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#133818 - 10/04/02 10:56 PM International Wire Colour Codes
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8468
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Please submit your wire colours for your
given country.
Please give Phase(Live)+ Neutral and Earth
for Single Phase and wire colours for a
three phase system.
Maybe we can build up a list of colour codes
world-wide, so that no Electrician will be
confused.
Go ahead people!.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#133819 - 10/04/02 11:12 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
elektrikguy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 133
Loc: woodstock,ga,usa
Bahamas:

Black,Red,Blue,white 120/208
Brown,Orange,Yellow,white 277/480

[This message has been edited by elektrikguy (edited 10-05-2002).]

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#133820 - 10/05/02 01:52 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Might we not be better moving this to the non-U.S. section? Bill??

If we can build up a comprehensive list of standards, old and new, then maybe we could get Scott to post them in the Technical Reference area.



[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 10-05-2002).]

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#133821 - 10/05/02 04:48 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5486
Black,Red,Blue,white 120/208
Brown,Orange,Yellow,white 277/480


same on the mainland....

there is a requirement for orange to be used on a delta system high leg here, so sometimes the Y systems get a
Brown-Purple-Yellow designation.

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#133822 - 10/05/02 05:12 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
scjohn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 76
Loc: charleston, SC, USA
Down here:
black-red-blue-white=120/208/240
brown-orange-yellow-grey=277/480
But then again the blue c leg 9 x out of 10 is the high leg in a delta here..for whatever reason.
John

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#133823 - 10/05/02 05:22 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
txsparky Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
120/208 black,red,blue,white
277/480 brown,purple(violet),yellow,gray
Orange for high legs
_________________________
Donnie

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#133824 - 10/06/02 12:31 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Current British standard, fixed cables (A,B,C,N,Gnd):

Red, yellow, blue, black, green/yellow
(Plain green for ground until 1980s.)

Pre-1965 installations:
Red, white, blue, black, green

Flexible cords, current standard:
Brown (all phases), blue, green/yellow

Pre-1970 cords:
1-phase: Red, black, green
3-phase: Red, white, blue, black, green

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#133825 - 10/06/02 06:09 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Current code: (L1, L2, L3, N, GND): Black/Brown/Grey/Yellow-Green (Hope I don't mix up Brown and black order, fell free to correct me), until 01/01/02 (probably) L2 and L3 both black. Old work (pre 1970ies) Black, blue, pink, grey and red (no idea about phase order, just saw a cable once, never saw one installed, most 3ph work was ungrounded)

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#133826 - 10/06/02 11:52 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3324
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Per the NEC, unless other voltages are specified, for the purposes of computing branch-circuit and feeder loads, nominal system voltages that are used are:

120 volts: Hot legs any color, except that the grounded conductor is, white or gray, and the EGC green, or (when used for isolated EGC to reduce noise) green with yellow stripe

120/240 volts: Hot legs, any color, except the grounded conductor is required to be white, or gray, and the EGC green, or (used for isolated EGC to reduce noise) green with yellow stripe,

208Y/120 volts: Typical Black, Red, Blue, White,

240 volts:, Any color except white or gray or green, etc.

347 volts:, Any color except white or gray or green?

This voltage is used in Canada, does the CEC specify any colors?

480Y/277 volts: Brown, Orange, Yellow White or Gray,

480 volts: any color, except white, gray, green, or green with yellow stripe,

600Y/347 volts:, same as above

600 volts: any color, except white, gray, green, or green with yellow stripe, etc.

2002 NEC Index: Color code

Branch circuits, 210.4(D), 210.5

Conductors, 310.12, 504.80(C), 647.4(C)

Grounded conductor, 200.6

Grounding conductor, 250.119, 310.12(B), 400.23

Heating cables, 424.35

Higher voltage to ground

Feeders, 215.8

Panelboards, 408.3(E)

Sensitive electronic equipment, 647.4(C)

Service-entrance conductors, 230.56

PS: Green with yellow is often used for the EGC that is isolated, and the use of a conductor with 3 continuous white strips along the entire length is acceptable for identification of the grounded conductor.



[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 10-09-2002).]
_________________________
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

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#133827 - 10/06/02 12:12 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden

2002 onwards:
See Austria

Prior to 2002:

(L, N, PE)
Black, Blue, Green/Yellow

(L1, L2, L3)
Black, Brown, White or Black or Black/White
(Brown and white also used for light switches and travellers. Wires in conduit can also be orange or grey.)

Prior to 1973

(L, N, PE)
Black, White, Red

3-phase and light switches
Black, Blue and/or Yellow and/or Grey and/or Green. (Order unknown) I've seen three blacks as well.

Denmark:

2002 onwards:
See Austria.

I think the old (prior to 1973) code was:
(L, N, PE)
White, Black, Red

3-phase or light switch
White, Brown and/or Grey and/or Blue and/or Yellow and/or Green (Order unknown)

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 12-30-2002).]

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#133828 - 10/08/02 08:35 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Question for US members: I saw that UL now mandates green/yellow for flex cords. Has this begun to catch on yet?

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#133829 - 10/08/02 10:30 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8468
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul
Good idea, but I feel that I have posted this topic in the wrong area.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#133830 - 10/09/02 11:23 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Trumpy,
I'm guessing that you asked for e-mail notification of replies and then followed the link in the e-mail back to this thread. If you look more closely you'll see that Bill has already moved the thread from the general area into the international section (at my suggestion).

By the way, anyone know what the old color code was in France? I've not been able to track that one down.


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 10-09-2002).]

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#133831 - 10/09/02 12:06 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I did a google-search for old French colour codes and came up empty handed. Try asking in a French forum, like the fr.rec.bricolage NG.

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#133832 - 11/14/02 10:11 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I found some more information on the colour of the protective earth conductor.
(For Sweden)

Prior to 1960: No rules
1960: Red for cables; red or g/y for flexes
1968: g/y for both cables and flexes (transition period until 1972)

I have no idea why they didn't go for green/yellow only in 1960.

