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Last edited 11 May 2021
A radial circuit is a type of fixed wiring that feeds one piece of suitable cable from one power point to another. It continues in this fashion until it reaches the last point on the circuit and does not return back to the consumer unit or power source.
This type of linear power circuit is commonly used to wire household equipment such as cookers and boilers, lighting points and sockets. It is relatively easy to locate the fault in this type of circuit, since the arrangement is linear.
 Socket example
A socket might be wired with a radial circuit that starts at the consumer unit and runs to all the subsequent sockets down the line. Each socket takes its power from the one before it. This is repeated until the end of the run, where the wiring sequence terminates.
While a radial circuit creates a linear chain, it is also possible to create branches to the chain through properly configured splits. Additional guidance for radial circuits can be found in BS 7671:2018+A1:2020, Requirements for Electrical Installations. IET Wiring Regulations.
 Radial vs ring circuits
Like ring circuits, radial circuits are often used in UK households. However, ring circuits tend to be more frequently used in the UK while radial circuits are more common in other countries. This may be due to the added flexibility of ring circuits for the connection of different types of equipment. Ring circuits also tend to use less copper than radial circuits.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Consumer unit.
- Modular housing and electrical circuitry.
- Ring circuit.
- What to know about foundation earthing.
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