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Re: Clarification
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Re: Clarification ()

Forrest Addy
Thank you, a real clarification. Cogent and well presented.

The neutral conductor carries current but on the the unbalance current between the two 240 lines thus it doesn't need to be "double the size" of the line conductors.

The ground is intended as ground reference and is intended to carry only fault current. If a line conductor shorts to ground, the ground conductor provides the current return path to trip the overload protection (fuse, circuit breaker, etc). Since it carries this current for only the time delay of the current protection device, there is little resistive heating so the ground conductor can be one merchant size smaller than the line conductor.

This information is repeated in every home center DYI electrical project book, every electrician apprentice text, EE course content, countless web sites. If you have a need to understand home and shop electrical distribution a week of evening's study and some simple experiments will clarify the subject and provide you with vocabulary so you can observe safety precautions, describe problems, plan improvements, and sensibly purchase materials with a minimum of confusion and frustration.

Electrical ignorance is easily fixed with a little study. Electrical stupidity is self-regulating via consequences.

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