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  • Explain how various modern safety features in electric circuits work, with an emphasis on how induction is employed.

Electricity has two hazards. A thermal hazard    occurs when there is electrical overheating. A shock hazard    occurs when electric current passes through a person. Both hazards have already been discussed. Here we will concentrate on systems and devices that prevent electrical hazards.

[link] shows the schematic for a simple AC circuit with no safety features. This is not how power is distributed in practice. Modern household and industrial wiring requires the three-wire system    , shown schematically in [link] , which has several safety features. First is the familiar circuit breaker (or fuse ) to prevent thermal overload. Second, there is a protective case around the appliance, such as a toaster or refrigerator. The case’s safety feature is that it prevents a person from touching exposed wires and coming into electrical contact with the circuit, helping prevent shocks.

The figure shows an A C voltage source V connected across a resistance R.
Schematic of a simple AC circuit with a voltage source and a single appliance represented by the resistance R size 12{R} {} . There are no safety features in this circuit.
The figure describes an appliance connected to an AC source. One end of the AC circuit is connected to a circuit breaker. The other end of the circuit breaker is connected to an appliance. The appliance is shown as a resistance enclosed in a rectangular case represented as the case of appliance. The other end of the resistance is connected back to the AC source through a connecting wire. The application case, the connecting wire and the A C source are grounded. The ground terminal marked at the appliance case is marked as Green or ground and the ground terminal of AC source and connecting wires are marked as alternate return path to earth.
The three-wire system connects the neutral wire to the earth at the voltage source and user location, forcing it to be at zero volts and supplying an alternative return path for the current through the earth. Also grounded to zero volts is the case of the appliance. A circuit breaker or fuse protects against thermal overload and is in series on the active (live/hot) wire. Note that wire insulation colors vary with region and it is essential to check locally to determine which color codes are in use (and even if they were followed in the particular installation).

There are three connections to earth or ground (hereafter referred to as “earth/ground”) shown in [link] . Recall that an earth/ground connection is a low-resistance path directly to the earth. The two earth/ground connections on the neutral wire force it to be at zero volts relative to the earth, giving the wire its name. This wire is therefore safe to touch even if its insulation, usually white, is missing. The neutral wire is the return path for the current to follow to complete the circuit. Furthermore, the two earth/ground connections supply an alternative path through the earth, a good conductor, to complete the circuit. The earth/ground connection closest to the power source could be at the generating plant, while the other is at the user’s location. The third earth/ground is to the case of the appliance, through the green earth/ground wire , forcing the case, too, to be at zero volts. The live or hot wire (hereafter referred to as “live/hot”) supplies voltage and current to operate the appliance. [link] shows a more pictorial version of how the three-wire system is connected through a three-prong plug to an appliance.

The figure shows an appliance with a three prong plug connected to a three hole outlet. The circuit on the other side of the three hole outlet is also shown. The latter circuit consists of an alternating AC voltage source, V, with one end connected to a circuit breaker, which in turn is connected to a wire labeled black or hot. The other end of the A C voltage source is grounded with a wire labeled white or neutral. The black and white wires go from the A C source to two separate points on the three hole outlet. The third point of the three hole outlet is directly connected to the ground with a wire labeled green. The three wires end at the three hole outlet. The three prong plug is connected to this three hole outlet and the three wires black, white and green are shown to emerge out as the cord of the appliance and are shown connected to the appliance. The appliance is shown as a resistance enclosed in a rectangular case called the case of appliance. The black wire is connected to one end of the resistance. The white wire is connected to the other end of the resistance. The case of the appliance is connected to the green wire.
The standard three-prong plug can only be inserted in one way, to assure proper function of the three-wire system.

A note on insulation color-coding: Insulating plastic is color-coded to identify live/hot, neutral and ground wires but these codes vary around the world. Live/hot wires may be brown, red, black, blue or grey. Neutral wire may be blue, black or white. Since the same color may be used for live/hot or neutral in different parts of the world, it is essential to determine the color code in your region. The only exception is the earth/ground wire which is often green but may be yellow or just bare wire. Striped coatings are sometimes used for the benefit of those who are colorblind.

Questions & Answers

A soccer player kicked off a ball at velocity of 62 ft/s at angle 45°. A goal keeper is 43 yard away from the direction in which ball kicked off. At what minimum velocity he runs to meet the ball?
Ram Reply
A soccer player kicked off the ball at the velocity of 62 ft/s at 45° with horizontal.A goal keeper is 43 yard away from the ball kicked position.At what minimum velocity he runs to meet the ball?
what is torque
Deepak Reply
The turning effect of force is called torque.
What is the effect of static electricity
what there factors affect the surface tension of a liquid
Promise Reply
formula for impedance
muyiwa Reply
ehat is central forces
Nita Reply
what is distance?
Jonathan Reply
What does mean ohms law imply
Victoria Reply
ohms law state that the electricity passing through a metallic conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference across its end
what is matter
folajin Reply
Anything that occupies space
Any thing that has weight and occupies space
Anything which we can feel by any of our 5 sense organs
what is a sulphate
any answers
the time rate of increase in velocity is called
Blessing Reply
What is uniform velocity
Greetings,users of that wonderful app.
Frank Reply
how to solve pressure?
Cruz Reply
how do we calculate weight and eara eg an elefant that weight 2000kg has four fits or legs search of surface eara is 0.1m2(1metre square) incontact with the ground=10m2(g =10m2)
can someone derive the formula a little bit deeper?
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forces acting and lying on d same plane
what is accuracy and precision
Peace Reply
How does a current follow?
Vineeta Reply
which one dc or ac current.
how does a current following?
AC current
AC current follows due to changing electric field and magnetic field.
you guys are just saying follow is flow not follow please
ok bro thanks
but i wanted to understand him/her in his own language
but I think the statement is written in English not any other language
my mean that in which form he/she written this,will understand better in this form, i write.
ok thanks bro. my mistake
u are welcome
what is a semiconductor
Vineeta Reply
substances having lower forbidden gap between valence band and conduction band
what is a conductor?
replace lower by higher only
convert 56°c to kelvin
How does a current follow?
A semiconductor is any material whose conduction lies between that of a conductor and an insulator.
Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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