Several types of electrical circuits can be wired in your home. The three most common are ring, radial and lighting circuits. Each type has a different purpose and is wired to carry certain amperes. If you're considering wiring an electrical circuit it's important to understand each type so you can choose the correct one to safely power your electrical items.
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A ring circuit is the most common type of circuit, linking all the wall sockets in a home. Most homes have one main ring circuit for each floor. A ring circuit is usually a high ampere circuit so that it can adequately provide electricity to many high-energy electrical items at the same time. The ring circuit starts at the fuse box, runs to each electrical socket, then returns to the fuse box. The advantage of a ring circuit is that power flows from two directions and this reduces the overall load through the wiring.
Radial circuits serve fewer outlets and often connect directly to one or two specific items, such as a stove or central electric heating system. These types of items need a separate dedicated circuit due to their power consumption. A radial circuit starts at the fuse box and ends at the last device it's wired to. Unlike a ring circuit, it doesn't return to the fuse box.
Lighting circuits are generally similar to radial circuits, except the wiring used is thinner as the ampere requirement is less. The wiring starts at the fuse box, runs to each light socket, and ends at the last light socket. An individual wire is connected between each light socket and the corresponding light switch in a loop system. If your home has two levels, you will usually have two separate lighting circuits.
If you need to install more sockets in your home, one idea is to convert a radial circuit into a ring circuit. This means you don't have to install completely new wire, you can just extend the existing wiring. The wiring to the last socket in the radial circuit continues to as many new sockets as you need. When you've fitted the last socket, the wire returns to the fuse box making a ring circuit. Converting a radial circuit to a ring circuit should be done by an electrician.
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