Electrical Wiring Colours

Wiring Colours | Electrical Wire Colour Coding Standards

Electrical wiring colours coding standard for three phase electrical applications are standardised to aid the identification of individual wire phases. Wiring colour codes for AC and DC power distribution circuits have changed on numerous occasions and vary depending on region. For three phase electricity supply, circuits will use five wires: earth wire, neutral wire, live wire, line 2 wire, line 3 electrical wire. This article details the following cable colour codes:

- International Wiring Colours

- What are the Australian Wiring Colours?

- European Wire Colour Standards

International Wiring Colour Codes

Fixed wiring electricity supply requires specific wiring colour regulations (bs 7671) to identify different power lines in different countries. The USA have their own wiring colours for electrical circuits, black, red, and blue are used for 208 VAC three-phase; brown, orange and yellow are used for 480 VAC. Australia also have a different wiring colour standard. The UK's new cable colours for plugs are now harmonise with Europe's power cable colours for AC & DC. Most of Europe abides by IEC ('International Electrotechnical Commission') electrical wiring colours code for AC branch circuits.
RegionEarth (E)Neutral (N)Line 1 (L1)Line 2 (L2)Line 3 (L3)
Europe & UKGreen Earth Wiring ColoursGreenBlue Neutral Wire Wiring Colour CodeBlueBrown Wire Wiring Colour CodeBrownBlack Wire Wiring EU UK Colour CodeBlackGrey Wire Wiring Colours UK EUGrey
UK (Old)Green Earth Wiring ColoursGreenBlack Wire Wiring Colours UK OldBlackRed Old UK Live Wire ColourRedYellow Cable Colour CodeYellowBlue Neutral Wire Wiring Colour CodeBlue
AustraliaGreen Earth Wiring ColoursGreenBlack Wire Wiring Colour CodingBlackRed Wire Wiring Colour CodingRedWhite Wire Wiring Colour Coding Australia CodeWhiteBlue Wire Wiring Colour CodeBlue
USAGreen Earth Wiring ColoursGreenWhite Usa Neutral Wire Wiring Colour CodingWhiteBlack Wire Wiring Colours CodingBlackRed Wire Wiring Colours CodingRedBlue Wire Wiring Colour CodeBlue

What are the Australian Wiring Colours?

Australia have their own electrical cable colour standards as set by AS 3000. Australian engineers use red, white and blue for their live wire colours. The specific difference that is unique to Australia is the white L2 line.
Australian Electrical Cable Colours
RegionEarth (E)Neutral (N)Live 1 (L1)Live 2 (L2)Live 3 (L3)

However, it is also permissible in Australia to use European colours in some circumstances according to AS 3000. It is possible that modern coding may incorporate a harmonisation with Europe.

Europe & New UK Three Phase Power Cable Colours

Power cables in Europe and the UK are identified through standardised power cable colour coding.
CableEarth (E)Neutral (N)Live 1 (L1)Line 2 (L2)Line 3 (L3)
ColourGreen Earth Wiring ColoursGreenBlue Neutral Wire Wiring Colour CodeBlueBrown Live Wire EU Wiring ColoursBrownBlack Line 2 Wire Colour EU UKBlackGrey Wiring Colours UK EUGrey

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