Today I wanted to talk about the difference between the terms line and load.
This is a pretty simple concept to understand once you’ve been in the industry for a little bit, but I know that it can be confusing to some of the apprentices out there.
If this does confuse you a little bit, then get the free download that I’ve created to help you understand the concept a little more. It’s a simple PDF that shows exactly which conductors would be considered line and load and where they are located on the equipment shown on the diagram.
So let’s cover this for just a minute.
When we’re talking about line and load, we’re essentially talking about 2 parts of a circuit or two sides of a device. One is the part of the circuit that is coming into and feeding the device, and the other is the part of the circuit that is leaving the device to feed some other piece of equipment such as another panel, or an outlet box of some kind, like a light or a receptacle.
So which is which? Let’s start with the line side.
So what is the line side?
The line side of the device or the equipment, is the side where the wires coming from the power source that deliver the electricity are connected. Basically this is side where the power comes in.
Typically you see this as the top of a safety switch disconnect, or the lugs in the top of a panelboard or load-center, or even a lug in lug out breaker, and even a simple switch if you want to keep some consistency in your work.
What is the Load side?
If the line side is the side with the power coming in, then the load side would be the side with the power going out….. To the load.
If you’re not sure what a load is then let me explain. An electrical load is an electrical component or portion of a circuit that consumes electricity. So think of a load as a light fixture, a motor, a small appliance, a large appliance, or anything that you’ve hook up that is going to be consuming power. This is the load side.
Thanks again for tuning in to this week’s episode. Hopefully this has helped you understand the difference between the line and the load. And if you already knew that I hope that you’ll pass this episode on to someone who might be struggling and could use the information.
Make sure that you download the free PDF diagram . It shows you where the line and loads are located on a few different pieces of equipment.
So as you finish out the week I hope you stay safe, stay happy but as always I hope you Stay Grounded.