Common Electrical Circuit Symbols



There’s a lot that goes into creating a piece of electrical wiring. It’s not just the wire itself, but also the circuit symbols that make up the connections. Without these symbols, it would be incredibly difficult to understand and interpret an electrical diagram. They help make complicated diagrams easier to read and comprehend.

No matter where you’re from or what language you speak, you’ll find that some electrical circuit symbols are used universally. These symbols are often found in instruction manuals, user guides, and other technical documents. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common electrical circuit symbols and their meanings.

The first symbol to be aware of is the battery symbol. This symbol depicts two parallel lines connected by a line in the middle. This symbol is used to represent a source of electrical power, such as a battery. The arrow on the left side of the symbol indicates that power is flowing into the circuit, while the arrow on the right side indicates that power is flowing out of the circuit.

The second symbol is the resistor symbol. This symbol consists of a short horizontal line connected to a longer vertical line. The resistor symbol is used to represent any device that resists the flow of electricity, such as a resistor or a fuse.

The third symbol is the switch symbol. This symbol consists of a rectangle with two diagonal lines inside it. The switch symbol is used to represent any device that can interrupt or open the flow of electricity, such as a switch, relay, or contactor.

The fourth symbol is the diode symbol. This symbol consists of an arrow pointing in one direction, with a bar at the tip. The diode symbol is used to represent any device that allows current to flow in one direction only, such as a diode or transistor.

The fifth symbol is the capacitor symbol. This symbol consists of two parallel lines connected by a curved line. The capacitor symbol is used to represent any device that stores electrical energy, such as a capacitor or an inductor.

Finally, the sixth symbol is the ground symbol. This symbol consists of a single horizontal line with a curved tail at the end. The ground symbol is used to represent any device that connects the circuit to the ground, such as a ground wire.

These six symbols make up the majority of electrical circuit symbols. Understanding what each of them means will make reading and interpreting electrical diagrams much easier. With that said, there are plenty of other symbols used in electrical diagrams which you may encounter. If you come across a symbol you don’t recognize, it’s best to consult an instruction manual or other technical resource for further explanation.

With these six common electrical circuit symbols in mind, you’ll be able to understand and interpret electrical diagrams with greater ease. Now that you’re familiar with these symbols, you should be able to identify any unfamiliar ones you may come across.


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