What is the Difference Between Similar But Different Things, Terms, and Objects

What is the Difference between Neutral, Earthing, Grounding and Bonding

Neutral, Earthing, Grounding and Bonding are some commonly using terms to describe an electric circuit system of either residential or commercial building. In the first look, it seems no difference between Neutral, Earthing, Grounding and Bonding, as people use them alternatively to describe the same type of wire. However, in technical meanings, there is some difference between Neutral, Earthing, Grounding and Bonding. To understand this minor difference in real sense, you can take a look on the following lines which describe the real difference between them.


The neutral conductor is that, which is connected to ground and having current in just normal operation. If we talk about single phase circuit, then it consists of three wires and one must be neutral which carries equal current as other two wires. However, in two wire circuit, the wire which is connected to ground instead of supply is called neutral.


Earthing is done to reduce the chances of facing electric shock. In more elaborated form, this is the circuit in which the wire which does not carries current is connected to ground.


Grounding is the alternative term of Neutral which simply means to connect live wire or the wire carrying current to the earth.


Bonding is the technique of joining two wires or electric conductors together. The aim of bonding is to bring the two wires which are being joined at same electric potential. Being ay same potential, there are no chances of flowing current between bonded wires.

Neutral vs Earthing vs Grounding vs Bonding

Neutral or grounding are the two terms in electricity which are used in similar meanings. Here the meaning of grounding or neutral is providing low impedance path to the ground and ultimately saving the electric equipments and human beings to receive bad electric shocks. On the other hand, grounding is connecting live part to earth instead of Earthing which means connecting dead part to earth. However, this is no apparent difference and creates no difference between them. The people of US, use the term Grounding while the UK people use the term Earthing. However, the major difference is that the purpose of Grounding is to maintain voltage level in a circuit instead of Earthing which aims to protect the circuit element. Bonding is entirely different term which does not aim to protect the equipment or human being. It is just to join two electric conductors together to ensure equal potential in both of them.

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