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Author Topic: Wire color choices  (Read 2256 times)

Rob Spence

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Wire color choices
« on: July 01, 2017, 02:00:20 pm »

Ok, this is really a D.C. Question.

I have a black & red power source and a black & red load. In between is some 14-2 NM which is, of course white & black.

What are your thoughts on the interconnect?

I was thinking black to black, and white marked red to red?

Thanks


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rob at lynxaudioservices dot com

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Will Knight

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 02:11:26 pm »

That's correct Rob. 
Use RED electrical tape and wrap it around the WHITE wire at BOTH ends.  Any electrician who sees it will / should understand the Red is being marked as a Neutral line.  I would also recommend using WHITE tape and applying it equally to the RED wires. 

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Frank Koenig

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 07:37:18 pm »

I was thinking black to black, and white marked red to red?

I, too, have faced this conundrum -- many times. And I, too, decided black-to-black. -F
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Ron Hebbard

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 08:27:30 pm »

Ok, this is really a D.C. Question.

I have a black & red power source and a black & red load. In between is some 14-2 NM which is, of course white & black.

What are your thoughts on the interconnect?

I was thinking black to black, and white marked red to red?

Thanks


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You're going to run into the old 'electrician / electronics technologist' argument.  That said, I'm with you.
Match what you can match and add indications to the remainder.  I'll offer a few ground rules, please pardon my inadvertent pun.
Grounds can be bare, green, or green with yellow.
Nothing other than grounds should be green or green with yellow. 
Large conductors can also be bare along with bus bars.
As I wrote above:  Match what you can and add indications to the rest.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
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Ron Hebbard

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 08:36:04 pm »

That's correct Rob. 
Use RED electrical tape and wrap it around the WHITE wire at BOTH ends.  Any electrician who sees it will / should understand the Red is being marked as a Neutral line.  I would also recommend using WHITE tape and applying it equally to the RED wires.
Whoa!  Rob's NOT labeling a red wire to be neutral.  If I read him correctly, he's re-identifying a white wire to be something OTHER THAN a neutral.  In his case, one of two DC conductors.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 02:37:34 pm »

Whoa!  Rob's NOT labeling a red wire to be neutral.  If I read him correctly, he's re-identifying a white wire to be something OTHER THAN a neutral.  In his case, one of two DC conductors.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.

Right, Ron.

I am installing LED strip lights. The wiring originally was installed to run 120v AC to the lights. Between when the wires were pulled and now, led strip lights have matured.

I have pulled the 120v feeds out of the junction box and put them in their own.
The power supply for the led lights will connect between the feeder box (which is actually fed from a dimmer) and the junction box for the now repurposed wiring.
The tails on the strip lights are red/black with red being positive. I have clearly labeled the low voltage junction box (black letters on orange tape!) as 12v DC for LED lights.

Now, I hope my stock of red shrink tube is sufficient.



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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 05:00:22 pm »

I am installing LED strip lights. The wiring originally was installed to run 120v AC to the lights. Between when the wires were pulled and now, led strip lights have matured.

I have pulled the 120v feeds out of the junction box and put them in their own.
The power supply for the led lights will connect between the feeder box (which is actually fed from a dimmer) and the junction box for the now repurposed wiring.
The tails on the strip lights are red/black with red being positive. I have clearly labeled the low voltage junction box (black letters on orange tape!) as 12v DC for LED lights.

Now, I hope my stock of red shrink tube is sufficient.

Good job on the labeling, I was going to suggest that.

Am I reading this correctly, that you are NOT mixing 120V and 12V wiring in the same cavity? If so, good job on that, too. Code doesn't permit mixing 120V and low-voltage wiring in the same junction box cavity or raceway channel; there must be a physical barrier separating them.

Ironically, it's easy to install 120/240V NM cable and low voltage cable adjacent in a wall (without conduit), but I think you're really supposed to make sure they are physically separated and fastened so they can't contact each other. I could be wrong about that; I don't have a code book to refer to.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 11:42:26 pm »

Good job on the labeling, I was going to suggest that.

Am I reading this correctly, that you are NOT mixing 120V and 12V wiring in the same cavity? If so, good job on that, too. Code doesn't permit mixing 120V and low-voltage wiring in the same junction box cavity or raceway channel; there must be a physical barrier separating them.

Ironically, it's easy to install 120/240V NM cable and low voltage cable adjacent in a wall (without conduit), but I think you're really supposed to make sure they are physically separated and fastened so they can't contact each other. I could be wrong about that; I don't have a code book to refer to.

Yes, low voltage and high voltage are never in the same junction or raceway.

In my case, all but a couple of special circuits are 20a so are yellow cable. My led low voltage are 14-2 which is white. The only other white wires are to air handlers and skylights.


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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 03:52:39 pm »

Good job on the labeling, I was going to suggest that.

Am I reading this correctly, that you are NOT mixing 120V and 12V wiring in the same cavity? If so, good job on that, too. Code doesn't permit mixing 120V and low-voltage wiring in the same junction box cavity or raceway channel; there must be a physical barrier separating them.

Ironically, it's easy to install 120/240V NM cable and low voltage cable adjacent in a wall (without conduit), but I think you're really supposed to make sure they are physically separated and fastened so they can't contact each other. I could be wrong about that; I don't have a code book to refer to.

Actually, code allows low voltage in the same raceway.  Specifically, "Conductors of ac and dc circuits, rated 1000 volts, nominal or less, shall be permitted to occupy the same wiring enclosure, cable or raceway. All conductors shall have an insulation rating equal to at least the maximum circuit voltage applied to any conductor within the enclosure, cable or raceway.

Power limited circuits are a different story.  These have many other conditions, to numereous to delve into here.  These would include network, most A/V wiring, etc.

There are also separate rules for low voltage lighting-if you install under those rules (which allow class 2 power limited circuits ) then you would need to follow the rules in Art 725.

Of course, code is the minimum.  Separating the systems makes sense a lot (most?) of the time.

One conflict I see with Rob's method (though I don't quarrel and probably would do as he has) is that code requires each phase for each different system to be identified throughout the house.  Typically, 120/208 systems use black for phase A, red for phase B and blue for phase C-so many homes will already have a black and a red "hot" conductor.  Then code requires DC circuits to use black for negative and red for positive. It might be wise to mark each cable of the DC system with some uncommon color tape (say purple)-and then post a color code legend on the breaker panel.

This is an area where common practice is going to create some conflicts until an industry standard comes into practice.  As much as I hate to say it, perhaps the European use of blue and brown for 120 VAC circuits will be the partial solution-though brown is already commonly used as phase A on 480 VAC circuits.
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Steve Swaffer

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Re: Wire color choices
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 03:52:39 pm »


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