Why do power lines sometimes have different amount of cables on them? I thought there should be 5: three hot wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. But some of them have 4, and some have 3. I've never seen 2 or 1. Usually 3 of them are very high, and the 4th or 5th one are lower. I always assumed the 3 high ones are the hot wires, and the lower 2 are neutral and ground wires. It is possible that one of the lower wires could be a telephone wire because they seem darker and hence insulated, or it could be a guy wire between two poles, but I don't know. I sometimes see poles with just 3 wires, all at about the same height. If they are all hot wires, where did the neutral wire go?