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Neutral is a circuit conductor that may carry current in normal operation

Discuss Neutral is a circuit conductor that may carry current in normal operation in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

F

foolios

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Neutral is a circuit conductor that may carry current in normal operation, and which is usually connected to earth.
Ground and neutral - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neutral may carry current in a conductor during normal operation? This confuses me. I thought that your neutral always carried current, that without it, you wouldn't have a complete circuit. What does this mean?

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W

WarrenG

Ground and neutral - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neutral may carry current in a conductor during normal operation? This confuses me. I thought that your neutral always carried current, that without it, you wouldn't have a complete circuit. What does this mean?

Foo there are different wiring systems to consider i.e. single phase, two-phase and three phase of which I think it is where you are getting confused?

I am guessing that this may be a little before your time in training but have a brief read about three phase systems and you will see that not all electrical systems use a neutral.

Three-phase electric power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doug

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Neutral may carry current in a conductor during normal operation? This confuses me. I thought that your neutral always carried current, that without it, you wouldn't have a complete circuit.
If you flick the off switch then the neutral conductor is no longer carrying any current. But it is still the neutral conductor.

P

PhaseShift

If you flick the off switch then the neutral conductor is no longer carrying any current. But it is still the neutral conductor.
I know this is splitting hairs, but if you only have a 2-wire circuit, then it is not a neutral at all. It would be a grounded (earthed) circuit conductor. It is only neutral if there are at least two live wires for it to be neutral between.

codger

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Hullo...and a Happy New Year to you all.....

In a perfectly balanced system then there is no need for a "neutral". Because we use the planet Earth as a sponge for our electrical "imbalances" then at some point our neutral conductors are connected to earth...literally earth at the sub stations...a big earth electrode is driven into the ground so that all the currents from equipment with an inherent earth leakage can dissipate this energy safely....

Hope everyone had a cracking New Year and All the Best to every Sparky on the forum for 2009....x

Peace out

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ian.settle1

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Mentor
Arms
Don't forget that an rcd monitors any imbalance in current by checking current in phase and neutral. What ever current is in the phase is also in the neutral.

At the star point of a trany I believe the neutral is tied down to earth. This being your return path back for earth faults.

Not true as if you have a 3-Phase RCD with no neutral it only checks for imbalance between the phases.

W

So for class II gear not requiring an earth, the neutral is only present to create a return path thus completing the cicruit. But if phase and neutral are not directly linked then how is the circuit completed? if that makes sense...may have just landed myself in a massive pile of stupid right there.

W

I know this is splitting hairs, but if you only have a 2-wire circuit, then it is not a neutral at all. It would be a grounded (earthed) circuit conductor. It is only neutral if there are at least two live wires for it to be neutral between.
But an earth isnt live?

J

topquark

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Mentor
Arms
Ground and neutral - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neutral may carry current in a conductor during normal operation? This confuses me. I thought that your neutral always carried current, that without it, you wouldn't have a complete circuit. What does this mean?

I think you'll find that they are simply saying that it normally would carry a current. It won't when the circuit is off and MAY not during a fault scenario, depending on the fault (usually it will simply carry a reduced current).

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