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Color codes of electrical wires and main symbols

If the distribution table can be compared to a marshalling yard, the circuits would be the rails and the electricity the convoys. All this supposes a rigorous organization and a possibility of identification of the wires which form the circuits; by nature (phase, neutral, protection) and by destination (circuits taken, lighting, heating, etc.).

Color code of electrical schematics

Color code of electrical schematics

At the time of the direct current, it was essential in an installation of distinguish the driver positive of the negative, one being energized, the other not. Traditionally, red, active color, hot, indicating the danger, was adopted for the first, bluepassive color, cold, harmless, for the second. With alternating current, the distinction is more theoretical. However, the absence of a color code would introduce real confusion within an installation.
Therefore, the wires made available at the output of the circuit-breaker are assigned the red color for the phase and the blue color for the neutral.
At each switchgear or distribution device, the phase conductor may change color; but it must never be blue, a color reserved exclusively for the neutral.
Green and yellow or green-yellow (two-colored sheath) are themselves reserved exclusively for the protective conductor (earth).
If you extend an installation, you must absolutely follow this color code which protects from many disappointments and accidents. It's easy to imagine what can happen if you turn on the grounding conductor!

Conventional plans and signs in electricity

In this table you will find the main symbols most used in electricity

In this table you will find the main symbols most used in electricity

(photos / visuals: © DIY-Prod, except special mention)

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