Author Topic: Wire Color Codes  (Read 8424 times)

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Offline cs.dk

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2016, 03:08:24 pm »
I work on caravans a lot here in Western Australia, we always use red is positive, black is negative. There are standard "other colours" for trailer plugs and wiring, but nothing further than that.

Some of the big van manufacturers are pains in the ass because they have adopted the American 110v wiring code for their 12 volt systems, therefore black is positive and white is negative. Because of this I never trust anything I work on, whether it be on the bench or in a van. I always check the polarity of anything I've not done myself within the last day.

I agree.. Volvo trucks also uses white as negative. Every manufacturer does it their ways. Sad there isn't a standard.
In general on trucks or cars I use red as B+ (Kl.30), black or purple as Ign+ (Kl.15), brown for ground/chsssis, yellow (Kl.58) light, blue reverse-signal, green handbrake-signal.
On mains i have to follow the code; Blue for neutral, brown/grey/black for fases, and yellow/green for PE.. In some older Danish installations, red are PE |O
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2016, 10:03:14 pm »
It's particularly confusing here in the USA when working on PV systems where you are often transitioning back and forth between DC (black negative, Red Positive) and AC, where black is "live" and white is "neutral" and usually tied to earth ground.  Code specifies bonding DC battery negative to earth ground - further confusing things. ::)
 

Online Jeroen3

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2016, 08:14:03 am »
I can understand that the negative of a DC circuit is tied to ground at the battery since AC Neutral is also tied to ground at the transformer.
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2016, 09:50:51 am »
The mashup described in the preceding comments - explains why mains wiring should be done by a locally licences electrician!

For ELV projects, I stick with
Vas/0V/GND black
+5Vcc red
+12V yellow
then I start looking for 'as close as I can' standards...
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Offline Dave Atom

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2016, 10:32:37 am »
Red to Red,
Black to Black,
Plug it in,
And stand well back.

Always worked for me ;)
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Offline Zero999

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2016, 01:24:02 pm »
The plate pictured below is not one of mine and I only grabbed it for the rotary switch and sometimes you just have to deal with what the fellow that went before you did, in our industry we deal with a wide variety of multicore cables and there are some adopted practices but we never take it for granted that someone else does the same.

It might be the black wire ?....... :palm:
If you look closely, the cable cores are numbered which is quite common in multicore cables.

There is no standard for the colour of wiring inside appliances, whether it be AC or DC, regardless of the voltage.
Not quite true - IEC61010 specifies that earth is only on Green / Yellow wire, and the wire should not be used for anything that is not earth.
That doesn't apply to domestic/office equipment though, so something like a PC could use any colours.

I don't have access to the standard you've referenced to but EN60204 says:

Black = AC or DC power
Red = AC control
Blue  = DC control
Orange = safety
Green & yellow PE and nothing else, which agrees with you.


Link:
http://www.yuntongglass.com/upfile/2012031917030348602.pdf
Pages 76 & 77.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 01:31:06 pm by Hero999 »
 

Offline dom0

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2016, 01:51:10 pm »
I'm pretty sure the IEC standard says that green-yellow must only be used for PE, independent of context.
,
 

Online richard.cs

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2016, 11:31:18 am »
But, honestly, why the Europeans chose blue for "neutral" and brown for "hot" is even more bizarre and arbitrary, IME. Even as I write this I wouldn't bet my life that is correct because it just seems so completely random.

It's the compromise you get when trying to select colours that aren't ambiguous when mixed with the many different previous systems across multiple countries. Blue had never been a phase colour in single phase systems (but had been L3 in the UK) so it was a reasonable choice. Brown is a bit worse, it was earth in the UK though not for long (1934-1939). Red had been used for just about everything, as had black. But the blue/brown combination hadn't been used anywhere before. Black L2 and Grey L3 were the result of the UK pushing for different phase colours, in much of Europe it's normal to use 1 phase colour and a rotation tester (which is usually good enough but doesn't get you absolute phase).

Personally I liked the old UK system with the three primary colours as the three phases, it seemed reasonably logical and with colours for phases black follows as a sensible choice for neutral.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2016, 01:30:53 pm »
Personally I liked the old UK system with the three primary colours as the three phases, it seemed reasonably logical and with colours for phases black follows as a sensible choice for neutral.
Me too. There was no need to standardise with the EU for fixed wiring. I can understand the need for equipment exported to the EU but the colour of the wires, in buildings here in the UK, is none of their business
 

Offline LaurentR

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2016, 07:20:58 pm »
Even though a lot of car OEM harnesses use totally random colors, basic car audio aftermarket harnesses are fairly standard (Metra/EIA).
http://www.the12volt.com/caraudio/headunitharness.asp

Memory / Constant 12V(+)   Yellow
Switch / Accessory   Red
Ground   Black
Illumination   Orange/White
Antenna Remote   Blue
Amp Remote   Blue/White
Left Front (+)   White
Left Front (-)   White/Black
Right Front (+)   Grey
Right Front (-)   Grey/Black
Left Rear (+)   Green
Left Rear (-)   Green/Black
Right Rear (+)   Violet
Right Rear (-)   Violet/Black
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2016, 08:42:53 pm »
It can be very disheartening the lack of standards sometimes. At the refinery I worked at the various plants, maybe a dozen, each had a different central control house with many many 4-20ma 50 pair cables running from house to plant instruments and valves. 50 pair twisted shield white/black was the most frequent cabling used. However some plants used white for the +24 loop power and black for the loop common/ground. At the next plant it would be the opposite. It came down to when the plant was built which project 'standards' were used. Best to always measure over assuming. Kind of a measure twice cut once thing.

 

Offline ROBOT

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2016, 10:35:31 pm »
Not really a standard but whenever working with low voltage stuff black is almost always ground and red would be +5v. I tend to use orange for 3.3v.
 

Offline N2IXK

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2016, 04:21:12 pm »
Back in the vacuum tube era there was a RETMA standard color code for internal wiring of electronic gear:

Black - Grounds, grounded elements and returns
Brown - Heaters or filaments, off ground
Red - Power Supply B-plus
Orange - Screen grids
Yellow - Cathodes
Green - Control Grids
Blue - Plates
Violet - not used
Gray - AC power lines
White - Above or below ground returns, AVC, etc.
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Online Cerebus

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Re: Wire Color Codes
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2016, 10:48:39 pm »
Personally I liked the old UK system with the three primary colours as the three phases, it seemed reasonably logical and with colours for phases black follows as a sensible choice for neutral.
Me too. There was no need to standardise with the EU for fixed wiring. I can understand the need for equipment exported to the EU but the colour of the wires, in buildings here in the UK, is none of their business

The argument would be:

1) Free mobility within the EU. If you're an electrician it lets you move between EU countries more easily.
2) Market equalities. If you make cable in the UK you can sell the same cable in France, Germany etc. etc. You only have to meet one set of regulatory requirement for the whole EU, rather than one for each country. I've noticed that people are starting to specify cables by european type numbers rather than the UK IEE/BASEC numbers, which used to be standard practice in the UK. (e.g. H07V-R instead of 6491X)
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