ELECTRICAL WIRING COLOUR CODES

If you want to do a bit of DIY in the home or see what may be wrong with your wires then you will definitely need to know what the different coloured wires generally mean. Although, we do highly recommend to leave these jobs to the professionals for safety reasons it is helpful to know the differences.

In Australia, we do things a little differently and a bit more complicated. Through the years the standards for colour coding have changed so depending on the age of your home, appliance etc. means that your wires could have different colours completely- especially for imported elements.

If you are in doubt with what your colours mean then contact the manufacturer if an appliance or consult a professional like us at Camtec!

In Australia, we currently have two separate colour coding systems, one for equipment wiring and one for installation wiring.

Equipment wiring includes things such as wiring in power cords. The list below outlines what the different colour codes mean for both single and multi-phased.

Current Australian colour code- Single phase

Active – Brown
Neutral – Light Blue
Earth – Green/Yellow

Current Australian colour code- Multiphase

Phase 1 – Brown
Phase 2 – Black
Phase 3 – Grey
Neutral – Light Blue
Earth – Green/Yellow

Old Australian colour code- Single phase

Active – Red
Neutral – Black
Earth – Green

Old Australian colour code- Multiphase

Phase 1 – Red
Phase 2 – White
Phase 3 – Dark Blue
Neutral – Black
Earth – Green

Installation wiring, also known as building wiring is for things such as the wiring behind power points and walls. The list below also outlines the different colour codes for single phase and multiphase in Australia.

Current Australian colour code- Single phase

Active – Red
Neutral – Black
Earth – Green/Yellow

Current Australian colour code- Multiphase

Phase 1 – Red
Phase 2 – White
Phase 3 – Dark Blue                                                
Earth – Green/Yellow

Neutral – Black

NOTE- The Installation colour codes are quite flexible – so caution is needed – actives/phases can be almost any colour – and are sometimes the same colour.

Below we have also included some of the more common colour codes used throughout the US and Europe in case you have imported appliances and wiring.

The US:
Single phase:
Hot (Live) – Black
Neutral – White
Ground – Green
Multiphase 120/208/240V
Phase 1 – Black
Phase 2 – Red
Phase 3 – Blue
Neutral – White
Earth – Green (Green/yellow or bare)
Multiphase 277/480V:
Phase 1 – Brown
Phase 2 – Orange
Phase 3 – Yellow
Neutral – Grey
Earth – Green (Green/yellow or bare)
Europe:
Single phase:
Active – Brown
Neutral – Blue
Earth – Green/Yellow
Multiphase:
Phase 1 – Brown
Phase 2 – Black
Phase 3 – Grey
Neutral – Blue
Earth – Green/Yellow

 

We hope that this outline of wiring colour codes helps you out in your home or business. However, we highly recommend any work that involves electricity and electrical currents be handled by a trained and experienced professional to ensure yours and others safety.

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