For the sake of discussion, Most of this post is true. However there are
some statements that I do not totally agree with in opinion.
Any path for an electric potential to be transferred to a person be it
metal, water or otherwise is a danger.
Neutrals are current carrying conductors. A poor or open connection can
induce up to the full potential voltage on it.
Neutrals are bonded to ground at the service to insure incidental voltages
induced in any circuit have a path to ground and not transferred to all the
wiring. ( Lightning strikes to a service or other conductor as an example.)
In my experience, overheated connection failures are about 80% in neutrals.
Even on grounded device plugs. Never knew why....
The safety codes and rules are determined by tradesmen, fire officials,
engineers and insurance companies. People directly involved. The government
only tries to enforce them.
In many this was done intentionally as one supply wire was deliberately
connected to the 'isolated' chassis.
The current demand on a device would not determine an overload condition
from a single fault unless it was grounded with a separate conductor.
Burning out of the fault would disconnect the fault. Generally greatly
overloaded windings will cause insulation failure and short circuit within
the winding, draw excess current and more heating, also possibly causing a
ground fault, eventually destroying continuity of the windings stopping its
operation while still allowing that fault connection to an ungrounded
I would welcome any corrections if I appear to be mistaken or misinformed.
Look at the premise here. I said NEUTRAL FAULT to begin with. A small
device would work fine because it wouldn't be drawing enough current to
cause serious drop across the neutral fault. If a serious fault then
developed in the DEVICE, lots of current would flow, possibly burning open
the neutral fault and leaving the device case hot.
Maybe I should have separated the faults more clearly.
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