Wire color coding
If you incorrectly connect the contacts to each other by color, it may cause harmful effects such as electric shock and short circuit.
The main purpose of color marking is to create safe conditions for electrical work, as well as reduce the time of searching and connecting contacts. Today, according to current PUE and European standards, each core has its own insulation color. About the color of the wire phase, zero, ground, we will talk further!
- What does the floor look like?
- How does it look neutral?
- What does the stage look like?
- It’s important to know!
- What is a pen?
- How to find L, N, PE?
- How to independently determine L, N, PE?
- Current factory standards
What does the floor look like?
According to PUE, the “ground” insulation should be painted in a yellow-green shade. We draw your attention to the fact that the manufacturer also applies the application of yellow-green lines on the ground wire in the transverse and longitudinal directions. In some cases, the peel may be pure yellow or pure green. In an electrical circuit, grounding is usually symbolized by the Latin letter “PE”. Often, “ground” is called zero protection, do not confuse it with non-working (zero)!
How does it look neutral?
In three-phase and single-phase power lines, the color of the zero should be blue or blue. In an electrical circuit, “0” is usually denoted by the Latin letter “N”. Zero is also called neutral or zero working connection!
What does the stage look like?
Marking of the phase wire (L) can be done by the manufacturer in one of these colors:
- the black;
- the colour grey;
Most often, the color of the phase wire is brown, black and white.
It’s important to know!
Color marking of wires with electricity has many features and beginners often encounter problems such as:
- “What is the abbreviation PEN?” ;
- “How to find grounding, phase, zero, if the insulation is colorless or has a non-standard color?” ;
- “How to independently indicate phase, ground, zero?” ;
- “What other isolation standards are there?”
We will briefly give a simple explanation of all these questions!
What is a pen?
Today’s legacy TN-C grounding system involves the use of a combination of neutral and grounding. The advantage of such a system is the ease of electrical work. The disadvantage is the risk of electric shock when installing electrical wiring in a house or apartment.
The color of the assembled wire is yellow-green (like PE), but at the same time the insulation at the ends has a blue color, characteristic of a neutral.In the electrical diagram, the assembled contact is indicated by three Latin letters – “PEN”.
How to find L, N, PE?
So, you are faced with this situation: during the repair of the home electrical network, it turns out that all the conductors are the same color. How in this case to find out which wire means what?
If a single-phase network without “ground” (2 cores) is offered, all you need is a special screwdriver. With its help, you can easily determine where and where the phase is. About, how to use the pointer screwdriver we told. First, disconnect the power to the shield. Next, we clean the two connectors and separate them from each other. Next, turn on the power supply and carefully select phase/zero using the indicator. If light appears when it comes into contact with a residential wire, this is a phase, so the second core is zero.
If there is a ground wire, you must use equipment such as a multimeter. This device has tentacles. First you need to set the AC current measurement range to more than 220V. Next, we fix one probe on the phase contact, and using the second probe we determine zero / ground. In connection with 0, the multimeter displays the voltage value within 220V. If you touch the “ground” – the voltage will definitely be a little less. More clear instructions for the multimeter are provided in the corresponding article, which we recommend reading!
There is another way to design. If there is no multimeter and pointer screwdriver at hand, you can try to determine the color of the L and N wires by isolating them. In this case, you must remember that the blue shell is always zero. In any non-standard sign, the color of the zero does not change. The other two cores will be more difficult to identify.
The first edition for associations. You see the remaining color, black or white. In the old days, the floor was classified as black or white insulation. It is very reasonable to assume that it is the residual color phase (L).
the second choice. Zero, again, fold again immediately, there is a red and black / white wire. If the insulation is white, the PUE is phase. So the remaining red is Earth.
We draw your attention to the fact that such a method is very dangerous. If you decide to use it, be sure to make notes to yourself that while repairing the chandelier or sockets do not get an electric shock!
I would also like to note a very important nuance – in a direct current circuit the color of the plus and minus signs is marked with black (-) and red (+) the color of the insulation. As for the three-phase network (for example, on transformers), these three phases have their own individual colors: phase A – yellow, B – green, C – red. Zero, as usual, is blue, and Earth is yellow-green. In a 380V cable, wire A is white, B is black, and C is red. Working and protective connectors do not differ from the previous color marking option.
How to independently determine L, N, PE?
If the visual designation is lost or differs from the standard, it is recommended to independently indicate all items after repair work. To do this, you can use colored tape or a special product – heat shrink tube, also called cambric. According to the requirements of PUE, GOST and generally accepted recommendations, the wires should be indicated at the ends of the connector – in the places of its connection to the bus (as shown in the photo).
Small colored markings facilitate repair and maintenance for both you and the electrician, who will be able to carry out repairs to the home electrical network after you! About, how to mark the wires in the shield, we told in a separate article.
Current factory standards
Insulation nomenclature changes slightly with each decade, so this information may be useful to you.
Until 2000, the following color coding for wires was used:
- white – N;
- black – PE;
- East – Lam
A few years after this standard, a major change was made: PE was “repainted” yellow and green (as it is now).
Thus, the products began to look like this:
- Yellow-green wire – ground
- black (and sometimes white) – neutral (N);
- Bright is the stage.
If for some reason you get confused between the contacts, we offer you a detailed decoding of wires and cables by colors, which today corresponds to European and domestic standards.
If you have any inquiry, please contact us freely and we will be happy to serve you.
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