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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,872

    Default What colour wires do I want ?

    Hi,

    I've got a few wiring projects lined up and some of them require 3-core wire. I don't want to buy actual 3-core because it's more economical to buy reels of single core and make it up with heatshrink ties along its length.

    My question is what colour do I want in addition to the red and black I definitely need ? The wire will be used in applications with multiple positives like auto/manual bilge pumps and tricolour nav lights. To be more specific I am asking if there is any kind of standard in use ?

    Thanks,

    Boo2
    Last edited by Boo2; 20-02-12 at 01:22.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    26,317

    Default

    For what it's worth, the three core I used for my bilge switch was red, black, and green. Seems logical to me for the "other positive" to be the opposite colour to the normal positive.

    I'm not aware of a standard.

    Pete

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Live in Kent, boat in Canary Islands
    Posts
    14,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo2 View Post
    I am asking if there is any kind of standard in use...
    On my boat, many of the manufacturer's ground wires are blue, and all the lighting positives are white. You can invent your own colour code with coloured heat-shrink or markers on the ends.
    ⓒ Nigel Mercier 2014
    FREE Bavaria Yacht Forum: www.bavariayacht.info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat: Portsmouth, Us: Stewkley
    Posts
    2,684

    Default

    My tricolour seems to have been wired with American mains cable. White, black and green. Quite a neat idea really as presumably it is cheap. And the conductors are tinned!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Glenbervie
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo2 View Post
    Hi,

    I've got a few wiring projects lined up and some of them require 3-core wire. I don't want to buy actual 3-core because it's more economical to buy reels of single core and make it up with heatshrink ties along its length.

    My question is what colour do I want in addition to the red and black I definitely need ? The wire will be used in applications with multiple positives like auto/manual bilge pumps and tricolour nav lights. To be more specific I am asking if there is any kind of standard in use ?

    Thanks,

    Boo2
    I would have thought all +Ve would be red, 0V black and -Ve blue.

    Cores should have cable ID's, if like this you would know what voltage to expect when investigating any problems with a meter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    West Australia
    Posts
    9,495

    Default Colour code of wires

    So clearly there is no standard. However most would agree that red is +ve black is -ve. You could then resort to the 3phase AC code of red,blue and yellow or white for different kinds of +ve. So you make up your own code good luck olewill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Whatever system you use be sure to document it with some kind of wiring diagram for if/when it goes wrong :-( or when you want to add some new techy toy :-)

    Regards,
    David H.
    www.eventoftheyear.co.uk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Glenbervie
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Standard normally used in UK for DC is: positive volt with ref to 0V - RED

    0 Volts - Black

    negative volts with ref to 0V - Blue

    +ve 12Volts Red and Black
    -ve 12Volts Blue and Black (black being 0Volts)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Shropshire/Empuriabrava
    Posts
    1,120

    Default

    There can be an issue with red and green as it's the most common form of colour blindness and some people don't even know they have it as it's more pronounced in certain low light conditions. So mixing red and green cables may not be such a great idea.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    26,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William_H View Post
    You could then resort to the 3phase AC code of red,blue and yellow or white for different kinds of +ve.
    Although that's no longer current here due to European harmonisation.

    Pete

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