How To Find Equivalent Resistance In A Series Parallel Circuit

By | July 15, 2022



Do you need to know how to find equivalent resistance in a series parallel circuit? You’re not alone! With so many different ways to arrange electrical components, understanding the basics of equivalent resistance can be tricky. Fortunately, a few simple steps can make it easier to understand and calculate.

For starters, it helps to understand what equivalent resistance is - namely, that it's the total effective resistance of a given network of resistors. It’s the sum of all the individual resistor values when arranged in either a series or parallel configuration. Before calculating the total resistance, it’s important to identify how the components are connected.

If you’re dealing with a series-connected circuit, then you’ll need to simply add up the resistance values of each individual component. This is because the current running through each component is the same, meaning they all share the same amount of resistance. To calculate the total series equivalent resistance, simply use the formula: Rtotal = R1 + R2 + R3 + etc.

In contrast, if you’re dealing with a parallel-connected circuit, then you’ll need to use the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals of the resistance. In other words, the formula looks like this: 1/Rtotal = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 + etc. This formula is based on the fact that the current running through each component is divided among each one.

Now that you know how to calculate the equivalent resistance of a series or parallel connected circuit, it’s time for a practical example. Let’s say you’re dealing with three resistors, each with a resistance of 10 Ω. If the circuit is connected in series, then the equation is as follows: Rtotal = 10 + 10 + 10, or 30 Ω. On the other hand, if the circuit is connected in parallel, then the equation is as follows: 1/Rtotal = 1/10 + 1/10 + 1/10, or 3 Ω.

By following the steps outlined above, you should now have an easy time calculating the equivalent resistance in any series parallel circuit you encounter. Whether you’re dealing with a simple example, such as the one outlined here, or a more complex arrangement, the basic formula remains the same. Now you can rest assured that you’ll know the correct equivalent resistance value every time!


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