Home » Electrical Wiring Directory » 120 Volt Circuit, Bonding Ground Wires, Electrical Code NEC, Electrical Wiring, National Electrical Code, Neutral Wire, Wiring Questions » 1 Comment

What is The Purpose of the Neutral Wire


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

The Purpose of the Neutral Wire in Electrical Systems: What is the purpose of the neutral?


The Neutral Wire in Electrical Systems

Electrical Question: What is the purpose of the neutral?

This electrical question came from: John, a Homeowner from Lemon Grove California.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question John.

The Purpose of the Neutral Wire

  • United States Home Electrical System
    The typical home electrical systems here in the United States uses what is known as AC, which stands for Alternating Current.
  • 120volt Circuits and the Neutral Wire
    Any 120volt AC circuit of the home electrical system requires a return path to earth ground.
  • The Grounded Neutral Wire
    The purpose of theĀ  neutral wire is to complete the 120volt AC circuit by providing the path back to the electrical panel where the neutral wire is bonded and connected to the earth ground.
  • The Grounded Electrode Conductor
    The neutral wire is part of the GEC or Grounded Electrode Conductor which is part of the home electrical system.
  • NEC Code Requirements
    The NEC, National Electrical Code, has several codes which must be considered for each specific electrical wiring project and application.

More about Neutral Wires and Electrical Wiring

Basic House Wiring Circuits
home-electrical-circuits

House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers

This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing

Circuit Wiring
Circuit Wiring

Electrical Circuit Wiring

This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.

For more information about Electrical Wiring
Electrical Wiring
Electrical Wiring
Electrical Wiring
Home electrical wiring projects with pictures and wiring diagrams.

This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Do-It-Yourself Electrical




Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
Troubleshooting and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
  repair electrical wiring  


Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.
« Electrical Code for New Construction and Ground Rods Bathroom Electrical Circuit Troubleshooting »

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

One Response to “What is The Purpose of the Neutral Wire”
  1. yo says:

    if i put an open switch on the hot/live wire right before, say, a radio, no power goes to the radio. however, if i put an open switch on the neutral wire right after the radio, the radio will be full of power. so what is the purpose of a return, neutral wire?

    could i just then have 1 hot/live wire and a ground wire coming out of it?

    also, if AC goes back and forth, does the neutral become hot/live and the hot/live become neutral on the second half of the cycle?


1 Comment

Thanks for your Comments and Quick Questions!

Please make sure your question is about the topic on this page, which is:
What is The Purpose of the Neutral Wire


Comments or questions posted here are open for Quality Discussion and Participation - Spam will be deleted.



*