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#133833 - 11/14/02 08:34 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
paul — In the US NEC, "green with one or more yellow stripes" [or bare] for equipqmnt-ground conductors has been around since at least since "...the sixties."

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#133834 - 11/17/02 02:20 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The green/yellow earth wire has been recognized since the 1960s here as well, although only for the EGC in a cord.

The 1966 IEE Regs. specify only plain green, but the green/yellow was added as an amendment sometime later. The 1970 revised edition specifies green/yellow as being the only acceptable colors for a cord EGC, along with brown & blue in place of the old red & black for line & neutral respectively.

I've seen a few appliance cords made probably during late 1969/early-1970 period which actually have red & black along with a green/yellow ground. I'm not sure if these were British-made, or possibly Continental done for the U.K. market.

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#133835 - 11/17/02 07:30 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5486
a universal system would be nice

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#133836 - 11/18/02 10:28 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Well, Sparky, let's see if we can make one. It's not that hard!

For earth there is only one choice: Green/Yellow. It is already in universal use.

But what about the rest of the conductors?

Colours to choose from:

Blue, Brown, Black, Red, Orange, Green, Yellow, Pink, Purple, White, Grey

You shouldn't have "light" and "dark" of the same colour used for different things, as it will result in mistakes. But, you can specify that a colour should be dark or light to avoid confusion with another colour.

Green and Yellow can't be used since they can be confused with earth.

White and light Grey can be confused when the wires age. White OR Grey is a better choice.

If you use pink, red should be slightly dark to avoid confusion.

It's probably best to use light blue to avoid confusion with purple.

This leaves us with:
Light Blue,
Brown, Black, (Dark) Red, Orange, Pink, Purple, White OR Grey

(8 different colours)

Brown is as far as I can tell used for line everywhere: Thus, it seems like a good choice for first phase.

Purple and Pink are like brown always used for line. Also good choices for line.

Orange can be confused with brown, but it otherwise a good line colour.

Black is used for line in continental Europe and the US, but for neutral in the UK. Therefore, it can't be used for neutral. If used for line it should be second or third phase, since the cable will then contain a brown wire, which warns a UK electrician that it is not to the UK colour code.

Red is used for line in both the US and UK, but not in continental Europe. It was used for earth in Germany and "Germanic" countries (and Japan?). Therefore, it should not be used for neutral or first phase.

Blue is used for line in America and UK, but neutral in international flexible cords. It can't be used for line.

Grey and white are neutral in America but used for line in continental Europe. (The IEC was upset when CENELEC choose light grey for line last year) It seems like it's best to avoid these colours altogether.

The IEC recommend brown and black for line.

This leaves us with:

Earth: Yellow/green

Line: Brown, Orange, Purple and Pink

Line under certain conditions: Black, Red

Neutral: ???

It seems best to choose light blue for neutral, despite the risk of confusion with line in America. Since a cable will contain green/yellow earth and brown as line, the electrician is at least warned.

Here's my suggestion:

(L1/A, L2/B, L3/C, Neutral, Earth)

Brown, Orange, Purple, Light Blue, Green/Yellow.

If you more than three lines, next colours in line are: Black, Pink, Red

Opinions?

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 11-18-2002).]

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#133837 - 11/18/02 11:21 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I would suggest dark brown, so any confusion with orange is pretty unlikely.
Red as line lets the hairs of any central european electrician stand straight up, because it was used as ground, and has been completely outlawed in the early 70ies. You can't buy red wire here, even if you want! If I ever get to Britain (before standardization catches) I'll sure enough return with at least 300m red 1.5 mm2 wire, just for nostalgia.

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#133838 - 11/18/02 11:38 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
One aspect of the green/yellow earth which seems to have changed over the years (at least in the U.K.) is the proportions of the colors. Look at the early use of this system here and the insulation is predominantly green with a yellow stripe, or at worst, 50/50. The proportions seem to have shifted so that now we have mostly yellow with just a thin green stripe. (I believe there is an IEC specification which says that one color must be no less than 30%, but this seems to be ignored frequently.)

The yellow/green sleeving used on fixed wiring here has the green stripe lengthways, so if the sleeve is turned at certain positions it can look as though it's plain yellow. It's only a minor point and it soon becomes obvious as to which wire is earth, but it's annoying to see this in a packed box where plain yellow is also used as a line color.

A similar change seems to have taken place with the neutral in appliance cords here. The original specification called for light blue, but the shade of blue used by many manufacturers seems to have become much darker in recent years.

C-H,
You mentioned the possible difficulty in disguishing between some colors, but I would also add that black and brown (particularly if dark brown) can sometimes be hard to tell apart as well. We already have 4-core flexible cords used for wiring heater controls and the like, and these are generally brown, black, blue, green/yellow. I've often been in dark corner and had to get some extra light to distinguish the two line colors.

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#133839 - 11/18/02 11:43 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Make it light brown, then. Orange can be made almost "flourescent".

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#133840 - 11/19/02 03:37 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
In Austria grounds used to be yellow with several thin green stripes, nowadays cheap wires is often 50:50. One hals´f green, one yellow. Especially nice withold systems where both yellow and green have been used as a ground wire.
Personally I prefer dark colors. For example in our remodel we had white and light grey, and they were sometimes almost impossible to distinguish. Dark grey is much better here.
Plus the dark colors look much nicer. Just think of the old grounds! I have some that are a wonderful deep bordeaux!

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#133841 - 11/19/02 08:12 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
CTwireman Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Color confusion is one of the reasons I like the US color code. White and black are not easily confused! (Although you would be surpirsed sometimes at what people do! And the other colors we use, like red, and blue, are easy to tell apart as well.

