Home Electrical Wire Colors

By | August 6, 2022



The home electrical system has been built with safety in mind, and one of the main components of that protection is the use of color-coded electrical wires. Depending upon the function of the wire, each type is assigned a different color to enable you to identify its purpose. When performing any type of electrical work or repairs at home, it is essential to make sure you are using the correct wire for the job, and being able to quickly identify the wire by its color is a valuable tool.

Electrical wiring comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, green, red and gold. The black wire is the “hot” or live wire, supplying power to the outlet. The white wire is “neutral” and completes the electrical circuit. Red and blue wires are also normally found in 120/220-volt systems and can be used as hot wires. Green is the ground wire, which provides an alternate path for electrical current to return to the ground. Gold wires are often held in reserve for future circuits.

These colored wires offer an easy way for electricians and DIYers alike to quickly tell whether the wire is meant for power, for grounding, for neutral or for something else. Each color carries its own importance, and getting one wrong can create a potentially dangerous situation. That’s why it is critical to make sure you are using the right wire for each job. With a basic understanding of the home electrical wire colors, you can easily complete your wiring project safely and accurately.


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