Heck, my wife (and millions of others) does it several times a day. The
chassis of our stove and dryer are connected to the neutral. Unless the
neutral connection has come loose, it is an almost infinitely better ground
than the person touching it; so the toucher gets close to 0v.
In the situation you describe is even safer; a (presumably open) switch or a
unused outlet, you could lick the neutral and get nothing; unless the ground
bus has come loose, it is absolutely 0v.
Yes, as long as you are not in contact with a hot line.
In fact, if you are careful not be be grounded you can touch the hot
wire without a shock. I don't recommend doing this, but I have changed
both switches and outlets while they were live.
Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM\'er since CP-67
Yes it may be somewhat confusing. As Einstein (100 years ago last month)
said, it's all relative. Try to picture an oscillating wave representing
120VAC. The difference between the top and bottom of the waves is 120 V.
Now if we force one side to be grounded the other side must be oscillating
between plus 120 V and minus 120 V. But remember there never is more than
120 V relative to ground.
On Navy ships all 120 VAC power has no neutral. Each leg is hot and is 60
VAC relative to ground similar to the way 240 VAC in your house is set up.
This is for safety since you will only get a 60 V shock between a hot and
ground. We always had to check out test gear we took ships to make sure
that the neutral was not connected to ground.
If you really want to be confused try to understand 3 phase power. Ever
notice how all high voltage lines are in sets of three. With three phase
power the sum of the power supplied to a load is constant so motors and
generators run much more smoothly.
No, not quite. Single phase oscillates between 169 positive peak and 169
volts negative peak, not 120 Volts. This yields the effective voltage of 120
volts (RMS). RMS voltage is .707 x peak. Peak is 1.414 x RMS.
Polarized plugs are a safety feature, especially with something like a lamp.
This connects the "hot" wire to the center connection where the bulb screws
When replacing a light bulb, it is possible you could accidentally touch the
metal ring while unscrewing the bulb. If the metal ring is connected to
neutral (because of the polarized plug), then you will not get shocked.
Also the polarized plug will connect to an appliance on/off switch. So when
the appliance is switched off, it is shutting off the hot. So say something
like a toaster which has a switch which only disconnects one wire. It is
best if the wire the switch is disconnecting is the hot wire! Otherwise hot
would be connected to the heating elements even when the toaster was off,
and a kid might stick a knife or hand inside the toaster, then be shocked.
On 22 Oct 2005 16:11:53 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
There are actually three conductors in house wiring; hot, neutral, and ground.
Only the hot and neutral wires are intended to carry any current. The gound
wire is a safety device. It is connected to your cold water pipe, to any
exposed metal in powered appliances (hence the three prong plug), and to the
earth itself. And, at your main circuit panel, it is connected to the neutral
wire. If the wiring is correct and functioning as intended, you should only be
able to observe (via a meter) a voltage difference between the hot conductor
and *either* the neutral or ground conductors.
These designations, and the way the safety system functions, are completely
independent of whether the system is driven with direct current (DC) or
alternating current (AC).
artg AT eclipse (remove this) DOT net
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