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Push-button colours? #150240 01/08/05 06:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,346
Trumpy Offline OP
Could someone please tell me,
Is there a standard colour-coding system for Electrical pushbuttons and indicator lights used in factories and the like.
I realise that Red and Green universally mean Stop and Go respectively, but are there other colours for say, Pump Fail, Up, Down, Left, Right and Inch?.

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
Re: Push-button colours? #150241 01/08/05 05:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
Funny you should mention this, as I was reading a thread on a similar topic a few days ago (sorry, I can't provide a link, but I think it might have been on the board).

Much of the discussion was about status indicators in industrial systems of various types, and it sounds as though there are a variety of in-house standards.

Status indicators for circuit-breakers in power plants were mentioned, with some using red=closed, green=open, others vice versa. Somebody else mentioned similar differences to show valve status on pipelines, with systems that used one common color for closed and a different color to show open depending upon the pipeline contents.

Re: Push-button colours? #150242 01/09/05 12:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
Bjarney Offline
Go nuts..

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 01-09-2005).]

Re: Push-button colours? #150243 01/09/05 06:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,346
Trumpy Offline OP
Red or Green?
What does it mean?.
{Sorry this isn't a sad attempt at a Haiku}
But, Personally I reckon that there should be some sort of standard written for this sort of thing.
After all what does a Blue button mean?.

Re: Push-button colours? #150244 01/09/05 01:09 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
golf junkie Offline
This past summer I learned that we have been doing it backwards for years.

We have always used green=run and red=stop, makes sense like a traffic light.

The proper way is red=danger=run and green=safe=stop. I learned this after we installed some Siemens motor controls that were all assembled this way and I did some research to find out why.

I'm sure that there are ANSI standards to support this, but I don't know what they are.


Wow, just went back and read the links that bjarney provided......what a can of worms! Does anyone have access to NFPA 79?

[This message has been edited by golf junkie (edited 01-09-2005).]

Re: Push-button colours? #150245 01/09/05 07:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 11
bfdpoc221 Offline
My company uses the following:

We use a lot of illuminated pb's and always a Red illuminated mushroom for E-stop

Re: Push-button colours? #150246 01/11/05 12:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 55
Big Ed Offline
Hey guys,
I have worked at several industrial facilities, and they have all been Red=run=open(valve) Green=stop=closed.
As far as the computer control system, Yellow=trip/fault Purple=bad input.

I am equally sure that there is a standard, but I have yet to see one spelled out simply.

Big Ed

Re: Push-button colours? #150247 01/11/05 04:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
What's that line again? "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to chose from." [Linked Image]

The problem with trying to introduce any one standard now is that a lot of people won't want to change something which they perceive as having worked perfectly well within their own industry for a long time.

When faced with something such as red and green having opposite meanings in different plants, whoever changed is going to have a real tough time making sure there are no mishaps too.

There's an interesting post in one of the threads BJ linked to about the Navy not using red indicators at all, due to the use of red background lighting for "silent running."

Re: Push-button colours? #150248 01/12/05 08:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 55
Big Ed Offline
I spent 6 years on submarines, they use the red=off=closed(valve)=open(bkr) convention. Almost all indicators are illuminated so that even in the "rigged for red" environment they are still easily identified.

That was the US fleet, I am just guessing, but I assume the the "uk" at the end of your moniker stands for United Kingdom?

I only had the pleasure of visiting one British submarine, and while it was very interesting, I cannot recall the indication scheme.

In a side note I must mention that the sub that I visited was involved in "war games" with us and both of our surface forces. The UK is, frankly, frighteningly good at their anti-sub warfare. Side effect of being an island nation, maybe?
I have a great deal of respect for our "neighbors across the pond".

Big Ed

Re: Push-button colours? #150249 01/12/05 11:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline

Yes, I'm in England. I'm not sure where all the people posting on Eng-Tips are though, as the that forum doesn't appear to
log locations.

Here's the relevant extract from that second link:
Navy uses green for motor running, blue and yellow for circuit breaker open or closed.

ASTM F 1166 section 9.19 has color coding for indicator lights.

I'm looking at a picture of a ship's control console and the only red lights are alarm lights and emergency stop buttons. If there is an illuminated "stop" button (for a pump) or "close" button (for a valve) it is white.
Is that incorrect, or do ships use different schemes than subs?

The UK is, frankly, frighteningly good at their anti-sub warfare. Side effect of being an island nation, maybe?
Well, we're said to be a maritime nation -- Britannia rules the waves etc. We had quite a lot of practice with subs during the 1940s too. [Linked Image]

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