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How to Read a Circuit Diagram

How to Read a Circuit Diagram

Circuit diagrams are easier to read than you might think.
Circuit diagrams are easier to read than you might think.
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

A circuit is a group of connected electric or electronic devices, and a circuit diagram shows the parts of a circuit and how they are connected. Circuit diagrams are useful for wiring devices and troubleshooting problems. They also are helpful when learning or teaching other people about electricity.

The two basic types of electrical circuits are series and parallel. They are often combined to create complex networks. A series circuit is one complete loop in which the current is the same through each component in the circuit. In a parallel circuit, the current fluctuates in different parts of the circuit.

Difficulty: Easy


  1. A radio circuit has several components.
    radio components and the electrocircuit 3. image by wrangler from Fotolia.com
    A radio circuit has several components.

    Learn about basic electricity and circuits. Several free online tutorials provide this information. Libraries are also good sources of the information.

  2. Identify the symbols for common circuit components such as power supply, capacitors, resistors, switches and wires. A list of symbols for common components and information on their functions is on The Electronics Club's website, which is linked in the Resources section.

  3. Seniorkoa
  4. Identify what the circuit accomplishes. When you know what the circuit does, the circuit's structure will make sense.

  5. Match the symbols to what you see on the circuit diagram.

  6. Note additional markings on the diagram that provide information about the component. A battery symbol may have the power of the battery written beside it.

  7. Notice how and where the wires are connected to the components.

Tips & Warnings

  • Print a list of common symbols. Keep it handy for reference.
  • Familiarize yourself with common electrical abbreviations.
  • Practice reading diagrams from books and magazines that deal with wiring electrical or electronic devices. The more you study them, the easier it is to decipher them.
  • Capacitors can store an electric charge for some time after the power is switched off. Never touch the leads of a capacitor.

Category: Education Blog | Views: 723 | Added by: seniorkoa | Tags: Circuit Diagram | Rating: 0.0/0
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