Personally, I don't like the Euro brown/blue/green-yellow system. I don't think it would ever catch on here. Just MHO though.
_________________________
Peter

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#133842 - 11/21/02 07:07 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I have to agree with Peter on the U.S. black/white/green colors. Easy to identify, been an accepted standard for many, many years, and used over a vast area of North America and beyond.

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#133843 - 11/21/02 02:31 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Oops CTwireman, it's found in the US too. "For jacketed cords furnished with appliances, one conductor having its insulation colored light blue..." from 99NEC 400-22c. IIRC, this is to allow for the brown-blue-green/yellow scheme.

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#133844 - 11/21/02 06:21 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
I agree with CTWireman. Except that I don't mind the ground conductor being green/yellow. In fact, I think it makes a very good contrast with the black and the white conductors for use in flexible cords. Isn't there a whole colorblindness issue where there are some people who can't distinguish green versus red? Since I have numerous things that weren't made for the US market, I'm probably one of the few Americans now comfortable with the European "harmonized" scheme.

I've noticed that the harmonized cordage is ever so slowly catching on in the USA (brown live, blue neutral and green/yellow ground), particularly in imported cords (like some Chinese computer cord-sets I've dissected). Same holds true with the wiring inside some computer power supplies.

Next time you find a computer in the garbage, take the power supply apart and you'll see that most of the times the wires connected to the power inlet follow the European color coding.

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#133845 - 11/21/02 06:57 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
CTwireman Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
LOL Sven and Bj! I had an experience with a Euro-colored computer lead some years ago.

I needed a cord to hook up some home-made project, so I grabbed one of my friends extra computer cords. I cut off the end and opened the jacket, and out comes brown, blue and yellow/green wires.

My first thought was "Huh?!? Why does a North American cord with a 5-15 plug have Euro colors?"

I proceeded to hook up the project using brown = neutral and blue = live because I had no idea which was which. Turns out I guessed wrong!



[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 11-21-2002).]
_________________________
Peter

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#133846 - 11/22/02 08:27 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
 Quote:

"Huh?!? Why does a North American cord with a 5-15 plug have Euro colors?"


The reason is simple. Manufacturers feel that it's easier to have one common colour code for all countries. The international g/y, blue, brown can be used in any country, but the NA white, black, green can only be used in a limited number of countries.

Or, you can express it this way:

11/7/2002 -- UL 1950 to require green/yellow color code for ground wire of powercords
All new submissions under UL 1950 will require the grounding wire of powercords to be green with a yellow stripe. All products previously listed under UL1950 will have until April 1, 2005 to change to the new grounding color for power cords. With an eye to the future, MEGA suggests customers consider changing to the international standard of blue, brown, green/yellow for conductor codes. This eliminates the need for separate wiring instructions when manufacturing for domestic and international shipping.

[Cut and paste from Mega Electronics.]

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 11-22-2002).]

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#133847 - 11/22/02 06:40 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
CTwireman Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
 Quote:
With an eye to the future, MEGA suggests customers consider changing to the international standard of blue, brown, green/yellow for conductor codes.


Are they referring to portable wiring (flexible cords), permanent wiring, or both?

Again, I don't support these changes for North America. I think the introduction of an additional color code here would be unnecessary. As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

_________________________
Peter

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#133848 - 11/22/02 10:29 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2671
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Paul,

 Quote:

If we can build up a comprehensive list of standards, old and new,
then maybe we could get Scott to post them in the Technical
Reference area.


I missed this post! Sounds like a great idea [to compile a list and post in the tech reference area].

What sounds good for this: A simple list, a Color referenced type list, or something which shows detailed info - like Transformer setups with color coded inputs / outputs?

Let me know what you think. Feel free to contact me directly if needed by E-Mail at:

adst@pacbell.net

I'll copy the text from this thread.

P.S. is all the data in???

Scott s.e.t.
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#133849 - 11/23/02 03:36 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5486
A worthy quest Scott.

me, i'd simply be happy with uniform grounding/noodle colors....i could figger the rest if i had to...

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#133850 - 11/23/02 12:22 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Uniform neutral color.....

U.S./Canada: White or gray
U.K.: Blue or black
Rest of Europe, depending upon country and age of wiring: Blue, black, white, red, gray, or who knows what else????

I say we recommend a new international standard neutral color of pink with yellow polkadots!

Scott,
I just looked back at the thread -- I'm going to post a query about the old French system in the group that was mentioned. Maybe if I can get a reply on that question we'll have then covered the main systems in Europe, past and present.

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#133851 - 11/23/02 05:44 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2671
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Cool.

I'll check this thread for said information and get things going ASAP [As Stupid As Popeye??? ...]

Scott s.e.t.
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#133852 - 11/24/02 12:20 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
CTwireman:

Flexes only. As you don't ship buildings around the world, it really doesn't matter what colour code you use in the fixed wiring. As long as all electricians in the area use the same, that is. The US is a continent, more or less, and you don't have electricians coming over from Europe (or vice versa).

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#133853 - 11/24/02 03:47 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Wasn't there a post with a huge list of old european color codes somwhere? I can't seem to find it anymore.
I remember old swiss, russian and several other colors being mentioned, if that helps.

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#133854 - 11/24/02 03:56 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Tex: Below I have reposted the information. (From the Austria 220/440V thread)
------
The text below is a slightly edited and shorted version of the following NG posting. Although it claims to apply to mains cords only, it seem to be valid for fixed wiring too.
-----
Andrew Emmerson (midshires@cix.compulink.co.uk)
Safety or heresy
rec.antiques.radio+phono
1995/10/17
------
Mains Cords
By this we mean flexible appliance wiring or line cords, not the fixed cable or wiring inside the walls. All colour code combinations are given in the order L, N, E: In other words line (live), neutral and earth (ground).

The current general standard is Brown, Blue, Yellow/Green striped and this is mandatory in most European countries and on items intended for sale in those countries. The colours were chosen not for their association (otherwise brown would be earth!) for reasons set up below.

