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What are “Series” and “Parallel” Circuits?

Grade 9
Aug 22, 2022

Key Concepts

  • Series connection
  • Parallel connection

Introduction: Series and Parallel Circuits

The connections at our house are parallel connections. There is another type of connection, known as series connection. Why do we not have series connection at home? What is the difference between the two connections? In this section we are going to read about series connection and parallel connection, and also make one.  


Connections in electric circuit are of two types: series connection and parallel connection.  

Series connection: 

In series connection, there is only one direction for the current to flow.  The current either flows clockwise or anticlockwise. 

Series connection 


  • It is easier to switch on or off all the appliances connected. 
  • It is used when multiple bulbs are to be used together. Example: diwali light decoration. 


  • If one electrical appliance stops working due to some defect, then all other appliances would stop working. 
  • They cannot be turned on or off separately as there is only single switch. 
  • Total resistance is very high allowing less current to flow through. 

Parallel connection: 

In parallel connection, there is more than one direction of flow of current. Multiple components are connected through same set of electrical common point. 

 Parallel connection 


  • Even if one appliance stops working due to some defect, all other appliances work fine. 
  • An appliance can be turned on or off independently. 
  • Total resistance decreases, thus allowing more current to flow through it. 


  • More current passes at a time which makes it unsafe. 
  • It becomes a little difficult to switch on or off multiple appliances at a time. 

Questions and answers 

Question 1:  Draw a series circuit by using four bulbs, two batteries, a switch and connecting wires. Make a closed circuit.  


answer 1 figure 

Question 2:  Draw a parallel circuit by using four bulbs, two batteries, a switch and connecting wires. Make a closed circuit.  



answer 2 figure 


  • Series connection has current flowing in one path.
  • All the components are connected in a sequence in series connection.
  • Parallel connections has current flowing in multiple paths.
  • Source has multiple load connected to it from common points.
  • If any of the component in a series connection is removed, the circuit breaks.
  • If any of the component in a parallel connection is removed, the circuit does not break.


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