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Standard wire colours for FLEXIBLE cable
(e.g. Extension cords, power (line) cords and lamp cords)
Region or Country Phases Neutral Protective earth/ground
European Union (EU), Australia, South Africa (IEC 60446) Color wire brown.svg Color wire blue.svg Color wire green yellow.svg
Australia, New Zealand (AS/NZS 3000:2007 3.8.3) Color wire brown.svgColor wire red.svg Color wire light blue.svgColor wire black.svg Color wire green yellow.svg
Brazil Color wire yellow.svgColor wire red.svg Color wire blue.svg Color wire green.svg
United States, Canada Color wire black.svg(brass) Color wire white.svg(silver) Color wire green.svg(green)
Standard wire colours for FIXED cable
(e.g. In-, On-, or Behind-the-wall wiring cables)
Region or Country Phases Neutral Protective earth/ground
European Union (EU) (IEC 60446) including UK from 31 March 2004 Color wire brown.svgColor wire black.svgColor wire grey.svg Color wire blue.svg Color wire green yellow.svg
UK prior to 31 March 2004 Color wire red.svgColor wire yellow.svgColor wire blue.svg Color wire black.svg Color wire green yellow.svg
Color wire green.svg (formerly)
bare conductor, sleeved at terminations (formerly)
Australia, New Zealand (AS/NZS 3000:2007 clause 3.8.1, table 3.4) Any colour other than Color wire green.svgColor wire yellow.svgColor wire green yellow.svgColor wire black.svg, or Color wire light blue.svg
Recommended: Color wire red.svg or Color wire brown.svg for single phase; or Color wire red.svgColor wire white.svg or Color wire blue.svg for multiphase
Color wire black.svg or Color wire light blue.svg Color wire green yellow.svg (since about 1980)
Color wire green.svg (since about 1980)
bare conductor, sleeved at terminations (formerly)
Brazil Color wire yellow.svgColor wire red.svgColor wire black.svgColor wire white.svg Color wire blue.svg Color wire green.svg
South Africa Color wire red.svgColor wire white.svg or Color wire yellow.svgColor wire blue.svg Color wire black.svg Color wire green yellow.svg
bare conductor, sleeved at terminations
India, Pakistan Color wire red.svgColor wire blue.svgColor wire yellow.svg Color wire black.svg Color wire green.svg
United States Color wire black.svgColor wire red.svgColor wire blue.svg (120/208/240V)
(brass)
Color wire brown.svgColor wire orange.svgColor wire yellow.svg (277/480V)
Color wire white.svg(120/208/240V) (silver)
Color wire grey.svg(277/480V)
Color wire green.svg (green)
bare conductor
Color wire green yellow.svg (ground or isolated ground)
Canada Color wire red.svgColor wire black.svg (120/208/240V)
Color wire red.svgColor wire black.svgColor wire blue.svg (600/347V)
Color wire orange.svgColor wire brown.svg (single phase isolated systems)
Color wire orange.svgColor wire brown.svgColor wire yellow.svg (three phase isolated systems)
Color wire white.svg(120/208/240V)
Color wire white.svg(600/347V)
Color wire green.svg(green)
bare conductor
Color wire green.svg (isolated ground)
Notes:Parenthesized colours in italics are used on metallic terminals. “Green/yellow” means green with yellow stripe. See illustrations nearby.The colours in this table represent the most common and preferred standard colours for wiring; however others may be in use, especially in older installations.

Australian and New Zealand wiring standards allow both European and Australian colour codes. Australian-standard phase colours conflict with IEC 60446 colours, where IEC-60446 supported neutral colour (blue) is an allowed phase colour in the Australia/New Zealand standard. Care must be taken when determining system used in existing wiring.

Canadian and American wiring practices are very similar, with ongoing harmonization efforts.

 

Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring for this information.

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