Elsewhere in the world and also in Europe in previous times, these colour codings vary widely. The following combinations can be encountered. Again the order is L, N, E and the list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Belgium: Red, yellow or blue, Grey, Black.
Germany: Usually Grey, Black, Red.
Great Britain: Red, Black, Green.
Netherlands: Any colour but grey or red, Red, Grey.
Russia: Red, Grey, Black.
Switzerland: Red, Grey, Yellow or yellow/red.
USA, Canada: Black, White, Green.

The foregoing should make it clear why a unified colour coding of wires was necessary. Green is by no means the obvious colour for earth either:
before standard colours were adopted, earth was red in Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden; black in Belgium and Russia, grey in the Netherlands and Poland, yellow in Switzerland and green in Britain and North America. Three cheers for standardisation!

The choice of colours for the world-wide system was not arbitrary either; earth (ground) had to be distinguished and making it striped was an inspired choice. The other two colours had to be clearly distinguishable, even by people who suffer colour-blindness, and blue and brown were judged the most clearly different shades by experts in this field.

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#133855 - 11/24/02 07:44 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Does that entry for Germany have the black and gray the wrong way around?

I thought Ranger told us that it was black for line, gray for neutral.

Re the old French colors, I posted a question in the fr.rec.bricolage group, and we have started to get some answers:
 Quote:
Phase 1: Vert
Phase 2: Jaune
Phase 3: Marron
Neutre: Gris
terre: Blanc
Facile à se rappeler: printemps, été, automne, hiver, neige.
C'était les anciennes couleurs, mais, en quelle année ont-elles été
changées? Là j'ai un petit creux.

Another country that used green as a phase! I like the little aid to memory using the seasons. We could do with someone now who can remember when the new scheme was introduced into France.


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 11-24-2002).]

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#133856 - 11/24/02 08:53 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Yes, it looks like grey and black should be the other way round for Germany. (I think!)

Vielleicht soll jemand in z.B. de.rec.heimwerken oder de.sci.ing.elektrotechnik fragen? Ich habe ja einmal da gefragt (über Sicherungen), aber mein Deutsch war offenbar zu schlecht.

----
Let's see for France then:

Phase 1: Green
Phase 2: Yellow
Phase 3: Brown
Neutral: Grey
Earth: White
----

I see that you were recommended fr.sci.electrotechnique

I had a look in this NG and it seems to contain much information. Perhaps we should try to attract some Frenchmen to ECN?

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 11-24-2002).]

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#133857 - 11/24/02 10:37 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
It was according to ALL sources (old and new) grey as neutral, black as line.
Obviously this document is incorrect here.

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#133858 - 11/24/02 02:24 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
That group does indeed look interesting. In fact I've just spent a while browsing through and felt brave enough to post a couple of responses.

I wish my French was better though!

I saw one gentleman who was asking about getting Canadian wiring codes as he hopes to be immigrating to Quebec. I've pointed him in the direction of ECN's Canadian Section.

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#133859 - 11/25/02 12:27 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The plot thickens....

I've been given this link , which contains information somewhat at odds with that posted previously.

According to this reference, the old French color code was used up until 1970 and was:

Phase = Green
Neutral = Red
Earth = White or Gray

That sounds very much like the old Dutch system.

 Quote:
Navette de phase entre interrupteurs

Not sure what "navette" means, but from the "between switches" part I assume this is referring to what we would call travelers on a 3-way switching arrangement.

P.S. It was bugging me, so I had to go find my French-English dictionary to check on navette -- It means shuttle. I guess that "Shuttle of phase between switches" is as close to travelers as we'll get!



[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 11-25-2002).]

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#133860 - 11/25/02 04:06 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I'm trying to see if I can get an answer to this question at fr.sci.electrotechnique .

Re the current colors in France, we already knew green/yellow for ground, blue for neutral, and black for line.

For 3-phase it appears that the phases are most often now black, red, brown, but with some variations possible. (Shades of BOY vs. other colors in the U.S.?)

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#133861 - 11/25/02 07:40 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2671
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Paul,

Please contact me via E-Mail when all the data has been obtained, regarding making a "World Wide Color Coding Database".

I'll send you a message regarding what I have so far, plus idea[s] for posted materials.

Scott s.e.t.
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#133862 - 11/26/02 05:21 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I'm not exactly sure if the information on the DIY page is trustworthy. It seems strange that the old neutral color (red) is now used as a phase. I can't really say, but something is strange with that website, and I doesn't exactly believe into what it's saying. Furthermore I recall endless discussions about the accuracy of DIY sites, so why should we trust this one?

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#133863 - 11/26/02 08:37 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Ok, I finally found some decent info on the old german/austrian color coding:
flexes:
P: black
N: grey (can be connected to ground terminal of receptacle with jumper to neutral, TN-C)
G: red
L2, L3: black, blue
fixed wiring: single phase: see flexes
2 switches in one box: feeder black, switch loops grey and red
3 ph: 4w
R,S,T: black, blue, red, neutral (usually only ground) grey, red one can be pink as well, was also commonly used for flexes, this was the most common wiring arrangement.
5w (pretty rare): see flexes.
As you see this system was rather inconsequent, and this is one reason why it was phased out.
However, 4w 3ph systems still have black, brown, blue for phases and y/g for ground.

Anyway, this color code is definitely NOT reliable, even electricians usually took whatever wire color was just handy!

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#133864 - 11/26/02 08:41 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
This reminds me pretty much of the current US 120/208 color coding, except for the neutral being grey instead of white.
I suppose phase order was the following:
L1 (R): black
L2 (S): red
L3 (T): blue
or black-blue-black with 5 wire

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#133865 - 11/26/02 01:16 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Good point T-R. Something about that site didn't sit quite right in my mind either, although I couldn't put my finger on it at first.

Looking at their "new" colors, I've realized that for line they say brown or red. I know for a fact that black is certainly used as line in France (as in practically all of Western Europe now, excluding the British Isles). But they only list black as being for 3-way travelers.

