Electrical Wiring Color Code

The main reason behind the coloring of electrical wires is to identify the purpose of using them, only by looking at them. It is very important to use the right wire in every connection of electrical wiring. It gives safety, efficient use, and also increment in durability. The commonly used colors in electrical wiring are red, green, and black.

Red-colored wire: this is a live wire in the circuit. This wire can not be connected to any other red or black colored wire.

Green-colored wire: this is the wire used for grounding or earthing in the circuit. A green wire can be connected to another green wire. This green wire provides the path to the extra charge to the ground.

Black-colored wire: black wire is a neutral wire. In the connection of the neutral bus bar used for distribution, this neutral wire is used. The neutrality of the wire permits to connect to another black wire.

The topic of the color code of electrical wiring is vast and important. Every country has its color code for electrical wires. Also, the wires used in AC and DC power circuits have different color codes.

The color codes of wires of some countries are tabulated below.

Wire color code – India

Circuit Type Color Function Label
AC power circuit (single-phase) Green Protective Earthing PE
AC power circuit (single-phase) Black Neutral N
AC power circuit (single-phase) Red Line L
AC power circuit (three-phase) Red Line L1
AC power circuit (three-phase) Yellow Line L2
AC power circuit (three-phase) Blue Line L3
AC power circuit (three-phase) Black Neutral N
AC power circuit (three-phase) Green or Green-yellow Protective Earthing PE

Wire color code – Regions of Europe

Circuit Type Color Function Label
AC power circuit Green-yellow Protective Grounding PE
AC power circuit Blue Neutral N
AC power circuit Brown Line, used in single phase L
AC power circuit Brown Line, used in three phase L1
AC power circuit Black Line, used in three phase L2
AC power circuit Grey Line, used in three phase L3

 

Circuit Type Color Function Label
DC power circuit Green-yellow Protective Earthing PE
DC power circuit Brown Positive in the unearthed two-wire system L+
DC power circuit Grey Negative in the unearthed two-wire system L-
DC power circuit (two-wire system) Brown Positive of the negative earthed system L+
DC power circuit (two-wire system) Blue Negative of the negative earthed system M
DC power circuit (two-wire system) Blue Positive of the positive earthed system M
DC power circuit (two-wire system) Grey Negative of the positive earthed system L-
DC power circuit (three-wire system) Brown Positive L+
DC power circuit (three-wire system) Blue Mid-wire M
DC power circuit (three-wire system) Grey Negative L-

Wire color code – Regions of the USA

Circuit Type Color Function Label
AC circuit (120/240 volts) Black Line (single-phase) L
AC circuit (120/240 volts) Black Line (three-phase) L1
AC circuit (120/240 volts) Red Line (three-phase) L2
AC circuit (120/240 volts) Blue Line (three-phase) L3
AC circuit (120/240 volts) White Neutral N
AC circuit (120/240 volts) Green or bare Protective Ground PE
Circuit Type Color Function Label
AC circuit (277/480 volts) Brown Line (three-phase) L1
AC circuit (277/480 volts) Orange Line (three-phase) L2
AC circuit (277/480 volts) Yellow Line (three-phase) L3
AC circuit (277/480 volts) Grey Neutral N
AC circuit (277/480 volts) Green or bare conductor Protective Ground PE
Circuit Type Color Function Label
DC circuit (2 wire ungrounded) Red Positive L+
DC circuit (2 wire ungrounded) Black Negative L-
DC circuit (2 wire negative grounded) Red Positive line L+
DC circuit (2 wire negative grounded) White Negative line L-
DC circuit (2 wire positive grounded) White Positive line L+
DC circuit (2 wire positive grounded) Black Negative line L-
DC circuit (3 wire grounded) Red Positive line L+
DC circuit (3 wire grounded) White Centre tapped middle line M
DC circuit (3 wire grounded) Black Negative line L-
DC circuit Green Ground G

Wire color code – Regions of the UK

Circuit Type Color Function Label
AC circuit Brown Single-phase line L
AC circuit Brown Three-phase line L1
AC circuit Black Three-phase line L2
AC circuit Grey Three-phase line L3
AC circuit Green-yellow Protective earth PE

Wire color code – Canada

Circuit Type Color Function Label
AC circuit White Neutral N
AC circuit Black or Red Single-phase line L
AC circuit Red Three-phase line L1
AC circuit Black Three-phase line L2
AC circuit Blue Three-phase line L3
AC circuit Green or green-yellow Protective ground PG

Author

Sunmoni Gohain
NIT Silchar

References

1. https://electricalfundablog.com/
2. https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/
3. https://www.thespruce.com/

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