# Can earth Short circuit?

by Godwin Kessy
Tags: circuit, earth
 P: 89 Can a short circuit occur when a neutral wire is earthed, example a man touches a bare neural wire with bare hands..? And is the effect different for alternating and direct current?
 P: 2,380 In the U.S. the neutral is already connected to the earth with a ground rod at the transformer and at the service entrance of the building. So what do you think? DC doesn't really apply here does it?
 P: 89 I never thought i could not have any idea on this... What i know when the circuit is completed.. meaning the live connected to neutral.. Current flows whether it's dc or ac.. and earthing a device as i knew is only due to grounding the static charges that might result in the metallic parts of the device.. A challenge came up when a friend of mine just said that the body of the car works as neutral... Okay it's possible since it's a conductor but.... is it not going to be harmful? There is where the question arose...
P: 595

## Can earth Short circuit?

 Quote by Godwin Kessy I never thought i could not have any idea on this... What i know when the circuit is completed.. meaning the live connected to neutral.. Current flows whether it's dc or ac.. and earthing a device as i knew is only due to grounding the static charges that might result in the metallic parts of the device.. A challenge came up when a friend of mine just said that the body of the car works as neutral... Okay it's possible since it's a conductor but.... is it not going to be harmful? There is where the question arose...
The frame of a car does act as ground. The negative terminal of the battery is connected to the frame of the car. It's been done this way for a hundred years. It's very convenient as ground is always available no matter where you are in the car.

It's not harmful, because if you do happen to touch hot and ground at the same time you feel 12 volts.....you feel essentially nothing unless you are soaking wet maybe.

All potential hots come from a fuse block as well. So in the case of a dead short....you simply get a blown fuse rather than a bunch of wiring on fire.
 PF Patron Sci Advisor P: 2,917 Earth can be though of as just another wire that goes everywhere. If it becomes part of your circuit, current can flow through it. Sparky's automobile is separated from earth by the rubber tires which are very good insulators. So the only current likely to flow between a car battery and earth is that "static" charge you feel on cold dry winter days when exiting the vehicle. "Ground" is an unfortunate term for circuit common because it infers earth. Usually circuit common is not "earth" , though it can be tied to earth as it is in residential wiring.. old jim
P: 595
 Quote by jim hardy Earth can be though of as just another wire that goes everywhere. If it becomes part of your circuit, current can flow through it. Sparky's automobile is separated from earth by the rubber tires which are very good insulators. So the only current likely to flow between a car battery and earth is that "static" charge you feel on cold dry winter days when exiting the vehicle.
This is also why your automobile is one of the safest places to be during a lighting storm!
P: 2,380
 Quote by psparky This is also why your automobile is one of the safest places to be during a lighting storm!
The very short distance from the chassis to the ground is miniscule comparted the distance the lightning jumps from the sky so the rubber really doesn't do all that much. The reason the automobile is safe is because it forms a faraday cage.
P: 595
 Quote by Averagesupernova The very short distance from the chassis to the ground is miniscule comparted the distance the lightning jumps from the sky so the rubber really doesn't do all that much. The reason the automobile is safe is because it forms a faraday cage.