Three pin plugs are life-savers. They are designed to ensure a safe supply of electricity to electrical appliances. They guard our lives against shocks. A three-pin plug contains an earth, active and neutral pin. But the earth pin is always longer and thicker than the other two pins,
Have you wondered why?
Let’s take a quick look at the reason below.
There are three pins in a common electric plug. Two of these are of the same size and the third one is bigger than the other two. The third pin is connected to the neutral (earth) wire.
The three prong plug incorporates a ground wire for safety. If there is a short circuit in an appliance that has a three prong plug, the current will travel back to the electrical panel and either blow the fuse to that circuit or trip the circuit breaker to shut power down on that circuit.
Neutral is usually connected to ‘ground’ at a Distribution Panel where the main power enters a building. This connection is not technically necessary for Electricity to work, it is just safer if Neutral is regularly connected to a good solid ground to make sure it does not give shocks.
1) The LIVE wire is represented as Brown.
This is connected to a fuse on the live pin, the electric current routes through the live wire.
2) The NEUTRAL wire is represented as Blue.
The electric current routes out through the Neutral wire, i.e. this is the route the electric current takes when it exits an appliance; it is for this reason the neutral wire has a voltage close to zero.
3) The EARTH wire is represented as Green or Yellow.
This is connected to the earth pin. This is used when the appliance has a metal casing to take any current away, in case if the live wire comes in contact with the casing.
Why is the earth pin longer and thicker than Other Pins