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Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143280 06/23/05 06:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
There was a short thread on the IEE Forum a few weeks ago asking about hookup cords for campsite use.

The ready-made leads sold here almost always have orange flex, but I mentioned that when I make hookup leads for myself I've always preferred to use yellow. In fact I've just made up a new 25' cord for my RV project using "Arctic" yellow (blue CEE connectors for 240V, of course).

One person mentioned that to him a yellow cord would suggest 110 volts. Of course, the CEEform connectors, site transformers, and extension leads for U.K. 110V construction tools are indeed almost universally yellow, but I've never automatically associated the color of the flex with the voltage in use.

This has just been bugging me, so I have to ask: Do any of ECN's Brit members associate yellow with 110V to the point where you would consider its use for anything else odd?

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Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143281 06/23/05 06:59 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,329
Trumpy Offline
My understanding of the flex colours was that White was for Light Duty (House-hold) use.
Grey for Ordinary (Office) Duty use.
Orange and Yellow for Heavy (Commercial/Industrial) Duty use.
Just my $0.02 worth. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 06-23-2005).]

Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143282 06/23/05 07:16 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 381
Hutch Offline
Interesting one that. As one on the outside looking in, so to speak, I would associate yellow flex cable with 110V purely because that is the only use I’ve ever seen them put to. The caravan I’m staying at the moment has a white cable with blue 240V CEE plug and trailing socket and I’ve noticed from looking around the site that the made-up ones tend to be orange or blue cables – not a yellow one seen yet.

Of course the 110V extension leads that are about to be used in South Oxfordshire chez Hutch will be orange with black or orange NEMA 5-15 plugs and sockets on them ‘coz that’s what I’ve got! [Linked Image]

Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143283 06/23/05 09:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,485
Texas_Ranger Offline
Another outside view... the colors don't seem to be international. Light duty cords can have any fancy color. Medium duty cords (PVC sheathed, used for office, work shop, garden, type H05-VV-F) are usually red, orange or yellow, but can be black or white too. Heavy duty construction grade cords (synthetic rubber sheathed H07-RN-F) are always yellow or black.

Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143284 06/23/05 05:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 161
gideonr Offline
I associate yellow with 110V, probably because the plugs are yellow too. Orange is often used for 'mower' extension leads, with the plugs being orange as well. S'pose it contrasts well with the green grass.

Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143285 06/23/05 05:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Certainly I would never associate light-duty appliance cords by color whatsoever, as all sorts of things have been used. For example, I still have a length of 2-core flex with a pink outer jacket in my junkbox, salvaged from an old electric blanket which also had a pink switch to match the blanket itself. And of course, all the old vintage radio gear can have anything from white, to light beige, to tan, to dark brown, plus a few other oddball colors as well.

Interesting the comment about blue cords for campsite hookups, as somebody on the IEE forum mentioned such, saying that it would be a good color. Personally, I would have thought orange, yellow, or even plain white would stand out much better than blue against the ground.

Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143286 06/23/05 06:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 145
chipmunk Offline
For myself, I tend to go more by the colour/type of end connectors, rather than the colour of the cord itself. I think yellow for caravan/mobile home hookups is an excellent idea, more visible even than the orange.

One thing I noted when in the US is the availability of green cords for garden equipment, which seems odd to me, given that people will then be encouraged to tack it along a fence/wall, or use it for the electric mower/edger and then cut through it because they didn't see it. This seems at odds with UL's and the NEC's practice of discouraging potentially hazardous situations.

Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143287 06/24/05 02:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,329
Trumpy Offline
Doesn't 110V carry (roughly) twice the current of a 240V circuit?.
As far as a flexible cord goes?.
Mind you, as far as Paul's first post goes, in a campsite, the blue (IEC 309) plugs they are "Standard" for single phase caravans, we even use them here.
Yes that was for sure a silly idea, that you base a flexible cord on it's colour, but over here it is a fact, even my friends from Australia would back that up.
Anything Blue here as far as cables go, would be made for low temperatures.
A little off-topic, but we have purple sheathed TPS made for contact with Poly-styrene, for use in Cooler wall buildings.

Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143288 06/24/05 03:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Alan Belson Offline
Excellent point Trumpy, it's not just me then! I read somewhere yonks ago that polystyrene foam should not be allowed to come in permanent contact with pvc cable insulation in a building. Some sort of reaction between the plastics causing degradation of the insulation? In my workshop I have 60mm (2 1/2") P.S. foam/10mm sheetrock as the insulation boards and ran a lap of heavy polythene DPC over the cabling and pvc conduit before fixing the plasterwork, poo-pooed by the Scot neighbour as a waste of time.

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Re: Yellow cord = 110 volts ? #143289 06/24/05 09:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 161
gideonr Offline
Styrene is a solvent to many other plastics. For example, polyester resin, for fibre-glass etc., in the raw liquid state is dissolved in styrene, and the styrene evaporates off as the polyester cures. Polystyrene gradually breaks back down to styrene.

PVC cables I've seen that have had a long term exposure to styrene seem to go greasy and soft.

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