Electrical Wiring Color Codes - Where to find a color chart

Electrical wiring color codes are very important if you are working on electric wires. It enables you to understand the meaning of different electric wires. Working without knowing the meaning of different electric wires will lead you into making wrong connections which can be very dangerous. Learning the meanings of different colors is not complex and keeping the information close while working on electric wires is vital.

Each wire serves a different function. Color code of these wires tells you the function of each wire. However, it is important to note that there are exceptions in some cases. The color code indicates ratings and values of different electronic components commonly used for resistors, inductors capacitors and others.

Perhaps, you are wondering about where you can find the color chat to guide you in your wiring activities. A 25-pair color code helps in identifying wires in telecommunications cables. The code was developed early in the 1920s by Radio Manufacturers Association which is currently part of the Electronic Industries Alliance and published as the EIA-RS-279.

Today, the international standard is the IEC60062. Advancement in the printing technology has made it possible for printed numbers to be availed for the small components and they are usually found in most modern electronics.

Different colors on the electric wire color chat have different meaning. Here are the colors of an electric color code and their meanings:

Black wire
Black wire represents an electric wire that is hot. It is a live wire that carries current. The black wire should never be used as a ground or neutral wire under any circumstance. Black wire should always feed a switch or outlet and it is often used as a switch leg.

Bare or Green wires
Bare or green copper electric wire is always the ground wire. It is used to provide a safe grounding for an electrical device and in the junction boxes they are always grounded to boxes themselves. Failing to ground electrical connections properly can cause shorting of the device which can cause fires. Switches and electrical appliances should have the grounding screws.

Red wire
Red wires are in most cases second to the hot wire when making 220 volt installation. They can also be used for hot wire for 100 volt installations as well as in the switch legs. They can also be used in interconnecting electric wires that connect smoke detectors that are hard-wired.

Yellow and Blue wires
Although Yellow and blue wires are not seen with the electrical devices, it is important to learn more about them. They are used as the hot wires and they are pulled in the conduit. They are commonly used in switch applications as travelers in four way and three way switches. Switch legs can also have these wires and this case they are usually found in lights and fans. Yellow wires are only used in switch legs and are commonly found in the switch outlets, lights and fans.

White wires
When working with a 110 volts device or application, white wire always act as neutral. It is possible that a grey wire can also be used as a white alternative but in most instances, the wire is in white color. Thus, you can connect a grey wire to a neutral terminal in the outlet or to a junction box.

Some exceptions include those of 240 volts and when there are two-conductor cables. In this case, white wire can be another hot wire. It might also be used in a three way switch as the switch leg. 

In conclusion, knowing about electrical wiring color codes is important because it enables you to know the size and type of wire that you are working with and their purposes.