What Is A Neutral Wire & How Does It Work? (With Video Guide) 

There are many people who need to learn about some electrical terms and electrical components which are being used all around them. So in this article, you will get to know about an electrical term, a neutral wire. There are many people who do not know about a neutral wire and how it works so this article will guide you all about the neutral wire. 

What is a neutral wire? 

To understand the neutral wire you should first know about the hot wire which is used to carry the current from the power source to the outlet. The hot wire mostly is present in black casing but there are other colors also such as red, blue, or yellow and you have to be aware not to touch the hot wire while the hot wire is getting current from the power source.

Neutral Wire
Neutral Wire

The following are some points for neutral wire:

  • The circuit is not complete without a neutral wire. 
  • The circuit must have a closed loop between the power source and the load.
  • The electrical current flows through the hot wire to electrical appliances and returns again to the source with the help of a neutral wire. It acts as a returning path for the current. 

How does it work?

The main role of the neutral wire is to bring the current back to the power source. It can be mostly seen in white color wired which takes the unused electricity back into the transformer and it makes the circle of the electrical transmission complete.

Neutral Wire
Neutral Wire

The below-given video explains how the neutral wire work:

  • The neutral wires are only available in AC alternating current power circuits.
  • A neutral wire is used to carry the current in a 240-volt circuit which is present in white color in regular circuits but in the industrial 240-volt circuits the neutral wire is grey color.

There are many people who get confused between the ground wire and the neutral wire which is being explained next. 

Difference between the ground wire and the neutral wire:

There is a vast difference between the neutral wire and the ground wire. 

Neutral wireGround wire
It is referred to as a current-carrying conductorIt is not called a carrying conductor.
The neutral wire places a role for the returning Parth of the current to flow from a load to the power source in which load means the appliance and the source means the Transformer.The ground wires are the low residence path that is able to flow the fault current to the ground.
The neutral wires are basically white or grey in color.The ground wires are found in yellow Or green color. 
The neutral wire starts from the start point of the secondary transformer.The ground wire is connected with the help of the ground rod near the house into the earth. 
When we compare the size of the neutral wire they are the same as the hot wire and both are used to carry the same current.The ground wire size depends upon the capacity of the circuit breaker.if the ground wire is used in the main circuit breaker panel the size depends upon the incoming service wires.
We can also use the neutral wire as a ground wire. The ground wire is not able to use as a neutral wire because the ground wire does not provide any normal return path for the current. 
Neutral Wire
Neutral Wire

Importance of neutral wire:

The following points show the importance of neutral wire:

  • The neutral wire is considered very important for a home’s electrical system.
  • No circuit will complete the electricity to flow and complete the circle back. 
  • The neutral wire is considered important for the entire electrical system from the transformer and returning back to the source. 
  • If the installation of the neutral wire is not in properly it may be very dangerous and unsafe in their home

Is it possible to get electrical shocks from the neutral wire? 

  • The neutral wire is not carrying the same amount of electricity or voltage that a hot or livewire does so if you touch the neutral wire directly you will not get electrocuted. 
  • The possibility of getting a shock from the monitor wire is when there is a disturbance in the wires of the circuit. For example, there is a wire which gets too much current which will cause an electric arc and will lead to an electric shock when you come into direct contact with it. 
Neutral Wire
Neutral Wire


Hence after reading this article we include that the neutral wire is considered to be an important part of an electrical system and without using the neutral wire the current will not be able to flow and there is a possibility that you may damage appliances or serious injuries. So you should always install the neutral wire properly as if it is not done properly it can be very dangerous.


What is the rule of neutral wire?

according to the neutral wire is a current-carrying conductor only when it carries only the unbalanced current.

Is it possible to get shocked by touching the neutral wire?

A person does not get shocked when the current is going through the wire we will get shocked when the current goes through us and in a neutral wire the current is going through it.

Rick Costa

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