WAZIPOINT Engineering Science & Technology: Why Earth Pin Longer and thicker than Others Live or Neutral Pin in a Three Pin Plug?

## Thursday, August 24, 2023

### Why Earth Pin Longer and thicker than Others Live or Neutral Pin in a Three Pin Plug?

 Fig: Three-Pin Plug

## Is a 3-pin Plug provided for better safety and to prevent electrocution or is protection no longer required?

Have a look! The earth pin of a three-pin plug is heavier (longer and thicker) than others two-phase and neutral! But, we know earthing or grounding wire does not carry continuous current, whereas phase wires do. Do you realize? Why this guy is heavier? If not, let's research.

The earth pin on a plug is longer than the live and neutral pins means ensure the earth pin is the first to connect and the last to disconnect.

### What is the difference between Earth and Neutral?

This question frequently comes to the mind of many electricians, what is the difference between neutral and meaning, where does the neutral pole come from, where does it come from, is the neutral also as the meaning is made,?

#### Earthing use:

The meaning is that it is placed in the body of any electrical device, or the earthing is also connected to the pin above the socket, these connections are made so that when the phase is leaking from any device There is no danger to a human being, in fact, whenever a device starts leaking, that is, when the phase starts coming into the body of an instrument, then it pulls that phase-in, which causes the current in the body of the device to stop And it does not harm any human body, this is the work of Earthing

#### Use of neutral

You can understand the use of neutral in such a way that no electrical circuit can be completed without neutral if put in easy words, no electrical equipment can be run without neutral, Now you're the question will come to mind that even if we can burn a bulb with earthing, you think it is right, but what happens is neutral is the main path to return to AC current, because with neutrals you get maximum You can also add a load, but if you give a large load with meaning, then you will see that the meaning soon deteriorates. In terms of usage, these two are almost the same. But both of them are quite different from a texture point of view. So let's see the neutral structure

Earthing is the process of connecting a reference point of the electrical system to the earth for safety reasons where an Earth pin is provided to the switch to pass the leakage currents to the earth at zero potential.

Earthing Pin Length makes it more protected the equipment. Lots more details this in a very simple manner.

If the earthing pin is longer than the phase and neutral pin then plugin time the earth will connect first then phase & neutral and unplug-in time the phase & neutral will disconnect before the earth.

So we can say that the equipment is first earthed and then is given the supply and similarly disconnected the supply then remove the earth that provides the equipment more protection.

A thicker earth pin than others helps the earth pin to be the larger cross-sectional area of the earth pin. The larger the cross-section of any conductor lesser the resistance or easy path to flow the earthing current.

So the resistance of the earth pin will be the least of the three pins. We know the formula R=(ρL)/A where r= resistance, rowρ = resistivity, L= length A= area.

Hence resistance is inversely proportional to the area so the more the area less the resistance and the fault current passes through the low resistance path and the equipment is safe.

### What happens if all pins are the same size?

Now consider all three pins of the three-pin plug are of the same size and diameter. If you know which pin is live, which pin is ground and neutral then it is fine and you can insert a plug exactly whatever is in the socket., but in practice that is very difficult to keep in mind all the time.

But, if you don't know the pins' role and your wrong plugin touches the metallic part of the electric device’s body; you will definitely get an electric shock.

### Why is the Earth pin of some 3-pin plugs made of plastic?

There are double-insulated electrical appliances that only require two connections - a line (phase) and a neutral to the supply. A double-insulated appliance is designed in such a way that it does not require an earth connection for safety. In this case, the protection against electric shock is usually achieved by having two layers of insulating material surrounding live parts or by using reinforced insulation.

Many wall sockets have earth-pin operated shutters (see image) on the line and neutral lines to prevent children from inserting conducting materials which may result in electric shock. As double-insulated appliances don't require an earth connection, a  plastic earth pin is molded into the plugin in order to open the socket shutters in place of a normal metallic earth pin.

Typically, the plastic third pin is provided to allow the 2-pin charger to be inserted into the ubiquitous 3-pin sockets...

Nowadays, there is a safety feature in the modern type of switch which has an insulating sliding/blocking shutter in front of the live pin. This shield slides up, only when the ground pin is pressed inwards.

This helps prevent inadvertent shock to say children, who might poke their little fingers into a live point!

You could cut off the plastic pin, but that'd mean it'd be difficult for you to charge on these types of modular switch points.

Warning - The following tip is potentially extremely dangerous, and is being provided only for the completeness of the information. If you zap yourself dead while doing this, I do not hold any responsibility for that!

One (DANGEROUS!) workaround would be to push the ground pin inwards using a thin *wooden* stick while inserting the adapter in. Please don't use any metal or electrically conductive object to do this, otherwise, you might risk getting electrocuted and dying a horrible death! There is a reason they put the plastic shield around electric points.