The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Temporarily feeding a panel...
by HotLine1
Today at 07:07 PM
Locked rotor, no burnout
by jraef
Today at 01:18 PM
Massive power outage South Australia
by Meadow
Today at 06:46 AM
short circuit??
by Meadow
Today at 06:43 AM
Norwegian power?
by Meadow
Today at 06:36 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
HotLine1 14
sparky 10
sparky66wv 8
gfretwell 8
Vlado 6
Who's Online
0 registered (), 296 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#168797 - 09/15/07 08:11 AM Wire color of Type NM
JoeRossi Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 26
Loc: Washington, NJ
Now a day when you buy Type NM #14AWG is white, #12 is yellow, etc. Who made that standard and why. Would love to know. Thanks
Joe
_________________________
Joe Rossi

Top
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#168798 - 09/15/07 08:32 AM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: JoeRossi]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6786
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Joe:
I'm not sure, but I think it's a mfg move. It's a help for us inspectors, and I think some of the EC's like it also.

"Go get the 'yellow' roll"....mech to new helper, as opposed to "read the numbers 12-2" perhaps
_________________________
John

Top
#168802 - 09/15/07 10:07 AM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: HotLine1]
Rewired Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 567
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I have to agree with John.. As far as I know it was so the inspectors could easily identify circuits that are "different" in new construction, as in Blue NM for the arc fault circuits and yellow for the 20A kitchen circuits. Also according to one inspector I talked to and almost got dinged for was to identify voltage! Anything with a red covering contains red and black conductors and is "supposed" to be 240V, no neutral, and explained that its to prevent anyone from thinking the "white is neutral" when in fact it is not such as if you used a regular piece of 2 conductor N.M with black and white conductors on a 240V circuit. That is where I almost got dinged but the inspector "let it go this time" and laughed a bit while saying so!
Years ago I can remember they had plastic sheathed NM in 3-4 colours and even way before that in the days of paper wrapped "loomex" they had what 7 colours that I can think of off the top of my head that were used throughout the years but I think it was only a manufacturing thing back then, the sheath colour meant nothing.

Personally I like the idea of colour coding the cable for the obvious reasons, but it also helps me identify what coils of what cable I have in my van at any given time!

A.D

Top
#168803 - 09/15/07 10:09 AM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: Rewired]
Theelectrikid Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Levittown, PA
It also helps when you're getting wire cut by the non-English speaking immigrants that work at Home Depot. (At least at mine.)

Ian A.


Edited by Theelectrikid (09/15/07 10:09 AM)
_________________________
Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

Top
#168806 - 09/15/07 12:47 PM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: Theelectrikid]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5300
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Around 1998, Rex Cauldwell wrote an article for "Fine Homebuilding" magazine about wiring techniques with Romex. As a side note, he showed how he used spray paint to mark the edges on new rolls of Romex, to help his guys grab the right roll from the truck the FIRST time.

Maybe two years later, one cable maker (I think it was Southwire) began to distribute the colored stuff. Other makers quickly followed.

AFAIK, this was a purely voluntary move by the makers, without any code or industry standard to encourage it. I also suspect that there may be some economies involved; adding color makes it easier for the maker to mix in recycled materials.

Top
#168810 - 09/15/07 04:32 PM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: renosteinke]
Tom H Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/05
Posts: 74
Loc: Milford, Ct, USA
Someone told me once that when they made that standars change, that blue was going to be the color of 14-2, I think I even remember seeing that at a trade show once. Obviously that did not happen, but it would be interesting to hear the manufactures perspective on this question

Top
#168812 - 09/15/07 06:50 PM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: Tom H]
NORCAL Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 805
Just think about some of the ones pulling it, if they were laying sod the crew leader would be yelling "Green side up,green side up".

Top
#168813 - 09/16/07 07:27 AM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: JoeRossi]
Sandro Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 449
Loc: Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
Now if only they could come up with colour coded armoured (BX) cable.

Top
#168814 - 09/16/07 08:30 AM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: Sandro]
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4225
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
Sandro,
Do you mean like THIS?

AFC's color coded MC and AC cable has been around since before the color coded NM cable

Top
#168891 - 09/19/07 09:11 AM Re: Wire color of Type NM [Re: electure]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Our equivalent of NM in Britain isn't so colorful.

The old 1950s/60s Imperial-size cables were a case of "you can have any outer sheath color you like so long as it's gray."

I'm not exactly sure when it first appeared, but sometime after the switch to metric sizes in the 1970s manufacturers started offering white sheaths as well. They became quite common during the 1980s, especially for exposed surface runs. The clips were then made in both gray and white versions.

With the recent change to the new European color coding for the internal conductor insulation, the cables are back to being available only with a gray sheath.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals