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This question already has an answer here:

Our house wiring is AC. I thought that AC means we have current flowing from Wire 1 to Wire 2, after 1s/Frequency it flips and current flows from wire 2 to wire 1 and this goes on and on. I heard something like "Neutral has a 0V potential and only live varies between 240V and -240V" But if that's true shouldn't we have current flowing from neutral to live every 1/30 of a second?

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marked as duplicate by Lior Bilia, Elliot Alderson, Adam Lawrence, Andy aka, Harry Svensson Dec 6 '18 at 14:55

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    \$\begingroup\$ Zero volts doesn't mean zero current. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Dec 6 '18 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you've answered your own question! \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Fernandez Dec 6 '18 at 14:40
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You are right. Current flows from neutral to life every 1/30 of a second (1/25 here in Europe). You can think of it this way: During a positive half cycle live wire "pushes" current (note the quotes) to the neutral wire trough the connected circuit (fridge, washing machine, etc.) During a negative half cycle live wire "pulls" current (again note the quotes) to the neutral wire trough the connected circuit. In either case work is done when the current flows.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, but if current can also flow from the neutral, how don´t you get shocked when you touch it? \$\endgroup\$ – x10102 Dec 6 '18 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Neutral wire has the same potential as the ground/earth. If you touch the live wire and your feet have an electrical contact to the ground (or are poorly isolated) current starts flowing from the life wire trough you and into the ground. That is when you get shocked. \$\endgroup\$ – drdm Dec 6 '18 at 14:51
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Neutral is normally connected to Earth at some point.

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