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Difference between neutral and ground wire

  1. Feb 6, 2013 #1
    in household supply, one wire is neutral wire and another is ground. Both are at 0 potential. My question is that can we interchange both wire. I mean use live wire with ground?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2013 #2


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    No, the 'ground' wire should never carry current unless there is a fault. The neutral wire is designed to carry the circuits current continuously and is sized appropriately. The ground wire is designed to carry a fault current for a short time until a protection device like a fuse or breaker stops the current so it's usually smaller and may overheat quickly.

    In addition to code safety problems there are other reasons not to do it.
  4. Feb 6, 2013 #3
    The Neutral is really part of the circuit supplying the power, and if you are far from your panel - there may be some small potental on it.
    The Ground wire is really for your safety and ideally ensures all of the surfaces you touch are at the same, hopefully Zero, voltage.
    Electrically what you propose is OK - assuming the ground and neutral are the same - but this is NOT something you should be doing in reality.
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