Types of Circuits - Power Circuits

A power circuit is defined as any circuit used to carry electricity that operates a load. This may seem like a simplistic definition but it is important to distinguish power circuits from control circuits since they serve different purposes.

A circuit with an outlet for the source, two wires for the path, a switch for the control device and a motor for a load is a good illustration of a power circuit. When the switch is closed, the electrons flow through the path and the electrons go directly through the motor windings and cause the motor to operate. The only circuit control in this circuit is the switch wired directly in series with the motor. There is no separate control circuit associated with this power circuit. Most lighting and receptacle outlet circuits in a house are power circuits since they only provide power to devices when the devices operate, and the circuit control is part of the power circuit.