Not to be confused with the grounding conductor, a grounded conductor (also called the neutral conductor) is used as a return path for electric current in the part of the circuit after the work has been done. The grounded conductor is usually covered in white or light gray insulation. The grounded conductor is connected to the grounding conductor at one and only one point, usually near the transformer or in the circuit breaker panel.

On a standard 110 Volt grounded, polarized U.S. electrical plug, the grounded conductor is connected to the wide flat prong. The hot conductor is connected to the thin flat prong, and the grounding conductor is connected to the round prong between and beneath the flat prongs.

The grounded conductor should have exactly as much current running through it as the hot conductor has running through it, but unlike the hot conductor, the grounded conductor should always be at zero Volts with respect to earth ground. These principles are important to the operation of the GFCI outlet.

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