# Difference between ground and neutral in electrical system

Could anyone explain me briefly about the differences between neutral and ground in an electrical system?

## Replies

• Jeffrey Arulraj
Neutral and ground are simple topics that google answer much better and easily

Come on a million hits in less than a quarter second did you not find one answering your question

Neutral region is no way related to a potential Generally a DC supply has neutral which has the return path to the source

Ground is the point from which the return path to the earth is provided in an AC circuit

Both are fairly similar But used differently by us
• sree_23
ya I searched in many websites yet my doubts are not cleared..,i have two questions:
1.The ground is connected to the same place of neutral connection..then why do we need both?

2.Under normal conditions the grounding conductor will not conduct,only the neutral conducts because its the return path of current flow..At the faulty condition the ground carries the excess current due to its low impedance..my doubt is why should not the supply current flow through the ground conductor,being least resistive, at the normal condition?
• Jeffrey Arulraj
Electrical grounding is precautionary step to prevent the damage of components from very high current through them

But your concept of ground path having lesser impedance and thus allows higher current is not really the scenario

When the phase and neutral gets shorted due to faults the ground path plays a significant role in damage control

The first line of this link is exactly what ground is Electrical Ground

Whereas neutral can be ground cable but not always the same case
• sree_23
thank you sir..,still I'm totally confused with these..I mean at the normal condition, won't the current flow through the ground instead of its original path(neutral path)? and won't it get exhausted by the ground conductor,without completing the main circuit???
• sree_23
Also,some devices don't have earth connections as the above link explains.for an example telecommunication devices in car/aircrafts have antennas and metal skin of the car acts as ground plane for protection..but for mobile phones how does the common reference point in the ground plane protect them?
• Jeffrey Arulraj
sree_23
Also,some devices don't have earth connections as the above link explains.for an example telecommunicationdevices in car/aircrafts have antennas and metal skin of the car acts as ground plane for protection..but for mobile phones how does the common reference point in the ground plane protect them?
Not always earth connection is used

But if yyou have read the link there is a statement That neutral path can be used as ground path in a circuit

The neutral line is enough to ground the device
• Anand Tamariya
sree_23
thank you sir..,still I'm totally confused with these..I mean at the normal condition, won't the current flow through the ground instead of its original path(neutral path)? and won't it get exhausted by the ground conductor,without completing the main circuit???
You should look at the connection diagram. Ground wire is connected to the metallic body of the appliance. Hence, only in case of malfunction will current flow in that wire. Phase and neutral wires provide normal current flowing path.
• Ramani Aswath
Ground is a reference point in AC power supply grids. At the generating station and at intermediate points the neutral is grounded. However, the neutral is a physical conductor running from the last supply transformer to the use point. The earth or ground is a notional conductor. The main function of the ground is as a protective measure to prevent hazardous voltages appearing on equipment because of wiring problems, short circuits or even water films. Most electricity supply utilities around the world specify the impedance that an actual ground has with reference to a 'perfect' ground as well as between multiple ground points in a given load system.
If the ground connection itself is attempted to be used as the main current return path the potential drop in that line can cause deterioration of the earth connection and create problems.
If an isolation transformer is considered, the output voltage is floating and will not show any value with reference to the ground. In certain circuits this is required and used.
As Anand writes above, the main function of the ground connection is to keep the metallic parts of the chassis and enclosure at 'zero' potential above ground. In a heavy current situation this will need a substantial conductor.
• sree_23
thank you for all replies😀
• pinank
Neutral point can be viewed as a point in an ac electrical system where the net voltage equals zero..ie in a 3 phase star system the neutral point is where the net sum of all the voltage phasors is zero.
Ground can be viewed as the reference point( usually at zero potential)
• Manikandansriram
Let me answer... Both are technically the same..
The Neutral is offered by the Electricity board tht generates electricity..
Its actually centre tapping at generator, one which is indeed conected to earth.
SO .. What is earthin or ground
Ground is actually created in every Individual house for safety purposes .
Yu think lik this.. Groundin is done for safety purposes ..
When we touch metal part of a surface ... And if it has cntact with phase wire unfortunately.. Our body acts as a conductor for it to ground ... Bt nw if ground conductor is connectd with the metal srface .. the whole metal surface becomes at 0 potential... which means nothing happens to us...

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