Originally Posted by LeakingFaucet
What is the purpose of the neutral wire?
it provides a return path for the current that is supplied by the 'hot' lead. But since it's AC, the roles of the 'neutral' and 'hot' conductors are actually
exchanged 60 times per second (in the US).
It's something like a 110v to 120v volt battery connected to two wires and the battery polarity is switched 60 times/second.
However - the neutral, being grounded at the panel, should never have a voltage more than two or three volts at the distant end when measured with respect to earth ground.