Difference between Ring Circuits and Radial Circuits

Let’s look in to what is the Difference between Ring Circuit and Radial Circuit.Although it is quite easy to get confused but let’s make it easy to understand. The following has been put together by some of our best London Electricians.
What is Ring Circuit (Ring Main circuit)?
A ring main brings electricity from the consumer unit, through the house. The ring main is connected to the consumer unit on both ends, which helps lighten the load on the wires. Electricity loses power as it travels over long distances, and the amount of power that would be needed to run from a single point at the consumer unit in a single direction to the furthest part of the house can potentially overload the wires (dependant on other external factors such as the amount of load), which could result in an electrical fire. Instead, a ring main current runs from both ends, effectively halving the amount of power needed to go through each end and reducing the risk of overload.
A Ring Main must follow these rules in general.


There are restrictions on how much power a ring main can carry and the length of time it can carry it. These include how long a ring main can be: it can serve an area of no more than 100m2.

Cable Ratings

Cable rating for cables used in a ring main must be no less than two-thirds of the rating of the ring main’s protective device. In practice, meeting this requirement is rarely an issue. Usually, the protective devices used on a ring main will be a 30 A fuse, 30 A breaker or 32 A breaker, and the cables are usually 2.5mm in size.

Separate Circuits

Appliances that use lots of electricity are wired separately from the ring main, and rooms that have several appliances of that nature will have their own separate ring main. For example, it is common for kitchens to have their own ring main. Showers, cookers and heaters, should be wired directly to the consumer unit.

What is Radial Circuit?

The final socket outlet can be identified easily, as it will only have one cable connected to it. Faults on radial circuits are easy to locate. If there is a break anywhere along the cable, all of the socket outlets after the break will no longer work. A radial circuit must follow these rules in general.
  • Floor areas of no more than 50m2 requires a 20 A fuse or miniature circuit breaker protection with 2.5 mm² live and 1.5mm² protective conductors (or 1.5 mm² if m.i. cable

  • Floor areas of no more than 75m2 requires a 32 A cartridge fuse to B888 or miniature circuit breaker feeding through 4 mm² live and 2.5 mm² protective conductors (or 2.5 mm² and 1.5 mm² if m.i. Cable)

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