How does a 3-pin plug work?

Written by kevin freeman
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How does a 3-pin plug work?
(wikipedia.org)

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What is a power plug?

There are many type of power plugs available throughout the world, many of which are designed to be used only with specific voltages and in their intended power receptacles. Power plugs are generally male while the power receptacles are female, meaning that the power plug will be inserted into the receptacle, rather than the reverse. Every power plug is designed to carry voltage safely into and out from appliances.

How do power plugs work?

Power plugs provide a relatively safe method for attaching appliances to an otherwise dangerous and sometimes deadly power source. The plugs are designed to complete the circuit for the desired appliance, sending power into and taking unused power out from appliances. Some plugs are also designed to insulate the appliance user against accidental shock through a ground terminal.

What is a Three-Pin Power Plug?

A three-pin power plug is simply a male connector having three pins that will plug into a power receptacle. Each of the pins in a three-pin power plug serves a separate purpose, and although the flat pins can sometimes have their roles exchanged, the round pin, or ground, serves a single purpose and is only used in cases where the appliance has malfunctioned.

How does a 3-Pin Power Plug Operate?

The top two pins of the male power plug are the live and neutral pins. The live pin feeds power into an appliance while the neutral pin draws unused power back to the power source, creating a closed circuit for power to flow through. The ground pin acts as a safety device that is usually connected to the metal casing of an appliance. If the appliance malfunctions and the metal casing becomes electrified, the ground pin will direct the voltage into a safe ground so that the appliance user is not electrocuted.

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