How To Read Electrical Circuit Drawing

By | March 4, 2021

How to Read Electrical Circuit Drawings

Reading an electrical circuit drawing is not a difficult task. It is the first step in understanding and troubleshooting an electrical circuit. Whether for a house remodeling project, a new build, or a complex industrial application, being familiar with how to read an electrical circuit drawing is essential for any electrician or engineer. With some basic knowledge and understanding of what each line and symbol entails, you can be up to speed in no time.

Learning how to interpret an electrical circuit drawing can be divided into three main steps. First, you must familiarize yourself with the different symbols used in circuit diagrams. Next, you must know the conventions or rules that govern the connections between these symbols. Finally, you must be able to read and comprehend the legend and sequence of events on the circuit diagram itself.

Understand the Symbols Used in Circuit Diagrams

The first thing you should do when reading an electrical circuit drawing is to become familiar with the symbols used in it. Most electrical circuit drawings use standard symbols for each component. Here are some of the more common symbols you will encounter:

• Resistors: a circle typically with two diagonal lines.

• Switches: one line representing the switch is usually found near the bottom of the symbol.

• Relays: a rectangle with several diagonal lines.

• Inductors: a donut-shaped symbol.

• Connections: a line connecting two or more components.

• Fuses: triangles with a line at the top.

• Ground: short horizontal lines at the bottom of certain components.

Be sure to double-check the symbols you come across in a circuit drawing as they can vary from one manufacturer to the next. Also, be aware of the differences between various types of symbols.

Understand the Rules of Circuit Diagrams

In addition to understanding the symbols used in circuit diagrams, you also need to understand the conventions or rules that guide the way in which these symbols are connected. Circuit diagrams typically follow a set of standard conventions for how components are connected, including how current flows and how voltage is applied.

For example, current flows from left to right in circuit diagrams, and voltage is applied from top to bottom. This means that if you encounter a circuit diagram with components connected from left to right, you can assume that current is flowing from the left side of the diagram to the right. If you encounter a circuit diagram with components connected from top to bottom, you can assume that voltage is being applied from the top of the diagram.

Read and Comprehend the Legend of the Circuit Drawings

Once you have familiarized yourself with the symbols and conventions used in electrical circuit diagrams, you will be ready to read the legend of the drawing. This is the part of the drawing that explains what is going on in the circuit. The legend will provide information about the types of components used, their descriptions, and the connections between them.

The legend will also specify the voltage and current ratings of each component and the way they are connected. Be sure to pay special attention to this information as it can help you to understand the function of the circuit and to troubleshoot it if necessary.

Conclusion

Reading electrical circuit diagrams is not difficult but it does require some understanding of the symbols and conventions used. Once you have familiarized yourself with these elements, you will be able to understand the legend and sequence of events in the circuit. With a little practice and patience, you can become adept at reading and interpreting electrical circuits in no time.

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