Difference Between Earthing And Neutral

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Earthing and neutral are two important connections used in wiring, they are an essential part of wiring used for safety purposes, they prevent electrical equipment from the damage due to fluctuations. Before understanding the difference between earthing and neutral, first, let us understand the terms earthing and neutral.

To understand what is earthing and neutral point, we will look at a three-pin electrical socket that we use in our everyday life. The current that is supplied for a household is carried by a three-phase circuit. That is the reason every socket used for any electrical equipment is preferred to be three-pin. The three pins correspond to earth, neutral, and phase. The phase line is the one that carries current, the neutral line provides the return path to balance the flow of current, and finally earthing is purely used for safety purposes. 

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Earth or ground is a precautionary connection made in AC connections to prevent damage due to fluctuations. The main use of earthing is for human safety from electrical shock. Any electrical equipment when it gets in contact with the metal surfaces will result in electrical shock. Earthing will provide a low resistance path that will direct extra electricity to the ground.


The neutral wire is used for providing a return path for the flow of current in an AC circuit. The neutral wire carries no current, yet without neutral wire the AC circuit is incomplete. In any electrical circuit, the neutral wire will redirect the path of the electrical current to its source point. The neutral wire or neutral point in a three-phase circuit is the node where the sum of current will be zero and it is known as a zero potential point. In an AC circuit, the earth and the neutral point must be at the same potential, ideally, the potential difference between the two will be zero.

The major neutral and earth difference is both used for the sake of safety purpose.

Difference Between Earthing and Neutral:



It is the low resistance path used to prevent damage caused by the leakage current.

It is a conducting wire used in an AC circuit that provides a returning path for the flow of electrical current.

It doesn’t carry any current. It will be having minor electricity during any electrical disconnections.

It always carries current.

It provides a grounding point for the flow of electricity.

It provides a returning point to the flow of electricity.

The earthing connection can be executed independently or it may be connected through a neutral line.

It has to be connected through a neutral line.

These are the major earthing and neutral differences. The difference between ground earth and neutral provides a brief idea of  AC circuit connections.

Did You Know?:

Importance of Earthing and Neutral

Importance of Earthing:

  • The discovery of electricity has made life easy and convenient. As every discovery has its own pros and cons, the cons of electricity were electrical shock that may lead to death. To prevent the electrical shock the earthing concept was introduced. 

  • The Earth wire is a conductor embedded in the ground and electrically in contact with it. Earthing prevents wastage of electricity and electrical shocks.

  • To provide protection against electrical overload.

Importance of Neutral:

  • A neutral wire is half of the electrical circuit. It completes the AC circuit.

  • A neutral wire is required to return the electric current to its source point, a circuit without a neutral wire will not conduct.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is Earthing Used as a Neutral?

Ans: YES. Earthing can be used as a neutral wire but a neutral can not be used as an earthing wire.

2. What are the Important Earth and Neutral Differences?

Ans: Both earthing and a neutral wire are maintained at zero potential. The major difference between the two is, Earthing provides a grounding point and neutral provides a returning point to the flow of electricity.