I agree... Something there doesn't add up.

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#133866 - 11/29/02 02:41 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Well, I've received a few more posts from the French newsgroup.

It seems that before adoption of the new color code around 1970 that France used a variety of schemes, more or less depending upon the person installing the wiring. Somebody mentioned that he's even seen red used for ground, German-style. (Perhaps in eastern France? I don't know.)

However, it seems as though the modern standard for phase colors is black, red, brown, and that they often use orange for 3-way switch travelers.

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#133867 - 01/16/03 05:28 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I found a new color code. It is either from Czechoslovakia or Italy. I bought a used photo print drying press, made in Czechoslovakia. However, the Schuko plug and cord switch are "Made in Italy", hence the confusion.
It is phase red, neutral green and ground yellow. Once again, completely different from all other color codings.

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#133868 - 01/16/03 09:11 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Oh no, not another system!

I move that we should all just go with the American system forthwith to keep things simple!

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#133869 - 01/16/03 11:51 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Well, it seems to be an old system. (the device is 70ies or even earlier). Does anyone knows something about old or recent japanese color codes? I tried a google search and found absolutely nothing. I feel that this is still missing in our list.
GDR and Hungary go like old German/Austrian colors.
BTW, is cubrilo, our member from former Yugoslavia still around? I'd really like to know more about old yugoslavian wiring.

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#133870 - 01/16/03 12:05 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Somewhere I remember reading that Japanese flex color codes were the same as North American codes (black=live, white=neutral, green=earth).

In fact, yes! I remember where I read it! It was in a catalog for some company that supplies "International" power cords (Panel Components Corporation). The flex that this company sells for the Japanese market is North American color-coded.

Although considering how the USA is supposed to be switching to harmonized cordage, maybe Japan will do the same thing eventually (when we're all dead?)

Ragnar, I'd suggest replacing that power cord with a modern one...if only to prevent confusion for any future owners hooking the green conductor to earth....

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#133871 - 01/16/03 11:02 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Pretty unlikely...
rather the red one. In fact, green and yellow were both used as line and neutral colors before harmonization, but red was never used for anything but ground (and phase in a 3ph 4w delta w/o neutral but with ground, in this case ground was grey like otherwise the neutral would be, quite confusing)
Anyway, I don't think I'll replace it, I don't like replacing cords that are still in perfect shape.

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#133872 - 02/12/03 08:37 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
paul uk yeah the colour code did indeed changed in 1970 in france to due the safty reason and it was a mess that time and now they really improve the safty on colour codes wise simuar to american system now yeah orange is for travller switches they still do that but in usa for trallver switches it is mixed bag as long it is indentify where it goes (for thhn's i use purple or brown depend what the situation)but the french 3 phase colour code is corret for 220/415 volts system for other voltages i will check with them see what i can come up

merci marc
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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#133873 - 02/15/03 06:22 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Alors, cela expliqué toutes les couleurs différentes que j'ai vu cité!

Merci beaucoup Marc.

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#133874 - 02/15/03 06:34 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8468
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
I can't see an entry for Australia/New Zealand wire colours.
Maybe I overlooked this, I don't know.
May I be so indulgent as to include one?.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#133875 - 02/15/03 07:31 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
You're right! We don't seem to have included the "down under" color codes.

Aren't your colors pretty much the same as the British? I seem to recall that the only differences are that you didn't adopt the brown/blue "Euro" colors until later and that maybe you kept white for phase B instead of changing to yellow.

I have been known to be wrong, though!

By all means post whatever comments you wish and we'll get Scott to add them to the "master list" is the tech. reference area.

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#133876 - 02/15/03 08:12 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8468
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
Thanks for your reply,
Here it is though:
Aus/NZ:
Flex:Single Phase: Phase=Brown
Neutral: Blue
Earth: Green/Yellow
Flex:3Phase:Phase1=Brown
Phase2=White
Phase3=Black
Earth=Green/Yellow
Neutral(if required)= Blue
In flexes for VSD equipment, there are two ECC's and a Screen (Drain)

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 02-20-2003).]
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#133877 - 02/21/03 05:49 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
And how about fixed cable colors?

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#133878 - 02/21/03 10:19 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
bonsoir pauluk

if you are talking about hardwired version?? if so in usa the colour codes are the same for both flex wire and hardwires. but flex wire are useally use the common colour codes

i will run it quick here for usa version: volia ici

120/240 v
L1=black
L2=red
L3=bleu
N=white
(note: for 240 delta will be marked orange colour on wild leg)
120/208 volts
same as above

277/480 volts system
L1=brown
L2=orange (sometime purple)
L3=yellow
N=grey or white(if white will marked 277vn)

for delta sans (without ground ) same as above with proper voltage as listed

for delta avce(with)ground
240v
L1=black
L2=red
L3=white (somecase will marked also)

480 v with ground
L1=brown
L2=orange or purple or yellow
L3=white or grey

those two item i mention above for delta ground it is grounded on "B"phase

merci marc

ps if i find more usa colour i will post it more or other member can help here too


merci marc
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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#133879 - 02/23/03 05:43 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Sorry -- I didn't make my question clear enough. We already have just about all North American systems listed in the technical reference area.

I was asking Trumpy to add the fixed cable colors for Australia and NZ.

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#133880 - 02/23/03 06:47 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
David UK Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 134
Loc: Inverness, Scotland
Australian fixed wiring colour code is as follows:
Single phase:
Red = Line/Active/Phase/Hot
Black = Neutral
Green/yellow = Earth/ground

3 Phase:
Red = L1
White = L2
Blue = L3
Black = Neutral
Green/yellow = Earth

I assume the same code applies in NZ, but you would need to check with Trumpy.

In older 3 phase Australian installations L2
is coloured yellow (like current UK standard), I don't know when the change to white was made.
Also green was used as earth on older installations.
Hope this is of help.

