What are the red black and white electrical wires
The simple explanation is that every color used for electrical wiring has a specific meaning, with different colors indicating different circuit types and purposes. Very old homes may have cable that excludes the bare wire.
In theory, wiring conducting live current in the U. Most countries in Europe, including the U. These color conventions are as follows:.
What Is the Red Wire for in an Electrical Outlet?
The following wiring color requirements apply in Canada:. Completely different color standards apply to wiring used in DC circuits. Another useful application is the interconnect wire between two hardwired smoke detectors. Blue and yellow wires are used as hot wires.
These wires are usually pulled in conduit. The blue wires are generally used for travelers in three-way and four-way switch applications. They also are used as switch legs to things like lights and fans. Yellow wires are generally used for switch legs.
These control things like light, fans, and switched outlets. Green wires and bare copper wires are used only for grounding. These wires will ground devices and shall be bonded to junction boxes and appliance connections for safety. In this case, you'll see a red wire connected to one of the receptacle terminals.
What Is the Red Wire for When Installing a Light Fixture?
You may uncover an outlet only to find an extra red or black wire hanging there doing nothing. It may be left over from a previous switch loop or it may be there simply because an electrician mistakenly used three-conductor wire to connect the outlet.
It's a bad idea to leave a bare wire in the box, so even if testing with a non-contact voltage tester reveals that the wire is dead, you should insulate the end by screwing on a wire cap. If the wire isn't dead, it's probably time to call an electrician to help you decipher your house wiring. The protective ground must be bare, green or green-yellow striped.
Hot active wires may be any other colors except these. However, common practice per local electrical inspectors is for the first hot live or active wire to be black and the second hot to be red. The recommendations in Table below are by Wiles.Electrical Wire Color Codes and What They Mean
Usage of the ungrounded system is discouraged for safety. Published under the terms and conditions of the Design Science License. US AC power circuit wiring color codes.