What is the difference between earth and neutral

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  • Jul 31st, 2006

Earth means it is an support for neutral,if neutral is cut the machine we are using will get fully phase and we get shock but if we put an earth we can avoid this shock  

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Karan Sorout

  • Aug 2nd, 2006

Hi all,
The neutral point is basically for a syatem is a refrence point and generally it is taken as zero. [But if you are looking for absolute zero voltage (to have refrence for any system), it is really not very easy task to find a point that have absolute zero voltage, for the same reason we generally take large objects as neutral points.] 
Earth is the largest object present nearby every system, thats why it is the most comman neutral point used universally.
Now as per your asking, the differences are that neutral point is basically a refrence point it may be at any potential difference. i.e. 5V, 10V, 1000V etc. (Lets take an example of a system where voltage is fluctuating between 9,950V  to 10,050V. and its external body is at 10.000V, when we take Earth as the refrence point. Now every calculation will include these parameters, but if take 10,000V as the refrence point/ neutral of the system then we can say the fluctuations are between -50 to +50V only and further calculations will be easier then the previous case.)
Neutral point is a technical term for refrence point whereas Earth is a typical example of it...
 Hope you got my point :-)
otherwise you can get connected to me through karan.sorout@gmail.com

Jeo Bloe

  • Dec 12th, 2006

I imagine you are probably very clever with regards to electricity, but a quick brush up on your spelling might be in order.

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  • Dec 21st, 2006

 here  neutral is used to complete the circuit current flow is any closed path.The neutral is having '0'volts .

earth is used for the euipment earthing . because for any electrical equipments earthing must me required.this is used as high voltage will be send through earth to protect the equipments.


  • Oct 6th, 2007

Earth is the universal reference which is assumed to be at ZERO potential. While neutral is the common connection between three phases in a three phase circuit / return in a single phase circuit. Earth is essentialy at zero potential while neutral potential depends on the unbalance between the phases.

We are Using Neutral for Complete the Electrical Circuit & for balancing the Load in each Phase.

We are Using earth, if Phase is touching to body then MCB or ELCB will getting Tripped.

If Neutral is fail then in 3Ph Supply 440volt Supply is Passed through the System & If Earth is fail we will getting Shock because earth had the Lowest potentil & it is the shortest Route to Pass the Current to the Ground.

Neutral is the line provided for completing the circuit path in an AC circuit.
Phase and Neutral is a combination like Positive and Negative.
Whereas Earth is is connected to the body/cover of electric instruments at one end and is actually burried into ground(The Earth) at other end. This reduces the chances of receiving a shock, as the current in device body will be directly going into earth and will not go through the human body touching the device. And it has nathing to do MCB/ELCB.
MCB/ELCB will be tripped when excess current flows, though it is flowing through Phase-Neutral combination and exceeding the limit MCB permits it will trip down.


  • Jan 14th, 2009

 Ground is a protective measure for a circuit which provides a low impedance path for excess current to earth in case of a fault. It usaully does not carry current.Neutral is a return wire which transmits the excess current back topower station.It usually carries current and is connected to ground.


  • Feb 3rd, 2009

Neutral is at reffered to Zero potantial but due to unbalace current it necessorily not to  that  potantial and provides return path to current.
While earth provides path to leakage current to pass into to the ground and bring equipment to earth potantial and protect human being getting shock. 

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Earthing means connected with general mass of earth in such away that to ensure at all times an immediate discharge of energy without damage
Neutral earthing means connecting star point of generator, transformer by plate or pipe earthing which is also called grounding.

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rahul umale

  • Aug 3rd, 2011

neutral is used for the return path and the earth is provide for the low resistance path for the leakage current

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  • Aug 8th, 2011

Neutral: System live supply part only can connected here.

Earth: Other than (system live conductive part) metal parts are connected here.

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pinakeen gauswami

  • Nov 5th, 2011

Neutral wire gives back path to current. While earth wire is used to carry earth fault current to protect operator from electric shock.


  • Dec 14th, 2011

According my knowledge.....

Neutral is the return path for healthy current (normal current), which will be provided at stations. (eg: generating stations, sub-stations etc...). it is a point at which 3 ph supply shorted (generating end) and connected to earth properly.

where as Ground is the return path and/or safe discharge path for faulty current and/or leakage current. It is also connected to earth individually at consumer end. it is nothing but alternate path for current (faulty).

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  • Dec 23rd, 2011

Neutral is return path of phase current.

Earth is grounding of unwanted leakage current.

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  • Jan 22nd, 2012

Earthing is done to remove the extra amount of current in the circuit & neutral is the return path for completion of circuit, it is used for distribution.

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Neutral means reference, as AC is sinusoidal so its magnitude is always varying from positive to negative, neutral is taken as zero,I don't think that it is return path of phase current because if you put a tester in neutral line then it will not glow, during fault condition it will glow...Earth is also reference point but it is always zero compare to other equipment...

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  • Mar 18th, 2015


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  • Mar 27th, 2015

We know about that the neutral and ground is almost same means but in this most difference is neutral may be earth but we didn't say that earth is neutral. neutral some current have as 0.0000001Amp but in the earth haven't any flow of current.this is right too the neutral give the closed path to flow the current and the value of neutral is zero.

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  • Apr 12th, 2015

neutral is the return path of the conductor through which current flows back to the system, however earth is used for protection against high fault currents. when the current is very high it flows through earth and bypass the equipment thus protecting it.

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