Standard Color Code for Electrical Power Cable and Wiring

Basic Color Code for Electrical Cable Basic Color Code for 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 defines basic safety principles for identifying electrical conductors by colors 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 unique safe and easy identifying system some color code system is followed internationally. 

Different region or country to country color code may vary, but the basic is similar. The basic color 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 easier and safer for the crew.

U.S. Wire Color Codes

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

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

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 COLORS
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 COLOR CODES FOR AC POWER

In Canada they use different color code for electrical wire and wiring as per   Canadian Electric Code (CEC). The color 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 color 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 color 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 color codes used for wires or wiring may vary. In some countries they used the color code as per their specified local law; some countries are followed the  as international color code. The user just need to know the local practice to ensure the electrical safety and correct wiring.

2 comments:

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