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How do Ground Fault Interrupters work ?

A typical 120-volt household circuit delivers 350 watts of power to an appliance, and another 10 watts of power are consumed by the circuit. There is no ground fault.

a. How much current is carried by the hot wire?
b. How much current is carried by the neutral?
c. How much current is carried by the grounding conductor?
d. Calculate the resistance of the circuit:

A certain string of Christmas tree lights has 100 bulbs, each rated at 500 milliwatts. The string of lights plugs into a standard 120 volt circuit. Assume that there is no ground fault. Calculate the current flow through the hot wire. Calculate the current flow through the neutral.

Solution Preview

As there is no ground fault, the same amount of current flows through the hot wire and the neutral wire.

a) Total power delivered to the appliance P = 350 W

Output voltage = 120 V

So the current drawn by the appliance, I = P/V = 350/120 = 2.92 Ampere -- Ans

Ground fault means some current is getting drained to ground. If that is the case, the current in Hot and neutral wires will not be equal.

In our case, both hot and neutral wire to the ...

Solution Summary

Answer to the actual question with extension to the working of Ground Fault Interrupters

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