# Current flow

Discussion in 'Homework Help' started by cole7894, Feb 16, 2012.

1. ### cole7894 Thread Starter New Member

Feb 16, 2012
4
0
In a normal three wire single phase house service what is the path of current flow through out the full 360 degree sine wave?
1) If polarity changes with the collapsing and expanding sine wave.
2) Current opposes the force that creates it.
3) Unbalanced current returns on the nuetral.

2. ### Kermit2 AAC Fanatic!

Feb 5, 2010
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961
Oh, good question.

What did you get for the answers?

We can see if we got the same one.

3. ### stirling Member

Mar 11, 2010
52
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you might want to point out to teacher (who presumably set the question) that current doesn't flow anywhere, anytime - never did - never will.

4. ### justtrying Active Member

Mar 9, 2011
329
398
current is flow of charge, however we always talk about direction of current flow, not charge flow

Wendy likes this.
5. ### MrChips Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
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I have no idea what you are trying to say.

6. ### jegues Well-Known Member

Sep 13, 2010
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Care to elaborate?

7. ### t_n_k AAC Fanatic!

Mar 6, 2009
5,448
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The purists want to alert us to a great error in our thinking .....

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8. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,772
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Gentlemen, this is off topic.

To the OP (original poster), the way homework works is you show us your work. We will not mock you if you got it wrong, but the idea it to teach, not to do your homework for you. If you did get something wrong then someone will point out the mistake and why it is so.

Think about how AC works, it constantly changes polarity. This means, for AC, the current flow goes back and forth.

There are many reciprocating ways of doing work, such as a old steam engine of yore, or the pistons of a car. Even though the average is zero, the movement back and forth can carry a lot of energy.

9. ### cole7894 Thread Starter New Member

Feb 16, 2012
4
0
No unfortunatly it was a question sparked by the teacher when talking about phasing transformers and their polarity.But the teacher did not have the answer nor has anyone else who I have talked to so far.Looking at the circuit it would seem that either the Nuetral would carry source current summing with the polarity leg then returning to the source winding or the 120v loads between polarity and non polarity are in series.

10. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,772
2,540
Both Neutral and Hot are equivalent in terms of electricity, the same current flows through both.

Neutral is connected to Ground at the power pole, so it is considered a "safe" wire, but this is not a good assumption for safety.

The hot wire will show all the voltage on it, because it is referenced to both Neutral and Ground.

Ground carries no current, and is there for safety reasons. A GFI (ground fault interrupter) works by sensing current through the ground wire. If there is current it is assumed there is a short in the system and the GFI turns off the outlet.