Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Consumer ElectronicsOther - Electronics · 10 years ago

What is the purpose of a polarized plug, besides causing annoyance?

I speak of the polarized power plugs on the ends of most cords attached to modern appliances that only fit one way in the outlet.. The ones where half the time you go to plug them in you put them in the wrong way.

Update:

Makes sense, I guess.

9 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    (Examples assume you are located in North America)

    >What is the purpose of a polarized plug

    It's a lot safer in some applications.

    If properly wired, the wider prong is electrically "neutral". That means it is near earth ground potential. In other words, it's pretty safe.

    The narrow prong is "hot" (has 120 VAC on it); that's what can kill you.

    The simplest example is an ordinary household lamp & light bulb. If properly wired, the "neutral" wire is directly connected to the threads the light bulb screws into. That means you shouldn't be shocked if you just touch the threads, even if you are holding onto a plumbing fixture with the other hand.

    The "hot" wire connects through the switch to the "button" at the bottom of the light bulb socket. That means to come in contract with the "hot" contact the light switch has to be on and you would have to reach all the way to the bottom of the socket.

    If you rewire a household lamp, the lamp will work if you wire the plug the other way (hot side to threads), but it will be a lot less safe.

    >half the time you go to plug them in you put them in the wrong way.

    The narrow slots should be on the right side of the outlets. Why not mark the side of the plugs with the narrow prong with a color dot?

  • 3 years ago

    Polarized Plug

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What is the purpose of a polarized plug, besides causing annoyance?

    I speak of the polarized power plugs on the ends of most cords attached to modern appliances that only fit one way in the outlet.. The ones where half the time you go to plug them in you put them in the wrong way.

    Source(s): purpose polarized plug causing annoyance: https://tr.im/7S0Sc
  • 4 years ago

    As annoying as they are, they minimize the chance of a fatal shock. The larger blade ensures that both the "hot" (live) and "neutral" (return) are connected. Don't ever tamper with polarized plugs, their annoyance is a good thing. On an outlet the larger one is neutral, and the smaller one is the hot one. AC current switches directions at 50Hz or 60Hz (cycles per second), in North America it's 60Hz.That's one reason why only qualified electricians are permitted to wire homes, this ensures that polarized plugs work!

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  • 3 years ago

    Polarized Outlet

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    One side is "live", the other is "neutral", if you DID force it in backwards it would still work (it's AC after all) but you would have no grounding protection, so if there was a problem with the appliance you could have mains voltage running through it and then through you to ground. On the plus side, burning flesh smells a little like bacon.....mmmm, bacon....

    The "purpose of a polarized plug, besides causing annoyance" is to stop you from frying yourself, silly goose.

    I would recommend you study a little basic electricity-related science to minimize the possibility you will fry yourself at some point in the future. About 500 people a year die from electrical shock each year in the US, usually because they are messing with something they do not really understand...

  • 4 years ago

    Child rearing? lol Basically life is a slow excruciating painful death process. Sometimes our attention is stolen away from the pain by our relative perception of how well we are doing in the race? But the pain, the uncertainty stimulus environment brings us back to our sober senses, and if it were not for that, this would be sooooooo boring! Enjoy the ride of life! Healing be unto you and yours and me and mine in Forgive Affirmed Spirit

  • 10 years ago

    well in a DC circuit the electrons are only supposed to flow from positive to negative. Polarized plugs usually only have 2 prongs, 1 is to the common, and 1 is to the hot. Your electrical device has a converter that converts the 110V to 12V and it takes less circuitry to complete this task when you can assume that the wider blade is common and the narrow is hot.

  • Traci
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/ZF13q

    Being the recording secretary for the committee on standing committees at work. Any committee work, actually.

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