights have a function to regulate the flow of traffic by turning on different color lights such as red, green and yellow as a form of guidance for motorists in the area. With for the riders know when to stop and when to walk.

The traffic light will have a detector or sensor that can move a switch that functions to regulate when the light should turn on and off. These switches can work without any influence from other switches.

  • Fire Alarm

The next example is the fire alarm. As the name suggests, the fire alarm will be tasked with giving a sign to someone if there is a fire in a building using a loud sound like a siren.

Then the way the fire alarm works is using a sensor that can detect the presence of smoke that has the potential to cause a fire. This alarm will usually be inside the building connected from one floor to another. In addition, the alarm on other floors may not necessarily turn on when a fire signal is detected from the other floors.

Well, that’s an explanation of parallel circuits to the weaknesses of parallel circuits. Until this series is still being used by humans which is applied to various types of electronic objects.