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#133898 - 09/04/03 04:26 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
We all goof sometimes.... [Linked Image]

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

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 12:03 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes  
C-H  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
Switzerland, old and current.

Finland, old and current. Same as Germany.

Italy, same as Germany.

Czech Republich, same as Germany.

Estonia, same as Germany.

British background info. Maybe posted before, I don't recall. (Contains minor errors and omissions.)

#172478 - 12/20/07 07:00 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: C-H]  
frenchelectrican  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
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?)

#172508 - 12/20/07 01:46 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: frenchelectrican]  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
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.

#172509 - 12/20/07 02:15 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: pauluk]  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
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! crazy

#172583 - 12/21/07 05:43 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: pauluk]  
Wolfgang  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 153
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".

#172589 - 12/21/07 09:13 PM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: Wolfgang]  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
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.

#172610 - 12/22/07 10:50 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: pauluk]  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,399
Vienna, Austria
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.

#199705 - 03/05/11 10:37 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: Trumpy]  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,399
Vienna, Austria
Another update on Austria or Germany pre-1970s:
Wire colors for flexes:

Fixed wiring:

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).
black - yellow/green
black - blue - yellow/green
black - blue - brown - yellow/green
black - blue - brown - black - yellow/green

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:

#201182 - 05/17/11 12:08 AM Re: International Wire Colour Codes [Re: Trumpy]  
david96elect  Offline
New Member
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
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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