Electrical Circuits

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A simple relationship exists between voltage, current, and resistance in electrical circuits. Understanding this relationship is important for fast, accurate electrical problem diagnosis and repair.

Ohm's Law says: The current in a circuit is directly proportional to the applied voltage and inversely proportional to the amount of resistance. This means that if the voltage goes up, the current flow will go up, and vice versa. Also, as the resistance goes up, the current goes down, and vice versa. Ohm's Law can be put to good use in electrical troubleshooting. But calculating precise values for voltage, current, and resistance is not always practical ... nor, really needed. A more practical, less time-consuming use of Ohm's Law would be to simply apply the concepts involved:

SOURCE VOLTAGE is not affected by either current or resistance. It is either too low, normal, or too high. If it is too low, current will be low. If it is normal, current will be high if resistance is low, or current will be low if resistance is high. If voltage is too high, current will be high.

CURRENT is affected by either voltage or resistance. If the voltage is high or the resistance is low, current will be high. If the voltage is low or the resistance is high, current will be low.

RESISTANCE is not affected by either voltage or current. It is either too low, okay, or too high. If resistance is too low, current will be high at any voltage. If resistance is too high, current will be low if voltage is okay.

NOTE: When the voltage stays the same, such as in an Automotive Circuit... current goes up as resistance goes down, and current goes down as resistance goes up. Bypassed devices reduce resistance, causing high current. Loose connections increase resistance, causing low current.