Let's study how the electric circuit looks like in our homes


  • First, Electric Power is Generated by Electric Power Stations

  • They supply Electricity to Our Homes through
    Electric Poles
    Underground Cables

  • Electric Wires Reach our home through Main Supply. 
    They are of two types
    Live Wire - It is of red color insulation. It is called live wire (or positive)
    Neutral Wire - It is of black color insulation. It is called neutral wire (or negative)
    Note : Potential Difference between Live and Neutral wires is 220 Volts
  • These wires pass into electricity meter through a Main Fuse or an MCB

  • From Main switch, they are connected to lines wire in the house

  • These wires supply electricity to different circuits


This how a Domestic Electric Circuit, i.e. a circuit in our homes looks like




Normally 2 circuits are used

  • 15 Amperes Current Rating Circuit
    These are used for appliances having higher load like electric iron, geyser

  • 5 Amperes Current Rating Circuit
    These are used for appliances having less load like Tubelight, TV etc


Different Sockets in a Switch

There are normally 3 sockets in a switch

These are for connecting 3 wires

  • Live Wire - It is of red color
  • Neutral Wire - It is of black color
  • Earth Wire - It is of green color


What is Earth Wire? Why it is used?

Earth wire is a third type of wire in our electric circuit, it doesn't carry any electricity,


One end of earth wire is buried in the earth and other end is connected to the metal casing of electrical appliances by using three pin plug.

If by chance, live wire touches any metal case parts of appliances then current passes directly to earth.

Hence, earth wire is used to prevent people from getting electric shocks


This wire has green color insulation


What is Overloading?


If too many electrical appliances are used simultaneously (together)

Or too many electrical appliances are connected to the same socket

they draw extremely large current from circuit

Due to this, the wires may get overheated and fire may start

This is called overloading


What is Short Circuit?


When live wire and neutral wire comes in direct contact with each other

they cause short circuit

This happens if insulation of both wires get torned

Current flows through wire without much resistance

Due to high current passing through wire,wire may get heated up and may catch fire


How to Prevent Short Circuit?

It is prevented by using fuse


What is Fuse? Why it is used?

A fuse is a device which is used in a circuit 

to prevent damage to the appliances and the circuit due to overloading.

It stops the flow of unduly high electric current.



Nowadays, MCB (Miniature Circuit Board) is used in place of fuse


If current becomes too large, MCB puts off a switch breaking off power supply

These can be switched on again and reused


Difference between MCB and Fuse

Fuse MCB
It is a older technology It is a new technology
it cannot be reused This can be reused
It is now not used It is used in homes
It works on principle of heating effect of electric current It works on principle of Magnetic effect of electric current



NCERT Question 5 - At the time of short circuit, the current in the circuit

  1. reduces substantially.
  2. does not change.
  3. increases heavily.
  4. vary continuously.

View Answer

NCERT Question 6 (d) - State whether the following statements are true or false.

A wire with a green insulation is usually the live wire of an electric supply.

View Answer



NCERT Question 17 - When does an electric short circuit occur?

View Answer


NCERT Question 18 - What is the function of an earth wire? Why is it necessary to earth metallic appliances?

View Answer


This video provides a good understanding of how Domestic electric circuit works


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Made by

Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 14 years and a teacher from the past 18 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo