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Advantages and Disadvantages of a Parallel Circuit

Before discussing about advantages and disadvantages of a parallel circuit, let us first know a little about different types of circuits. There are basically three kinds of circuit connections possible.
1. Series
2. Parallel
3. Complex

In a series circuit, a common pathway exists for all the items that are connected in series. This will mean that the amount of current passing through each item is the same with changing voltage. So as one item in series is working, the other one would have less voltage to work with. This means if we have two light bulbs in series connection, and both are turned on, then the glow of both of the light bulbs will be less than one of the light bulb of same power.

A parallel circuit is one in which each item in connection has its own pathway of the current. There exists more than one pathway in which the current or the electrons can flow. The voltage is not reduced and thus remains the same as the highest single cell, in case of parallel connection of the cells. Also, the cells have a longer life. This means if we have connected two light bulbs in parallel, then both of them will glow as bright as one bulb. We will see some advantages and disadvantages of a parallel circuit after telling in brief about complex circuits.

A complex circuit is a combination of both series and parallel circuits to increase the use of power. These kind of circuits are used in computers, televisions etc.

Some of the major advantages and disadvantages of a parallel circuit are listed below:

1. Advantages:
  • It is used in houses, so if one light goes out other does not get affected by it.
  • If something happened to the circuit, then also the current is able to pass through the circuit.
  • Every unit that is connected in a parallel circuit gets equal amount of voltage.
  • Parallel circuits are used in cases of multiple loads.
  • It becomes easy to connect or disconnect a new element without affecting the working of other elements. For example: the elements that are connected via wall outlets can be switched on or off without hampering the working of the other one running/ or at rest, at the same time.
2. Disadvantages:
  • It requires the use of lot of wires.
  • The source amperage is increased whenever we add a new load to a parallel circuit.
  • Due to proper working sometimes the damage if any, caused to the circuit, may get neglected. This is hazardous.
  • We cannot increase or multiply the voltage in a parallel circuit.
  • Multiple control devices are to be employed for the control of the devices in parallel connection.
  • Parallel connection fails at the time when it is required to pass exactly same amount of current through the units.
  • The design of a parallel circuit is very complex.
  • Additional power sources like batteries cannot be added in parallel connection.
So these were some of the advantages and disadvantages of a parallel circuit.

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Question:Hey i need some advantages/ disadvatages of series and parallel circuits! thanks

Answers:In a parallel circuit, if a lamp breaks, the others stay lit. In a series circuit, they do not. But, you can multiply voltage in a series circuit, parallel circuits you can not.

Question:advantages and disadvantages of series and parallel circuits... pls. list some.. i need it today... thanks!!

Answers:Circuits that require the same voltage are best connected in parallel as the same voltage is applied to all devices. The advantage is that if a device fails the rest of the devices in a circuit still operate. The disadvantage is that the failure may go undetected since the circuit is still operable and may be hazardous. Circuits that require the same current flow are connected in series so that the same amount of current is going through all the devices. These series circuits are used primarily for motor control devices and some specialty lighting. The advantage is that a single control device can control all the devices. The disadvantage is that if one device fails then the entire circuit normally fails.

Question:I'm currently taking gr. 9 science, and I need clarification on this subject.

Answers:There are no advantages of disadvantages to parallel or series circuits in general. They are just different. Each has its own characteristics which may be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the circumstances. For example, in a series connection, the same current goes through all the elements. If these elements are old fashion low voltage Christmas lights, then the fact that one one lamp goes out the whole string goes dark is a major disadvantage. If these are LEDs which almost never go out, that isn't a problem, but the fact that you can use a high voltage source without converting to a lower voltage is a major benefit. Almost all Christmas lights now use high voltage bulbs wired in parallel, but LED flashlights all use LEDs in series. Elements connected in parallel all see the same voltage. This is not a problem when th elements can tolerate voltage variations, but is a problem when they can't. Thus light bulbs in parallel work well. Batteries in parallel don't work as well because each battery really wants a slightly different voltage. If they were forced to have the same, the current would not be evenly balanced. (You can connect batteries in parallel but it takes extra care. That's why flashlights, etc. always use batteries in series.) When elements are in parallel, you can connect or disconnect an element without affecting the others. For appliances being plugged into wall outlets, this is a major advantage; for other applications (such as the amplifiers for an undersea telephone cable - which use a series connection) it isn't important. HTH.


Answers:In series circuit, the current remains the same throughout the circuit but it is hard to isolate and repair faults etc. Hence, if one load breaks down, the entire circuit breaks down. In parallel circuit, the current is divided based on the load and voltage remains same throughout the circuit. This makes it easier to isolate faults and perform repairs to the faulty branches. Therefore, if one branch fails, the other branches can keep on working.