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#101779 - 04/03/03 11:20 AM COLOUR CODING REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRING WHEN BUILDING CONTROL PANELS
Tony Moscioni Offline
Moderator

Registered: 05/15/01
Posts: 144
Loc: CANADA
QUESTION:

What are the wiring “colour code requirements” when we perform field approvals of electrical equipment?

ANSWERS:

All internal wire can be any colour.

When units of equipment are interconnected by flexible cords, cables etc., there are restrictions on green wires and white wires. If there are interconnections of units of equipment that have green wires, then they must be bond wires (or have the ends taped or painted a different colour).

If there are interconnections of units of equipment that have white wires, then they must be neutral wires (or have the ends taped or painted a different colour).

BACKGROUND:

INTERNAL WIRING: SPE-1000 Section 4.14 does not mention colour coding inside equipment. We approve products to SPE-1000 with reference to other specs for areas that may be unclear or safety related.

There are a number of Canadian specifications that refer to the colour of wire, but generally they are limited to field connections only. If customers want to build to specific Canadian specifications, then they should reference the particular specification. This is not a requirement of SPE-1000 or our product approval process.


It is recommended that the equipment panels (intended for the field wiring connection point) should have an identified bond and an identified neutral terminal. If there are no terminal lugs, then the wires in the field connection panel should be white for neutral and green for bond. This will assist people that need to produce a product that is certified to a specific Canadian specification.


If customers are interested in a generally accepted colour coding scheme, then NFPA 79 is widely used. Also note that the automotive industry often uses the older (1967) Joint Industrial Council (JIC) specifications.

The customer should be aware that the time to check the circuit by the inspection group may take longer if the wiring is not colour coded. Wires may need to be traced physically or electrically.

INTERCONNECTIONS: For interconnecting units of equipment with flexible cord, section 4.12.16 states that if a green cable is used it must be for bonding. If a white cable is used it must be for a neutral. If you want to use the green or the white for something else, then the exposed ends have to be taped or sleeved with a suitable colour (other than green or white).


This section does not require the bond to be green or the neutral to be white. For example, a cable with a bond, a neutral and a control wire could all be in a 3 conductor black cable.

POWER SUPPLY CORDS: SPE-1000 section 4.7.1 defines power supply cords. These require colour coding based on the need for cables to meet SPE-1000 Table 2, which references the spec for cables (# 49). This and safety reasons would require the neutral to be white (or natural gray) and the ground to be green (Note the spec also allows the international colours of light blue for neutral and green/yellow for bond).

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#101780 - 04/04/03 01:56 AM Re: COLOUR CODING REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRING WHEN BUILDING CONTROL PANELS
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Tony,
 Quote:
If customers are interested in a generally accepted colour coding scheme, then NFPA 79 is widely used. Also note that the automotive industry often uses the older (1967) Joint Industrial Council (JIC) specifications

Do you know if these are available for reference on-line?

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#101781 - 04/04/03 11:47 AM Re: COLOUR CODING REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRING WHEN BUILDING CONTROL PANELS
Tony Moscioni Offline
Moderator

Registered: 05/15/01
Posts: 144
Loc: CANADA
NFPA 79 Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery

Follow this link . . .
http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product.asp?pid=7902&src=catalog%20target=_top


JIC

No websites that I am aware of.

JIC Designation
The Joint Industry Council (JIC) was an organization of interested companies and associations primarily concerned with safety, efficiency and maintenance of electrical apparatus as related to machine tools and similar industrial equipment. This concern lead to the publication of two Advisory Standards.
EMP-1 'Electrical Standards for Mass Production Equipment'

EGP-1 'Electrical Standards for General Purpose Machine Tools'

Joint Industry Council - 7901 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22101

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#101782 - 04/05/03 12:58 AM Re: COLOUR CODING REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRING WHEN BUILDING CONTROL PANELS
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Thanks Tony.

I was just curious about the coding systems recommended, as we've had various industry standards for color coding in radio work, e.g. for identifying primary and secondary transformer connections.

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#101783 - 04/11/03 10:43 AM Re: COLOUR CODING REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRING WHEN BUILDING CONTROL PANELS
Webmaster Offline

Administrator
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
Here's a page sent by Tony M. with some colour Code Info:

Color Coding for pushbuttons, indicator (pilot) lights, and illuminated pushbuttons

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#101784 - 04/13/03 06:24 AM Re: COLOUR CODING REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRING WHEN BUILDING CONTROL PANELS
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Thanks for sending this in Tony.

I guess that many of those defined functions are those that most of us would associate with the listed colors, e.g. red for danger/stop, green for start, etc.

The color associations in people's minds are interesting though. I was chatting with Bill last night about how outside the Western world other cultures often have quite different color associations.

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