In Reply to: This should be an easy question? posted by Mike on 01/24/02 at 5:25 PM:
This is another example of a political solution to an engineering problem. Both the white and green wires are connected to the ground block at the distribution box. The white wire could be used for ground, but then it could not be switched and there might be cases where it is desirable to switch both black and white wires.
Some other examples of political solution to engineering problems: dual braking system on cars and vacuum breaker on hot water heaters and outside faucets. The problem with dual breaking systems is that the iron hydraulic lines rust, so when you make a panic stop, both lines burst. I know, it has happened to me twice (maybe I should drive newer cars). The ridiculous scenaro given to me for a vacuum breaker on my outside faucet was: Say the fire dept. pulls a vacuum on the water line and you have the hose in a pail of poison, then the poison will be sucked back into the water system. Forget the fact that the house is on its own well and no way for the fire dept. to draw water!
Well, I am glad I got that off my mind!