Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Concept related Electrical circuit question

  1. Apr 25, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    im supposed to draw the circuit for a simple house
    In a household electrical circuit, theres 3 wires, the live one, the nueteral one, and the grounding one. I'v drawn it out as if it were a DC circuit, then replaced the wires with appropriate live, and nueteral wires, but i have no idea where to put grounding wires, would i only need one grounding wire for the entire circuit, or would a grounding wire on every loop.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2008 #2
    The ground is copper wire that doesn't even have to be insulated, it just goes from one outlet box or switch box or light fixture to the next one, to ensure that all exterior surfaces in the house will be grounded, for example, you want the exposed screws that attach the cover plate to the switch or outlet to be the same node as the earth and the plumbing fixtures.

    Only after the ground wire for each circuit loops all the way back to the circuit breaker panel is each ground wire connected there to the negative terminal of the circuit, no none of the return current normally flows in the ground wire.

    There's one for every circuit. For example, if "all upstairs bedroom lights" is one circuit, that's one ground that accompanies the other conductors from box to box to box. When another circuit is dedicated to one appliance, like the kitchen stove circuit, or the clothes dryer circuit, that's a separate ground wire. Ultimately, though, at the breaker panel, they are all connected together.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook