Colors add life to the world around us. The way we choose colors for ourselves shows a lot about our subconscious. In fact, even when it comes to culture, colors are often used to imply certain notions. Like Red represents danger, white represents peace. When it comes to wires, we have always heard our elders shout out things like “Hey, don’t touch the green wire or the red wire.” So are colors just there to beautify wires or does the color of the wire represent a fundamental property of the wire? Read on to find more.
Wires are extremely colorful. Unlike the black wires we see for electricity, most AC and DC power distribution branch circuits are color coded for identification of individual wires.
In some jurisdictions, all wire colors are clearly specified in legal documents. Black, white, green, red, blue, orange, brown and gray, the color of the insulating sheath on an electrical wire indicates its purpose. It’s a good idea to determine what the color of each of the wires you’re about to touch means.
The three major colors of wires are
– Red wire signifies the phase in anelectric circuit. It is the live wire which cannot be connected to another red wire or black wire. The redwire is used in some types of theswitch leg. Switch leg is the wire that comes off from the bottom terminal of a switch and when the switch is turned on becomes hot. This is the leg that turns the load off and on.
– Black wires are the neutral wire in the electric circuit. The neutral wire is connected to theneutral bus bar in an electric panel. It carried charge/ current. It also carried the unbalanced load,i.e., the return current. Return current is the electricity/current not being used and the return current to the electrical board/panel.
Green wire is used for grounding/earthing in an electric circuit. A green wire can be connected to another green wire only. Grounding wires are usually not to be used for lights and fan purposes. Green wires are mainly used for socket purpose. So what are sockets used for? Sockets could be for AC, geyser, TV, microwave, etc. In a room/ apartment, there could be several sockets for use. The grounding wire from all these sockets gets connected at one single point/grounding terminal in an apartment.The green wire could be carrying major currently, and therefore it should also be handled with care.
Blue wires are normally used for carrying current and not for connecting and device or so.
Now that you understand which colored wire is used for what, you wouldn’t be clueless when you are wiring or re-wiring your house. When an inquisitive kid asks you what different colored wires mean, you wouldn’t have to put up a sorry face. After all, a little knowledge harms no one does it.