Electrical Wiring Colours Explained
Wiring Colour Codes
Changes to the wiring colour codes mean that fixed electrical and mains-powered cables (subsequent to the introduction of new cables) will feature the same colour wires as any flexible cabling. The blue wire, also referred to as the neutral wire, has the function of transferring electricity away from the appliance. The brown wire, otherwise known as the live wire, transfers electricity to the appliance. The combination of these wires is referred to as a circuit. You should be aware that some properties have old-style wiring, which should be regularly checked by an electrician to ensure that it remains in good working order. The need for replacement will be entirely dependent on the safety of the wiring.
The green and yellow wire is also referred to as the earth wire and has a key safety function. Electricity being transferred around any property will always take the path of least resistance to the earth. Damage to live or neutral wires could increase the risk of electrocution as the electricity may pass through the human body along its path to the earth. However, this is prevented by the green and yellow earth wire as it effectively earths the electrical appliance
The electrician should attach appropriately-coloured sleeving to the different wires to enable easy identification of the corresponding wiring. As previously mentioned, the old-style black neutral wiring has been replaced with blue. Similarly, red live wiring is now brown.
There are varieties of cablewith similar colouring to the mains wiring. As an example, TV aerial cables don’t carry any voltage but do have the same brown colour as the live mains cabling. It is also common to find black cabling trailing behind the TV. This is the same colour as the old neutral wire. However, if there is any doubt, you should arrange for a professional electrician to carry out an inspection to ensure safety.
It’s also important to be aware of the difference between single and three-phase wiring. The single-phase connection is formed of two wires, with the three-phase variety being formed of three or four wires. The single-phase connection allows for the relatively easy balancing of electrical loads via the network. The three-phase connection is better suited to connection within workplaces featuring a variety of electrical machines and equipment, due to the increased generation of power. You can identify either the two or three-phase connection by counting the wires connected with the electrical service panel
Homeowner’s DIY Guide To Electrical Wiring
A practical, money-saving guide to handling home electrical wiring and upgrades correctly, safely, and according to the National Electrical Code The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring arms you with the knowledge you need to tackle residential wiring projects and get results that are safe and efficient.
The book shows do-it-yourselfers how to quickly and easily navigate the portions of the National Electrical Code that pertain to residential installations. This hands-on resource covers basic electronics and explains how electrical service progresses downstream to feeders, subpanels, branch circuits, switching, light fixtures, and receptacles. It also addresses networking and home automation topics.
You’ll learn the procedures used by professional electricians to create the kind of quality work that will pass inspection and add value to your home. Emphasizes safety by clearly explaining the pitfalls and dangers of residential electrical work Introduces the layperson to the parts of the National Electrical Code that pertain to residential electrical systems so that the work will pass inspections Shows homeowners how to upgrade to the latest innovations in data networking and home automation as well as alternative power, including solar and wind generation Highlights when it’s recommended to hire a professional electrician
Guide to Electrical Wiring
A practical, money-saving guide to home electrical wiring
Handle residential wiring projects correctly, safely, and according to the National Electrical Code (NEC). Filled with clear photos and helpful diagrams, The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring shows you how to quickly and easily navigate the portions of the NEC that pertain to residential installations
This hands-on resource covers basic electronics and explains how electrical service progresses through your home. It describes how to install and test electrical systems and lighting, repair appliances and TVs, and upgrade to the latest innovations such as home networking, home automation, and alternate power systems. You’ll learn the procedures used by professional electricians to create the kind of quality work that will pass inspection and add value to your home
The Homeowner’s DIY Guide to Electrical Wiring shows how to:
Protect against fire and shock hazards
Track electrical service from the point of connection to the entrance panel
Follow NEC requirements for residential projects
Work with test equipment and installation tools
Use the best techniques for quality electrical work
Design and install indoor and outdoor lighting
Maintain and repair electrically powered appliances
Fix CRT, plasma, and LCD TVs
Design a data and communications network and install coax, USB, and Ethernet cabling
Install a home automation system
Install backup and alternate power systems
Work with smart meters
All You Need to Know About Electrical House Wiring
House electrical wiring is a process of connecting different accessories for the distribution of electrical energy from the supplier to various appliances and equipment at home like television, lamps, air conditioners, etc.
This wiring comprises of PVC insulated wires or ordinary VIR that are braided and compounded. They are held on walls and ceilings using porcelain cleats with groves, wood or plastic. It is a temporary wiring system, therefore making it unsuitable for domestic premises. Moreover, cleat wiring system is rarely being used these days.
Casing and Capping Wiring
It was quite popular in the past but it is considered obsolete these days due to the popularity of the conduit and sheathed wiring system. The cables used in this electric wiring were PVC, VIR or any other approved insulated cables. The cables were carried through the wooden casing enclosures, where the casing was made of a strip of wood with parallel grooves cut lengthwise for accommodating the cables.
This is when a single electrical wire or a group of wires are laid over a wooden batten. The wires are held to the batten using a brass clip and spaced at an interval of 10 cm for horizontal runs and 15 cm for vertical runs.
Lead Sheathed Wiring
Lead sheathed wiring uses conductors which are insulated with VIR and are covered with an outer sheath of lead aluminum alloy which contains about 95% lead. The metal sheath gives protection to cables from mechanical damage, moisture and atmospheric corrosion.
Electrical Wiring Colour Guide
Obviously, if you’re not a competent person, you shouldn’t be attempting any type of work on electrical wiring. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if the wiring in your home is old as the circuit breakers may not be effective as those found in modern buildings
However, there are occasions when a homeowner or DIYer will come across wires or cables that are of different colours and it’s always prudent to be knowledgeable about which wire does what.
The Old System
Prior to “harmonisation” with other European countries, the United Kingdom’s electrical wiring system used:
Red – live
Black – neutral
Green/yellow – earth (sometimes bare wire without a sleeve)
The New System
The new system ensures that all new wiring installations are fully harmonised with other countries the European Union. This obviously has several advantages, including safety as EU citizens are currently allowed to work in any other EU country.
When Did The Colours Change?
The new harmonised wiring colour system was made mandatory in 2006, although it was optional for several years prior to this date. If your home was constructed prior to this date, it will probably contain the old wires.