# measuring current in a 220 ac circuit

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• posted on August 17, 2007, 10:01 pm
Tony wrote:

Have YOU tried that experiment?

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• posted on August 18, 2007, 9:01 pm
Tony wrote:

Tony You are off your soundings there bud. In case your not nautically inclined that means you are out of your depth. If you wire two sixty watt bulbs in series across a two forty volt circuit they will burn just fine. Now connect a neutral to the connection that is between the two bulbs and if the bulbs are truly identical then no current will flow on the neutral.
Here's a little experiment for you to try. You can build an Edison circuit from two twelve volt batteries and two twelve volt lamps. Wire them all in series. The two twelve volt lights will light just fine. connect a volt meter across the connection between the lights and the connection between the batteries. It will measure six volts. Now change the leads and settings on your multimeter from voltage to current and measure across the same two points. Applying the ammeter as a neutral conductor will not change the current significantly. The only current flowing will be caused by the slight differences in manufacture between the two lights and the two batteries. -- Tom Horne
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• posted on August 19, 2007, 3:09 pm

RE: to above You right because you have just made artificial neutral your center tap between two light bulbs is acting same as perhaps if you have tied to transformer with center tap. Look in any system if you have two wires going to a load each wire will carry same amount of current it does not matter if is 120 or 220 or 480 if is light to be light or motor to be run both wire/legs will carry identical current regardless if is neutral or hot, the current is equal in both legs, in three phase system current will depend on the balance of electrical components to be powered and voltage supplied this are basics and they do not change
Tony

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• posted on August 24, 2007, 8:39 pm

Every Canadian house built within the past 40 years, with the exception of the last two, is performing this "experiment" _every_ day. Because our kitchen counter outlets are ALL wired this way.
[This is also true of many American homes}
The neutral carries the difference current. It doesn't add.
If it added, half our homes would have burned down by now.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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• posted on August 20, 2007, 5:17 pm

There is a lot of mis-information in the other posts. The answer to your question is you can use one meter. You need to pass both hot leads through the clamp on meter, but one hot lead has to pass through in the "reverse direction". This may be hard to arrange with heavy wires.
Now the meter will give an indication of the 110V current. If you have 10 Amp 110V load on one hot lead the meter will read 10 Amps. If you have a 10 Amp 220 load, the meter will read 20 because you are using 10 Amps in both hot leads. If you have a 10 Amp 110 V load on the other hot lead, the meter will read 10 Amps.
Have fun Mark