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How is it that devices which use 2 leads to make 240V don't need a return wire and where does the electricity go and how?

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Answer for USA, Canada and countries using similar 60Hz mains supplies 240 Volts uses both phases of the incoming service (each at 120 Volts and 180 degrees out of phase). Since the load is "balanced" there is no need for a separate "return" (when one phase is off the other is on). THAT IS WRONG!

The 240 volts measured between the two wires comes from a single phase, not two phases. [Two-phase is an industrial transmission and power system utilized in only two parts of the United States, and the two phases are 90 degrees out of phase with each other.]

Power flows in a circle, through the transformer windings and the load in series.
The "return" is a matter of perspective, depending which of the two wires you designate as the "source"! As neither of the "hot" wires in a 120/240 Volt system is grounded in the United States, it is a misconception to speak of one wire as if it were a high pressure hose, and the other a drain.
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