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#24704 - 04/20/03 05:57 PM Where does it go!!  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
I wasrecently asked by an 8 yr old gentleman the following question. "Where does the electricity go?" Upon questioning him , he wanted to know where the current goes when it goes back to ground. I wasn't quite sure what to say. Any help?


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#24705 - 04/20/03 07:17 PM Re: Where does it go!!  
BPHgravity  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 139
Port Charlotte, Florida
First of all, it is a great misconception that electricity flows to ground. In fact, a ground connection is not even required in order for electricity to flow. Generally, electrical current flows to it's source. And while the electrical charge is circular in flow, the energy is not. When a lamp is turned on, the charge is literaly "wiggling" back and forth through the conductor without much travel. A single electron may only move a centimeter an hour. The effect of this charge at the lamp is heat and light. So in effect, the electricity isn't going anywhere. A potential is established and utilization equipment is connected in between. All the charge that is available in the conductor will always be there and is not entering and then leaving the wire. This probably didn't clear things up, and it most certainly won't assist explaining the theory of current flow and charge to a child. Good Luck!!

Bryan P. Holland, ECO.
Secretary - IAEI Florida Chapter

#24706 - 04/20/03 07:50 PM Re: Where does it go!!  
electric-ed  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 175
[Linked Image]


#24707 - 04/20/03 08:10 PM Re: Where does it go!!  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Ed's illustration succinctly demonstrates that electricity is like beer. You don't buy it—you just rent it!

#24708 - 04/20/03 08:32 PM Re: Where does it go!!  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Thanks Guys,
I believe I can explain it know. I think I will shy away from the beer analogy tho. I can't believe in all the years of training and I couldn't answer this. Couldn't find it in any of my theory books either.


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#24709 - 04/20/03 11:18 PM Re: Where does it go!!  
rat4spd  Offline
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
Waterloo, Ia
Never mind. bad example.

[This message has been edited by rat4spd (edited 04-20-2003).]

#24710 - 04/20/03 11:33 PM Re: Where does it go!!  
ElectricAL  Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 597
Minneapolis, MN USA
LOL!!! Beer and the flow of current. . .the mind boggles. [Linked Image]

Al Hildenbrand

#24711 - 04/23/03 09:21 AM Re: Where does it go!!  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
OK then, especially for the kids—“…electricity is like kool-aid…”

#24712 - 04/23/03 10:03 AM Re: Where does it go!!  
rmiell  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 242
La Junta, Co. USA
It is a little known fact that there has been no new electricity generated in the US for a number of years. Since the electricity goes back to it's source, whatever you use will return back to the power plant suppling you the electricity in the first place.
There it will be returned onto the power lines suppling your home, and then back to the plant, then back to you, and so on and on.
Each time it returns to you, the power company will charge for it. In other words, you are paying for the same old electricity over and over, again and again!

From LaVern Stenson's FUNdementals of Electricity Video

Rick Miell

#24713 - 04/23/03 11:19 AM Re: Where does it go!!  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
The mind boggles.......

I wonder if there's a case for suing any place that sells you something as new? After all, it's made up of atoms that have been re-used over and over again for thousands of years. [Linked Image]

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