I'm a bit confused as to how only one wire changes it's polarity in an alternating circuit. I also checked out a previous thread (https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...ut-keep-the-live-hot-and-neutral-cold.752605/) and didn't find a sufficient answer. I found this image online (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/hsehld.html) and this is how they seem to perceive household circuits to be designed (in the most basic sense) : I did a little more research into the topic and didn't find a good answer but I saw that only the hot wire changes it's polarity while the neutral wire supposedly stays at zero volts and acts as a return path for the current. I'm sorry if this is elementary but this is ultra confusing to me because I fail to understand how one wire (the hot wire) can change the direction of the current?? Doesn't changing the direction of the current imply that there are two paths for it to take? I thought the picture above made some sense because at least it could change direction and the neutral wire would acquire a voltage but since that is apparently not how it works,I have no idea what to believe. Maybe the above picture is only true for appliances that require no grounding? P.S. If there is any way you could draw a circuit diagram for how the current actually alternates in the hot wire that would be greatly appreciated!