I understand that for resistors in series we need to add R for each resistor to get the equivalent resistance, where R is resistance. I also understand the mathematical manipulations that show that for resistors in parallel we need to add the 1/R for each resistor to get the equivalent resistance. However I have a couple of questions that have to do with the physical interpretation of the mathematical manipulations involved.
First, I am trying to understand why in the case of parallel resistors we have to add 1/R's instead of adding R's as in the case of resistors in series i.e. could it be thought that the current in the wire is like a sort of water flow in the pipe that has two horizontal parallel pipes positioned one on top of the other and in between connected by a number of vertical pipes that have a tap each that could be adjusted to represent different resistances. Then at the top of each vertical pipe the water pressure P exists and at the bottom the pressure will be reduced by P*R.
For example, suppose we have three vertical pipes, so then the pressure at the bottom of each (after the tap) is P*R for the total of 3*P*R so why is the equivalent resistance not 3*R*P but 1/R = (1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3) and how can I be able to visualize this relation?