Neutral vs Earth: Difference between Neutral and Ground

You might have noticed that your electrical outlet has three terminals: Hot, Neutral and Ground.

terminals-in-wall-outlet

The electrical current passes from hot (red) moves through equipment and comes back to the outlet through neutral (black).

current flow through device

The above circuit is perfectly up and such simple configuration can keep the device up and run.

While such a circuit is simple in its working, there is no safety associated with it.

For making it safe, a ground rod is installed in the earth soil. This rod is connected to the ground terminal of the outlet, the metal body of the device and to the neutral.

ground-rod-in-electrical-system

In above figure, the top right terminal is neutral, whereas the central bottom terminal is ground terminal, and the rod serves as ground. The terms earth and ground represent the same thing are used interchangeably to represent the same rod.

A ground play vital role in the protection applications. It provides a low resistance path to the fault and protects anyone who touches equipment under fault conditions.

The video below further clarifies the concepts:

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One thought on “Neutral vs Earth: Difference between Neutral and Ground

  • June 19, 2018 at 8:50 am
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    When we connect neutral and ground together why doesnt current than ALWAYS flow through ground wire into the ground instead of back through neutral?

    Reply

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