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What do electrical wiring colours stand for?

Electrical wires are the magical little threads that bring your home to life.

Think for a moment of the many comforts and wonders in your own home that wouldn't exist without those little covered wires circuiting through your house; your lights, the TV set, computer, toaster, the microwave oven, just to name a few.

Electrical wiring is the invisible power behind most functional objects within any home.

National and state electrical safety codes provide a necessary protective role so that you, your family, visitors and your electrician are kept protected from the risk of electrical shocks.


wire colours

The most effective way to ensure you and your family are safe is to become familiar with the consistent colour codes which enable you to easily and safely identify which wires are what.


What are the colours?

The standard system is;

  1. Black = AC hot
  2. Red = switched AC hot
  3. Yellow = AC hot from another source
  4. White = neutral
  5. Red with white tracer = switched neutral
  6. Green or green with yellow tracer = ground/earth ground

So that kids can become familiar with this important knowledge too, put a colour list up on the fridge or pinboard, and test them on it from time to time.

Beyond these basics, there are many different sizes of electrical wiring that are readily available in Australia, dependant on the capacity the wire needs to cope with.

To install electrical wiring correctly, you must intimately understand how it works, how the wires work in with each other, and how to wire them safely.

The best way, beyond knowing these basic colours, to ensure your electrical wiring is properly installed is to hire a licensed and registered electrician who can carry out wiring procedures in a safe and correct manner.

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