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#133881 - 02/23/03 09:37 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 374
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
I have posted this information before but for the record South African fixed wiring is exactly as described for Australia by Dave.

Flex for single phase is the brown (live), blue (neutral), green/yellow (earth). As for three phase flex, I am not sure.

A note on conduit wiring. Black is always neutral and earth is either green or bare. Red is usually phase but I have seen brown used. For switched feeds and travellers, I have seen used brown, blue, white, yellow and pink.

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#133882 - 02/23/03 08:01 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
opps sorry paul i didn't mean to go overboard about this one sorry about that and thanks for very instering colours codes with other countries


merci marc
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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#133883 - 05/07/03 02:48 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
One more addition to this endless thread: I got some info from a Swiss sparky on their color coding.
Current Swiss color coding:
Phases: all colors but blue and yellow-green
Neutral: Blue
Ground: Yellow-green.
Old colors:
Phases: all colors but yellow and yellow-red
Neutral: Yellow
Ground: Yellow-red
Swiss, is that correct?

Old Italian color coding: Whatever you feel like. Think a pink phase with blue polka dots is beautiful? Go for it!
Common agreement seems to be: L red, N green, Ground yellow.

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#133884 - 05/07/03 06:28 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
 Quote:

Old Italian color coding: Whatever you feel like. Think a pink phase with blue polka dots is beautiful? Go for it!


Nah, pink phase with blue polka dots was in fashion last fall. The latest from Milan is blue phase with green stars...

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#133885 - 05/08/03 02:33 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Ok, let's go and find a manufacturer!

I got another, more detailed information on swiss color coding. Until about 1970 Phases red (R), green (S) and dark blue (T). N yellow. PE yellow-red until the 1950ies, later yellow-green. Phase after fuse often red. Switched phase often blue or green. Got you the following colors to a light fixture: Green, yellow-green and yellow. 3way travelers often white.
In the ca. 90ies introduction of blue neutral, ban of blue phase. Yellow seems to have died out. Phases red, black and white, after fuse often black. Switched neutral whatever, for example green, travelers green as well.

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#133886 - 05/09/03 02:55 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
This really does go to show just how many different ideas there were about color coding, and probably on how the system with which we grew up always seems to be the most logical.

It's still quite incredible to most of us in the Anglo-Saxon world that anyone could conveive using red as ground, for example.

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#133887 - 07/23/03 01:36 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Here is the Russian colour code: (courtesy Igor Nikanov)

L1-yellow
L2-green
L3-red
N-blue
PE-yellow-green
PEN - blue-yellow-green

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#133888 - 07/23/03 01:57 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Ugh, that's ugly! Yellow/green for ground and both yellow and green phases!

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#133889 - 07/24/03 02:21 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Even more clash of colors than the U.K. now using green/yellow for ground and yellow as a phase!

I take it this is the current Russian coding. Any idea how long it has been around, and what was used before?

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#133890 - 07/24/03 04:04 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Our - at lleast questionable - old table offers Russia: Red, Grey, Black (L, N, G) as the old color coding. To me it sounds fatally like the old Austrian coding completely mixed up (hot and ground swapped over).
I remember reading somewher, that Russia didn't have any grounded receptacles in residential.

I'd say common sense and a phase probe are the most important thing when dealing with old wiring anywhere.
Back when we had our 127/220V wye system electricians used virtually _any_ color for the 2 hots. I've seen 2 greens, 2 blacks, 2 yellows, 2 reds(!), 2 purples, 2 grays, 2 whites,...
Where cable was used red was liberally used as a phase conductor (e.g. 2 individually switched phases to a light fixture were black and red, or a switched and an unswitched phase). Even 3ph systems can have the weirdest colors. I recently saw a 1957 main fuse box that had various combinations of 4 yellows, 4 whites, 4 purples and IIRC even 4 reds for the individual apartments. So _never_ trust a red wire to be a ground!

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#133891 - 07/24/03 02:53 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
The ETCI (Electrotechnical Council of Ireland) and the electrical contractors groups have gotten really strict about one colour coding issue here.

All new properties are required to have interlinked smoke alarms that are non-battery powered, i.e. if one smoke alarm gets triggered it has to sound all of the others. A lot of electricians have been using 3 core cable the brown and blue carrying the power and the earth to signal the other alarms (totally illegal)

A minimum of 2 are legally required in houses but it's standard practice to install a lot more.

If it was a commercial premisis it would have to be a full fire alarm system complete with fire resistant cabling etc.

On another point:

Are there any colour codes in Europe for SELV (12/24 V) circuits?

Low voltage halogen lighting's becoming very common as are other SELV appliences like in-shower fans etc.. meaning that attic spaces are often criss-crossed with cable carrying 12V or 24V. It would be handy if these cable could be quickly identified as non-230V.

It could prevent accidental connection of 230V to 12V or visa versa in a dodgy DIY job!




[This message has been edited by djk (edited 07-24-2003).]

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#133892 - 07/25/03 02:56 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
All new properties are required to have interlinked smoke alarms that are non-battery powered,

As a matter of curiosity, what happens if it's a new house built "off grid" with no mains electricity?

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#133893 - 07/25/03 03:21 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8468
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
The same still applies as far as I am aware,
as long as there is an Electricity supply in the house, somewhere.
Other side of the coin though, I would not have my own house without smoke detectors, neither should anyone else!
But, I see that there are 12/24/48V smoke detectors out these days and they run on both AC and DC.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#133894 - 07/26/03 06:24 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
There are practically no houses "off grid" over here. The ESB, since the days of rural electrification has a universal service obligation that means it has to connect remote homes. The usual scenario is that the ESB, homeowner and in some cases the government/local athority split the cost of running the line to a remote property.

