What Is the Purpose of a Neutral Wire?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 6, 2020 1:45:43 PM ET
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The neutral wire in electronics is the wire in which electricity returns from the hot wire. It is also connected to the ground wire.

In a three-prong plug, the neutral wire is connected through the right-handed prong, when one is looking at the plug with the ground prong on the bottom. The neutral prong is the wider of the two plugs.

The ground wire is also connected to the ground to prevent short circuits. However, the neutral wire's purpose is to be part of the live path for electricity, rather than to act as a safety guard if something goes wrong. Sometimes, these two wires are mixed up, as the neutral wire is commonly referred to as the "grounded" wire.