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permitted hot colors for residential wiring

Posted by mark_anderson_us (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 22, 11 at 13:38

Hi All

I'm rewiring about 80% of my house (200A 120v). Most of the conduit is installed (code requirement) and I'll be starting to pull wires next week. The most cicuits in any conduit branch will be four.

I'll obviously be using White and Gray for Neutrals and Green for ground

I'd like to use different colors to easily identify the circuits in the same conduit (lots of pigtails). Is it OK (code-wise) to use *any* other color with the exception of balck, white, gray and green for a hot?

For example, my local Home Depot has Purple, Red, Orange and Yellow. Are these OK to use? (I know some colors have meaning in 3-phase, etc., but I'm assuming it doesn't matter for residential)

TIA

Mark


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

You can use any color except green or white for "hot". Actually, you can use white, as long as you mark both ends in another color (except green) with tape or a marker. Of course, the most commonly used colors for single-phase residential "hot" wires are black and red.

Normally, other colors (like brown, orange, yellow) are used for 3-phase, or higher voltage applications.


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

Kurto is right (except add "or gray or with three white stripes" everywhere he says "white.).

It's the same for commercial use as well.
Even three phase stuff commonly uses red and black for two of the phases....


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

My office (built in 1980/1981) has had a bunch of rewiring done lately. I checked out the old wiring whilst the boxes were open, and there are all manner of colours in there. Orange, blue, red, brown, purple, probably others. I would think that in a large building with hundreds of circuits and thousands of devices, it would be nearly impossible to keep everything straight without using colours. Now I sort of wish my house was wired like that :)


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Not so fast, my friend...

Actually kurdo and ronnatalie are both mistaken, or maybe they missed the part in the OP's post about conduit pulls.

White and Gray wires are prohibited by NEC 200.7(A) from being pulled into conduit to be used as ungrounded conductors on 120v or 240v circuits - whether re-marked or not.

Stick with using White/Gray for neutrals only.


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

Sam is right, I missed the "remarking" in kurto's post.
If you're pulling in conduit, buy green, white, and at least one and many other colors as floats your boat


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

I find it convenient to have at least one spool for each conductor you wish to pull in parallel. Pain in the butt to do otherwise.


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

SO... 'white' can be re-marked if it's in a CABLE, but not in a conduit?... hmmm... interesting...


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

That is true. The wording of the exception is:

If part of a cable assembly that has the insulation permanently reidentified to indicate its use as an ungrounded conductor by marking tape, painting, or other effective means at its termination and at each location where the conductor is visible and accessible.


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

Kinda persnickety and anti-conduit they be over at the ol' NFPA... ;') Gonna leave me wid a buncha white AWG14 THWN... lucky I got it b'fore the recent market manipulations, err, I mean natural price increases... :roll: ... because you know how red-hot the construction industry is right now... :roll:... yepper, all that new home construction izz puttin' a sharp strain on Chilean copper mining output... :rolleyes:


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

They're not anti-conduit but they figure if you're pulling individual wires you can pull the right colored ones. It's pretty hard to replace the wire in an already assembled cable.

Tell me how mandating insulation color has any bearing on expense or amount o copper consumed? Actually, you get a better deal on copper pulling individual conductors as you might bet by with less in the grounding...


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

Back in the early 1980s, there was a place in Chicago that sold new but surplus wire at really bargain prices. Some of it was TW, THW, in #14 and #12. Harder to pull than THHN and fewer in a conduit. I bought a large supply for my needs. My RED spools came in maroon, pink, and rose, as I would describe the colors. Blue was anywhere from the colors of UNC to Duke.


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

Go Blue Devils.


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

Tell me how mandating insulation color has any bearing on expense or amount o copper consumed?

Well, let's say like bus_driver, you got "such a deal" on one huge reel of black THWN, and one equally huge reel of white... and you've got to re-wire several long EMT runs that each carry two 3-way lighting circuits tied to the same branch/CB, i.e. supported by a single neutral... you're going to consume 4 to 6 times as much black as white... and start casting furtive glances at your kids' Easter egg coloring kit, LOL. ;')


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

"SO... 'white' can be re-marked if it's in a CABLE, but not in a conduit?... hmmm... interesting..."

Obviously it's an accommodation they made so that, e.g., romex can be used for a switch loop, since nobody makes 2-wire romex with black and red. I used to wish somebody would do so, but now that I'm doing home automation, I've gotten religion about having neutral at all switch locations, so it doesn't matter to me anymore.


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

"Obviously it's an accommodation they made so that, e.g., romex can be used for a switch loop, since nobody makes 2-wire romex with black and red. I used to wish somebody would do so..."

Try shopping in Canada for some 12/2 with red and black conductors. You might be surprised. :-)


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RE: permitted hot colors for residential wiring

We call it "heatex", usually used for electric baseboards or hot water tanks. It's available in 14/2 up to I think at least 3/2 for furnaces. Red/black/bare.


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