Cable Colour Code
Power cable insulation is normally colour coded so that phase, neutral and earth conductors can be easily identified. These colour codes vary with region and / or country:
|Country / Region||Three Phase||Single Phase||DC||Protective Earth||Code Reference|
|Phase A||Phase B||Phase C||Neutral||Active||Neutral||Positive||Negative|
|European Union||Brown||Black||Gray||Light Blue||Black or Brown||Light Blue||- (1)||- (1)||Green / Yellow (with blue markings at ends) (2)||IEC 60445 (2010) (3)|
|United States||Black or Brown||Red, Orange (delta) or Violet (wye)||Blue or Yellow||White or Grey||Black (120V), Red (208V) or Blue (240V)||White or Grey||-||-||Green or Green / Yellow||NFPA 70 (NEC) (4)|
|Australian / New Zealand||Red (5)||White (5)||Dark Blue (5)||Black (5)||Red||Black||Red||Black||Green / Yellow||AS/NZS 3000 (2007)|
|People's Republic of China||Yellow||Green||Red||Light Blue||-||Light Blue||-||-||Green / Yellow||GB 50303 (2002)|
|Japan||Brown||Black||Purple||White or Natural Grey||Black or Brown||Light Blue||- (1)||- (1)||Green or Green / Yellow||IEC 60445 (2010) (3)|
|Russia||Brown||Black||Purple||Blue||Brown||Blue||Brown||Grey||Green / Yellow||IEC 60445 (2010) (3)|
|South Africa||Red||White or Yellow||Blue||Black||Red||Black||-||-||Green / Yellow||IEC 60445 (2010) (3)|
- (1) No recommendations given
- (2) In Denmark, Italy and Poland, light blue along the entire length with green / yellow markings at the ends
- (3) In 2007, IEC 60446 was merged with IEC 60445 (2010), "Basic and safety principles for man-machine interface, marking and identification – Identification of equipment terminals, conductor terminations and conductors". IEC 60446 is no longer used.
- (4) Since 1975, NFPA 70, "The National Electricity Code (NEC)" has not prescribed colours for active conductors (except for orange for earthed delta). Local regulations take precedence.
- (5) These are preferred colours. Active conductors can be any colour except for green / yellow, green, yellow, black or light blue
Identification colors of cores in cables in Europe have been subject to developments that results in the harmonization document HD 308 S2. These rules do not apply to conductors used in the materials and sets assembled at the factory although compliance is strongly recommended. For information, old national colour codes are shown in the table below. These cables are still widely present in existing installations.