What is live wire? its types, working, advantages, disadvantages & Applications

Live wire is a term commonly used to refer to an electrical conductor that carries electrical current under normal operating conditions. In residential and commercial buildings, live wires are typically the black or red wires in a standard electrical circuit. while the neutral wire is typically white or grey.

Types of Live Wires:

  1. Single-phase AC live wire: It is a wire that carries the AC voltage in a single-phase electrical system. It typically has a voltage of 120 or 240 volts.it is used to power most residential and commercial electrical devices.
  2. Three-phase AC live wire: It is a wire that carries AC voltage in a three-phase electrical system. It typically has a voltage of 208 or 480 volts and is used to power large commercial and industrial equipment.

Working of Live Wire:

Live wires carry electrical current from the power source to the electrical device or appliance. The current flows through the wire and returns to the power source via the neutral wire. In an AC electrical system, the direction of the current flow changes periodically.

Advantages of Live Wire:

  1. It is an essential component of an electrical circuit, without which electricity cannot flow.
  2. It is necessary for the proper functioning of electrical devices and appliances.
  3. Live wires can be easily identified by their colour coding, making it easier to identify the wire that carries the current.

Disadvantages of Live Wire:

  1. Live wires can be dangerous if not handled properly, as they carry electrical current that can cause electrocution.
  2. Live wires can short circuit if they come into contact with other wires or conductive materials, leading to fires and other hazards.


  1. Live wires are used to power electrical devices and appliances in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
  2. They are used to power machinery and equipment in manufacturing facilities and other industrial settings.
  3. Live wires are also used in telecommunications and networking to transmit signals and data.

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