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Resistance and Power if an element is removed from parallel circuit

  1. Mar 7, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A heater consists of heating elements connected in parallel across a power supply. A wire in one of the heating elements breaks. What happens to the total resistance of the heater? And the power output of the heater?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Will the resistance increase and the power decrease? I'm just not sure how to explain why that happens.

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Many Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2009 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    What do you think?

    How do resistors in parallel add?
  4. Mar 7, 2009 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What is the value of total resistance for N resistors R in parallel? Then N-1 resistors in parallel?

    Then look at P as a function of V and I, and remembering the relationship between V, I, and R.
  5. Mar 8, 2009 #4
    Will the resistance increase because the Total Resistance=Value of 1 resistor/Number of resistors. So if there is one less resistor then the total resistance will be greater. Is this right??

    And for the power, would I use P=V^2/R. Because voltage will stay the same but resistance has increased, therefore making power decrease? Thanks
  6. Mar 8, 2009 #5

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds good!
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