Why do we have "live" and "neutral" wires?

by x10102   Last Updated December 06, 2018 15:25 PM

Our house wiring is AC. I thought that AC means we have current flowing from Wire 1 to Wire 2, after 1s/Frequency it flips and current flows from wire 2 to wire 1 and this goes on and on. I heard something like "Neutral has a 0V potential and only live varies between 240V and -240V" But if that's true shouldn't we have current flowing from neutral to live every 1/30 of a second?

Tags : ac mains safety


Answers 2


You are right. Current flows from neutral to life every 1/30 of a second (1/25 here in Europe). You can think of it this way: During a positive half cycle live wire "pushes" current (note the quotes) to the neutral wire trough the connected circuit (fridge, washing machine, etc.) During a negative half cycle live wire "pulls" current (again note the quotes) to the neutral wire trough the connected circuit. In either case work is done when the current flows.

drdm
drdm
December 06, 2018 14:41 PM

Neutral is normally connected to Earth at some point.

Dirk Bruere
Dirk Bruere
December 06, 2018 14:55 PM

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