Electrical Wire Colors And What They Mean

residential electricianAs you may have noticed, electrical wires come in a variety of colors. These color combinations, however, have a purpose to them. Each color has its own unique meaning. The color of an electrical wire will determine its purpose and function. A residential electrician can easily tell you which one is best for a specific type of application. Why is this information important to the average homeowner? This is crucial since any minor electrical repairs must follow the standard to avoid serious problems. Improperly connecting hot and ground wires can cause serious trouble.

The color codes of electrical wires

Black wires – Hot

Black wires are connected from the main electric panel to electrical outlets and switches. The diameter of black wires will vary as with other colored wires. In general, black wires are considered live at all times. This is why extra caution must be taken when handling them.

Red wires – Hot

Just like black wires, red ones are also considered live at all times. They can be used for a number of purposes. They also connect from the mains panel to ceiling fans, light switches, smoke detectors, and more. However, a North Myrtle Beach electrician can link red and black wires together as need.

Blue and yellow wires – Hot

Unlike black and red wires, blue and yellow wires are not often used to carry electricity used for outlet wiring. They can still be used for a variety of other purposes such as three or four-way switches.

Green wires – Ground

Any electrical wiring you see that’s green in color is used for grounding. Ground wires do not carry electricity. Instead, they are used to carry electricity away from the circuit and into the earth. Electrical grounding is used as a failsafe in case a live wire comes into contact with a conductor. The ground wire then diverts the electricity to the earth instead of causing nasty shocks. Most electrical outlets come with grounding. GFCIs or ground-fault circuit interrupter offer even more protection.

Bare copper wires – Ground

These are also used for grounding. More specifically, bare copper wires are what connect from the electrical device or appliance to the earth.

White or gray wires – Neutral

Neutral wires are used to fully utilize electricity in the system. These white or gray wires carry electricity back to a busbar that’s connected at the electrical panel. This lets the electricity circle it’s way back to the source, allowing for full electrical utilization.

Who should handle electrical wiring?

If you run into a problem with your electrical wiring, don’t attempt to fix it on your own. Call an expert like NMB Electrician Pros. It is not advised for anyone other than a trained electrician to handle electrical wiring especially those that carry high current. When you encounter electrical problems at home, your first option should be to call an electrician.

For any electrical repairs, upgrades, or installation, call NMB Electrician Pros. We can provide top-quality electrical services. You may reach us at (843) 491-4489.

NMB Electrician Pros
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
(843) 491-4489

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