Rural Ireland, unlike most of the rest of Europe, has a very strange population distribution. Lots of individual one off houses in the middle of the countryside varying from small traditional farmhouses to the now traditional US Style sprawling ranch sytle houses (they were very popular in the 60s). People also like to paint them very bright colours like flourecent pink, bright yellow or a nice electric blue etc. Amazingly enough it actually looks quite picturesque in most cases.

Because of this very low density distribution the ESB's rural electrification projects (1930-1950s) had to provide a very "omnipresent" network. So there are 10kV lines crisscrossing the countryside to tie into all of these scattered homes and farmhouses. If you drive around Ireland you will actually notice that there are quite a lot of quaint looking wooden pole powerlines running cross country (in comparision to the rest of Europe anyway) They're all wooden and generally quite sympathetic to the environment.

(In the northwest there are even 110kV & 220kV transmission lines on wooden poles! [installed recently wood was choosen for visual impact reasons])

Typically each home would be fed with 10kV up to the property's boundry and a pole mounted can transformer would step it back down to 220V or 380V. (nominally 230V/400V these days, but in reality it's still 220V/380V even on new installations.

The use of 10kV distribution with 38kV transmission over medium distances in the rural networks actually gives a really rubust supply that's very free from voltage fluctuations. (I've spent time in Spain and know that the rural network there wiped out my laptop power supply! We used to get flickering lights quite a lot)

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#133895 - 07/28/03 03:44 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
People also like to paint them very bright colours like flourecent pink, bright yellow or a nice electric blue etc

Yep -- I remember seeing places in Ireland painted in a combination of purple and lime green!

It's 5 years since I was over there, but I can't honesty remember noticing there being that many more HV power lines around the countryside than here. I suppose that's proof enough that they do blend it pretty well with the environment.

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#133896 - 09/03/03 09:23 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
(Old thread, but…) The North American continent may not be 100% metric, but there is at least one east-of-the-pond custom catching on. Omaha, NB Public Power District requires installers to “identify the phase conductors per the following colors: 120/208V, 3Ph, 4W: Black, Red, and Blue; or Red, Yellow, and Blue.” Earlier this week, I noticed some new local utility riser poles [transition from overhead to underground 12,470Y/7200V] with open, plainly visible phase designations of R-Y-B.]

There are some test leads that use the RYB{+W} 3ø {4-wire} colors… http://www.arbiter.com/catalog/frames/specs/testleads/815at.jpg
A little harder to explain the application, but these current leads use the same… http://www.arbiter.com/catalog/frames/specs/testleads/811at.jpg

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#133897 - 09/04/03 02:04 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I learnt the other day that I had gotten the Swedish phase order backwards.

'Old' cables L1/2/3=black/brown/black with white stripe but newer cables had L1/2/3=white/brown/black. I - and probably a lot of people - simply assumed that the colours had the same meaning in all cables. I have no idea why they did like this: The 3 and 4 wire cables were identical.

This is the problem with being the only member from a country. There's nobody to tell you "No, stupid, it's like this..."

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#133898 - 09/04/03 01:26 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
We all goof sometimes....

I've posted your amendment in the Technical Reference area .

Scott,
Interesting on the red/yellow/blue phase identification. Those colors have been standard here since the mid-1960s. Prior to that phase B was white instead of yellow. I'm still not sure why the change was made, although it's interesting that some other British-influenced countries still use red/white/blue.

By the way, we seemed to have a minor glitch in this thread this morning (9/4/03). If anyone posted but doesn't see his message here now, please try again.


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 09-04-2003).]

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#133899 - 10/21/05 09:03 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Switzerland, old and current.
http://www.transelectro.ch/PDF/nouvellescouleurs%20FR.pdf

Finland, old and current. Same as Germany.
http://www.draka.fi/drakankcables/NavTopic/Lehdistotiedotteet/AsennuskaapeleidenVarijarjestelma.pdf

Italy, same as Germany.
http://www.pesentipietro.it/ntzsml/file/Scheda_colorazioni_delle_anime.pdf

Czech Republich, same as Germany.
http://www.etm.cz/index.php?art=192

Estonia, same as Germany.
http://www.nkkeila.ee/en/products/colors_install.html

British background info. Maybe posted before, I don't recall. (Contains minor errors and omissions.)
http://www.iee.org/Publish/WireRegs/Impact_2004.pdf

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#172478 - 12/20/07 03:00 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: C-H]
frenchelectrican Offline

Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
If this is confirmed by our UK freinds but one other website one person did informed me about the switching colour:

Local Switching
Black - common
Gray - switching live
Brown - Live


please note this the black i will double check it and if the info is corret i will leave it as is.
otherwise will make a note of change.

PaulUK please check this info as well too

Merci, Marc

P.S. this colour code item will change as the info is verifed
_________________________
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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#172508 - 12/20/07 09:46 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: frenchelectrican]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Originally Posted By: frenchelectrican
Local Switching
Black - common
Gray - switching live
Brown - Live



I take it this is with reference to a 2-way (=U.S. 3-way) switching arrangement using the "extension" method? (i.e. supply to L1 of switch, lamp to L2, and a 3-core linking L1-L1, L2-L2, and Com-Com on the other switch).

I can't say I've noticed an emerging preference for this yet, but then I don't think there was ever really an established convention as such under the old red/yellow/blue colors either.

When wiring that method I would use red for supply (L1), since that seemed logical given that on a regular switch drop red would be the feed. Then I would usually use blue for lamp (L2), and yellow to link the commons.

Transposing red/yellow/blue to brown/black/gray respectively does result in brown for supply (L1), gray for lamp (L2) and black for switch commons as per your list, but I can't say that I've seen that established as a real convention yet, anymore than my use of yellow/blue was the only method employed under the old system. If I found 2-ways wired "extension" method with blue for the common and yellow for the lamp, then I'd wire mine the same way for consistency.

