What is the difference between earthing, grounding, and neutral?


Earthing means connecting the dead part, which does not carry current under normal conditions to Earth.

The purpose of Earthing is to minimize the risk of receiving an electric shock if touching metal parts when a fault is present. 

Generally, GREEN wire is used for this as a nomenclature.


Grounding means connecting the live part which carries current under normal conditions to the earth for example neutral the power transformer. It is an effective return path from the machine to the power source.

Grounding is nothing but a neutral point of a star-connected transformer.

Generally, BLACK wire is used for this as a nomenclature.

Difference between earthing & Grounding:

There is no major difference between earthing and Grounding, both means “Connecting an electrical circuit or device to the Earth”. This serves various purposes like draining away unwanted currents, providing a reference voltage for circuits needing one, to lead lightning away from delicate equipment.

(1) Difference in Terminology:

In USA term Grounding is used but in the UK term, Earthing is used.

(2) Balancing the Load Vs Safety:

Grounding is done to balance the unbalanced load. While earthing is used between the equipment and the earth pit so as to avoid electrical shock and equipment damage.

(3) Equipment Protection Vs Human Safety:

Earthing is to protect the circuit elements whenever high voltage is passed by thunders or by any other sources while Grounding is the common point in the circuit to maintain the voltage levels.

(4) System Zero Potential Vs Circuit Zero Potential:

Earthing and Grounding both refer to zero potential but the system connected to zero potential is different from than Equipment connected to zero potential. If a neutral point of a generator or transformer is connected to zero potential then it is known as grounding. At the same time if the body of the transformer or generator is connected to zero potential then it is known as earthing.

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