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Mains Electricity - The Three Wires.

The UK mains electricity supply has three wires.
They are called live, neutral and earth
and each wire has its own coloured insulation.
Live is brown, neutral is blue
and earth is green and yellow stripes.

What is the Live Wire?

The live wire is connected directly to the
generators of the electricity supply company.
NEVER touch this wire,
it carries 230 Volts and can kill you!!

What is the Neutral Wire?

The neutral wire returns the electricity to the
generator after it has passed through the appliance.
The neutral wire completes the circuit.

The neutral wire is at approximately zero volts
but to be safe you must NEVER touch
this wire either! If the wiring is faulty it may be
carrying the same electricity as the Live wire.

What is the Earth Wire?

The earth wire usually carries no electricity.
The earth wire is there as a safety measure.
However, if something in the appliance goes wrong,
or it is wired incorrectly, then the earth wire may
also be carrying the same electricity as the live wire.
To be completely safe, NEVER touch this wire either!

See how to wire a three-pin plug.

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