If wiring a 2-way the traditional method, either to junction boxes above or by splicing the feed or lamp return in the back of a switch, then I would normally use red for the feed and the lamp return, with yellow and blue for the travelers (a.k.a. "strappers" in the U.K.). Transposing that to the new colors results in brown for feed and lamp return with black and gray for travelers.

If using a 3-core for individual 2-gang switching, then I think it's much more obvious. Red (now brown) for feed, yellow (now black) and blue (now gray) for the two switch returns.

Of course, under BS7671 the yellow and blue conductors were supposed to be sleeved red at terminations anyway, and now black and gray should be sleeved brown at terminations when used in single-phase wiring.

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#172509 - 12/20/07 10:15 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: pauluk]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Also related to this is the reidentification of conductors when using a 3-core cable to phase colors for a single-phase live/neutral/earth feed (as is common here with SWA).

Under the old system just about everybody did it the same way: Red left as it was for live, blue sleeved black for neutral, yellow sleeved green/yellow for earth.

With the new colors it's fairly obvious that brown stays as is for live, but I've seen the black and gray used both ways round for neutral and earth. The recommended method though is for black to be sleeved green/yellow for earth and gray to be sleeved blue for neutral. The idea is to break the association of "black = neutral" which would persist if black were sleeved blue for use as a neutral.

What a mess!

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#172583 - 12/21/07 01:43 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: pauluk]
Wolfgang Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/05
Posts: 154
Loc: the very West of Germany
In Gemany sleeving is rare, PE is either g/y or red (before 1971) We may not use any other wire. In case of non-existance you're supposed to add a separate, paralleled PE cable.

The only accepted and mandatory(?) sleeving is blue on a g/y wire to mark a PEN. Blue PENs with g/y sleeving are not accepted either.

Interesting to see that I wire the same way what we call "wire saving 2way switching": brown = L, black = traveller (here "communicator"), gray for the lamp. But there is absolutely no rule here, except for this one: "Everything but g/y can be live".

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#172589 - 12/21/07 05:13 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: Wolfgang]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The Regs. here basically allow any conductor to be sleeved at its termination points, except that a green/yellow wire may not be re-identified and used for any purpose other than earth.

So you can take a blue, black, gray, etc. wire, sleeve it green/yellow at its ends and use for an earth, but you cannot take a green/yellow wire and sleeve it blue, brown etc. for use as a phase or neutral.

The reasoning is that if somebody comes along later and cuts into an existing cable, he might assume that the Gn/Yw is earth if he doesn't check the ends and see that it's been reidentified.

Of course, with our "T&E" PVC-insulated cables commonly used in residential and light commercial wiring the earth wire is bare inside the sheath, and may not be used for any other purpose except an earth anyway.

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#172610 - 12/22/07 06:50 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: pauluk]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
 Quote:
The Regs. here basically allow any conductor to be sleeved at its termination points, except that a green/yellow wire may not be re-identified and used for any purpose other than earth.

The other way round it's illegal here too - a grounding conductor has to be permanently identified yellow/green along its entire length. However, cables without a yellow/green conductor are virtually non-existant except for large cross sections commonly used for services and other main line work. Those however, don't contain a ground wire, they're solely intended for TT systems ahead of the main grounding point (typically the local ground wire goes into the breaker panel, so any wiring between PoCo service box and main panel does not have a ground).

The only legal sleeving in Austria is re-identifying a grey conductor blue in a 4xxxmm2 cable (colors brown, black, grey, yellow/green) where a neutral is needed. 4x1,5mm2 and the like is highly uncommon anyway, so it does not happen that often - since it's so rare 5x1,5mm2 is usually cheaper just due to the great quantities sold.

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#199705 - 03/05/11 06:37 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: Trumpy]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2212
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Another update on Austria or Germany pre-1970s:
Wire colors for flexes:
black-grey
black-grey-red
black-grey-red-blue
black-grey-red-blue-white

Fixed wiring:
black-grey
black-grey-red
black-grey-red-blue
black-grey-red-blue-black

Most conductors have more than one acceptable use.
Black, white and blue are always phases.

Red is ground. Where no ground is/was required, red can be a phase conductor, switched phase or traveler.

Grey can be neutral (TT and TN-C-S systems), phase (TT or TN-C-S in 3ph circuits without neutral) or PEN. In conduit, phases can be any color, but if there is a ground in the conduit there must be no other red wire. Ground has to be red.

Since existing runs can be re-used and even re-purposed it is still important to know the old codes. As far as I know the new harmonised colors were introduced in 1967 with a transitional period until 1972.

The harmonised colors introduced the distinction between cables with a yellow/green conductor (-J types in both Austrian and German national designations) and without (-O types), I think in the harmonised scheme it's G or X (e.g. H05VV-F 3G1.5 or 3X1.5).
-J:
yellow/green
black - yellow/green
black - blue - yellow/green
black - blue - brown - yellow/green
black - blue - brown - black - yellow/green

-O
black
black - blue
black - brown - blue
black - brown - black - blue
black - brown - black - black - blue

All cables with more than 5 conductors (including the yellow/green) have a yellow/green conductor and 5 or more numbered black conductors, one of which can be re-identified blue for the neutral but does not have to (it can be left black).

I also found a document on previous Swiss color codes:
http://download.hager.com/hager-tehalit.ch/files_download/DocHager/Aderfarben-D.pdf

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#201182 - 05/16/11 09:08 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: Trumpy]
david96elect Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Queensland, Australia
Australia. AS3000.

Before 1976.

Red, Yellow, Blue for phase colours. Black for the neutral. Green for earthing conductor.

After 1976.

Red, White, Blue for phase colours, Black for the neutral. Green/Yellow for earthing conductor.

Flex cables and cords. Before 1976.

Red phase, Black neutral.

After 1976.

Brown phase, Light Blue neutral. Green/Yellow earth.

IEC colours 2007.Imported Electrical Equipment.

Black, Brown, Grey, phase colours. Light Blue neutral. Green/Yellow earth.

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