Standard Colour Code for Electrical Power Cable and Wiring

Basic Colour Code for Electrical Cable and Power Cable 

International standard IEC 60446 developed basic and safety principles for man-machine interface by marking and identification of electrical cabling and wiring system. 

Identification of equipment terminals, conductor terminations and conductors define basic safety principles for identifying electrical conductors by colours or numerals, for example in electricity distribution wiring.


Basic Color Code for Electrical Cable

Basic Color Code for Power Cable


The electrical power cabling system contains phases, neutral and earthing. To make sure a uniquely safe and easy identifying system some colour code system is followed internationally. 

Different region or country to country colour code may vary, but the basic is similar. The basic colour for phase is/or Read, Yellow, Blue; Neutral is/or Black, Blue, silver; Earthing is/or Green, Green-Yellow striped. 

For current flowing, it does not affect at all but makes it easier and safer for the crew.

Basic House and Industrial wiring colour code

Electrical wire is standard colour coding so that each wire is used or identified to identify what is in the circuit. Wires in India RGB mode is Red (Red) - Green (Green) - Black (Black). Here the function and importance of each RGB wire are different.

Red  - Red is a symbol of a wire face (Phase), in an electric circuit. This wire is the live wire which cannot be connected to any other red wire or black wire. The red wire is used in some types of switch legs. Switch leg is the wire that comes from the terminal below the switch, which heats up when the switch is switched on. This is the leg that turns off the load.

Black - Black wire is the Neutral wire of an electric circuit. This neutral wire is connected to a neutral bus bar inside an electrical panel. The bus bar is a conductive metal bar that attracts electric current for the purpose of distribution. The black wire can only be connected to the black wire, and not to any coloured wire. This earth wire or Neutral wire is not neutral due to its neutrality. It mainly takes unbalanced load ie to return current. This return current is not used and moves to the electric panel/board.

Green  - Green wire is grounding in an electric circuit. The green wire can only be connected to the green wire, no other wire. Usually grounding is not for wire lights and fans. Green wires are mainly used for socket purpose such as AC, Geyser, TV, Microwave, etc. Normally the switch has only 2 wires, neutral and phase.

U.S. Wire Colour Codes

The United States typically use the power cable wiring colour code as below:

For 120/208/240 VOLT AC WIRE or cable COLOURS

These systems are common in home and office environments.
  1. Phase 1 - Black;
  2. Phase 2 - Red;
  3. Phase 3 - Blue;
  4. Neutral - White; &
  5. Ground - Green, Green with Yellow Stripe, or Bare Wire.
For 277/480 VOLT AC WIRE COLOURS
These higher-voltage systems are common for industrial motors and equipment.

  1. Phase 1 - Brown;
  2. Phase 2 - Orange;
  3. Phase 3 - Yellow;
  4. Neutral - Gray; &
  5. Ground - Green, Green with Yellow Stripe, or Bare Wire.

For DC POWER WIRE COLORS
Solar power systems and many battery systems use DC (direct current) power, rather than AC (alternating current).


  1. Positive (non-ground) - Red;
  2. Negative (non-ground) - Black; &
  3. Ground - White or Gray.

CANADIAN WIRE COLOUR CODES FOR AC POWER

In Canada, they use different colour code for electrical wire and wiring as per the Canadian Electric Code (CEC). The colour code for AC power wiring is similar to the code used in the United States like-

  1. Phase 1 - Red;
  2. Phase 2 - Black;
  3. Phase 3 - Blue;
  4. Neutral - White; &
  5. Ground - Green with Yellow Stripe.

EUROPEAN (IEC) WIRE COLOR CODES

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Most European countries follow the wire or wiring colour code established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) which is published as IEC 60446 and  IEC 60445 in 2010 for AC branch circuits. The European wiring colour code is as below:

  1. Phase 1 - Brown;
  2. Phase 2 - Black;
  3. Phase 3 - Grey;
  4. Neutral - Blue; &
  5. Ground - Green with Yellow Stripe.
Actually, the colour codes used for wires or wiring may vary. In some countries they used the colour code as per their specified local law; some countries are followed the international colour code. The user just needs to know the local practice to ensure electrical safety and correct wiring.

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