When you see electrical wiring, you might see that each piece of wire is covered with a protective plastic coating. The protective coating not only helps protect the wiring and surrounding material, but it is also colored. Each color helps tell the electrician something about the wiring and its purpose. Burley Electrical Services will share what each of the colors of the different types of electrical wiring are and what they do.
What Wire Color is Positive & Negative?
• Green – Green is an independent wire that isn’t connected to any other wires. The green wires are the grounding wires. The grounding wires connect to the grounding outlet box and work to redirect the additional electricity or surge to the grounding system. This prevents electrical dangers.
• Black – A black coated wire is hot, which means there is an electrical current flowing through the wiring. Most of the basic wiring throughout the house is going to be black. The black wiring is the main wiring that carries power to outlets, lights and light switches in your home. You must be extremely cautious when dealing with black coated wires as there is an electrical current flowing through them.
• Red – Red wiring is another hot wire. Red wiring carries 220 volt circuits and is very dangerous when the inner wiring is exposed. Red wiring is most common when installing ceiling fans, smoke detectors and light fixtures.
• White or Gray – An electrical system needs to have neutral wiring. You will most often see white coated neutral wiring in a residential electrical system, and gray in commercial electrical systems. The neutral wiring is important as it carries the current or electricity back to its original source. When the white wiring is not connected to anything, they do not have a current and are not dangerous by themselves.
• Blue and Yellow – If you never recall seeing a blue or yellow wire in your home, that is because it is most often used in commercial buildings. The blue and yellow wiring is used in more complex circuits that needs to conduct currents between switches and poles. The blue wiring, which is often referred to as the travelers, helps to conduct the current through three-way or four-way switches. The yellow wiring is used on switch legs to ceiling fans, light switches and other interior lighting.
DIY VS Professional Electrical Wiring Work
An electrical system is complex and requires a great understanding of the different types of wiring used. When any type of wiring is damages or its protective coating is compromised, it is important that the wiring is replaced to ensure safety. For those who like to do some of their own electrical work in their home, be sure to understand the wiring, how to properly connect them, and what each color wiring means. When wiring in a light fixture, outlet or other electrical component, it is highly recommended that you turn off the power to the circuit you are working on. Electricity is dangerous and it is important to always take the needed steps to ensure safety.