Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Current thoughts

I have always wondered why some electric plugs have two prongs and some have three. I used to think it had something to do with the size of the item being plugged in, or the amount of electricity needed to run the item, but I've seen a lot of small items with three prongs, and a lot of big items with two prongs, so I really have no idea. I wonder why that is...

4 comments:

J said...

The third grounds the current...it is a safety thing. I did a report on it...public health...

Grant said...

I might be able to help. Thanks for the electrical question. It has nothing to do with helping the electricity go uphill or anything. Actually it is an extra 0 voltage safety wire attatched by itself just to go to ground. In a full circuit there is hot wire and a neutral wire. Neutral having a 0 voltage. But on a 2 wire circuit the neutral wire is a current carrying conductor (they used to attatch the neutral to the metal case of an appliance causing a voltage potential if touched) so now if the device is made of metal the metal has to have a safety "ground". 2 wire devices are to be "double insulated" meaning there is no chance of you touching the neutral while it is conducting. I hope this doesn't sound like playing the organ does to me.
Yer Uncle

Grant said...

P.S. The larger verticle slot on an wall outlet is the neutral. You may have some "polarized" plugs on devices such as hair dryers which only let you plug it in one way so the neutral and hot are in the right order.

Betty Edit said...

Thank you both. I slept much better last night.

And Grant, it was only a little bit like the organ for you... if I reread very slowly and thought about it I could understand it.