Please also see our project on the New Wiring and Cable Colours.
Make sure you have isolated any circuit you are working on and see our electrical safety project
A radial circuit is a mains power circuit found in some homes to feed sockets and lighting points. It is simply a length of appropriately rated cable feeding one power point then going on to the next. The circuit terminates with the last point on it. It does not return to the consumer unit or fuse box as does the more popular circuit, the ring main. To see the wiring at the back of the socket please go to the ring main project.
The descriptions below apply only to a circuit for power sockets. Lighting circuits are dealt with in a separate project.
There is no limit to the number of sockets used on a radial circuit providing the circuit is contained within an area not exceeding 50 square m, and, just like a ring main, spurs, or extra sockets, can be added. The number of spurs must not exceed the number of existing sockets.