To understand the difference between earth and neutral, first, we need to understand why we need them. Below, we have defined each of the terms for you to understand them clearly.
- Neutral is the return path for an AC circuit that carries current in normal condition.
- This current could be primarily because of the phase current imbalance. The magnitude of this current is a fraction of phase current or in a few cases even double of the phase currents.
- Earth, also known as a ground, is used for safety concerns against leakage or residual currents in the system.
- While phase and neutral are connected to main power wiring, the earth is connected to the body of equipment which doesn’t carry current in normal conditions but in case of any insulation failure, is supposed to carry some minor current.
Now, that we have a brief idea what earth and a neutral is, let us look into their differences.
Earth and Neutral Differences
|It is the least resistance path and is used as a safety purpose against residual currents||In an AC circuit which carries current in normal condition, it is the return path, it balances the load|
|In normal condition, it doesn’t carry any current but in case of insulation failure, it might carry minor current||A neutral wire is always charged|
|It cannot be turned into neutral||It can be turned into earth|
|It can come from a neutral line or can be separately executed||It comes from a neutral line|
|Earth is the surging point of appliances||Neutral is the return path of the electrical current supply, it is also called a reference point|
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