Originally Posted by

**Smatthew 219**
. . . the answer would be __per phase or leg__, correct?

Yes. However . . . ,

. . . it would serve your interests to refrain from speaking in terms of "per phase" or "per leg." These phrases do not accurately describe what is happening. They can also lead a person to come to the incorrect conclusion that if 60 amps is the "per phase value," then the "total amps" is 3 times that, or 180 amps. The simple truth is that it is the same current that is flowing on each phase. For example, when Phase A is at its peak positive value, current leaves the source on Phase A, splits into two separate conductors at the load, and returns to the source with some current on Phase B and the rest on Phase C. Here again, it is the same current. Perhaps the peak current on Phase A is 60, and the peak current on Phase B is 60, and the peak current on Phase C is 60, but those three peaks do not take place at the same time. So it is nonsense to speak of a total current of 180.

Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle

Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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