When everything is working as intended, the white wire carries current
and the green-cooper does not. The only time the white is not carrying
current is when nothing on the pair of circuits is on or when there is
identical load on both legs of the circuit.
In short the without a fault the white can kill you the green can't.
If the green fails it can damage equipment on that circuit as it may
suddenly get 240V rather than the expected 120V.
You can't safely eliminate either one as they both perform critical
duties and can not be shared legally or safely.
Description is backward.
The groundING wire is green (commonly called a ground wire).
The groundED wire is white (commonly called a neutral wire).
Use of these terms in the National Electrical Code is very confusing.
The white wire is groundED at the service. This has 2 parts:
Connection to the earth keeps the hot and white wire voltage to earth at
a safe level.
Connection to the groundING wires provides a path back to the
transformer for fault current to trip a breaker.
The green wire is for groundING exposed metal.
Connection to earth at the service keeps exposed metal at approximate
If there is a fault to exposed metal, the groundING wire will conduct
current back to the service, through the bond to the supply wire that
was groundED, and back to the transfromer to trip a breaker.
As others have noted, the groundED wire normally caries circuit current.
The groundING wire is for safety and normally does not.
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