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Thread: Wrong to use black / red wire in new build

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    Junior Member Simon123's Avatar
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    Wrong to use black / red wire in new build

    So my house is complete, and plans finally passed for the granny cottage at the far end.

    I have a whole box of house wire (2,5mm and 1,5mm) from my previous house build and it should be enough for the granny cottage. Earth is fine, but the wire I have is black and red. Can this still be used? I think I'm sure I heard the electrician who did my place say he used blue / brown. I recently changed a plug at my friend's place (must be 5 years old) and it was black / red to live and neutral, so now I'm confused.

    If 100% not allowed, I wont ask electrician to use it. If I can, that's a welcome saving.

    It's 100m rolls of Aberdare house wire still sealed.

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    Hi
    House wire black must be used for Neutral - No other color can be used for neutral in an AC system.

    Red will be fine for the live.

    A granny flat might be done in Twin & Earth as it is quicker meaning cheaper as well .

    There are arguments for both methods of installation and good and bad for both depending on , basically how you feel on the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon123 View Post
    So my house is complete, and plans finally passed for the granny cottage at the far end.

    I have a whole box of house wire (2,5mm and 1,5mm) from my previous house build and it should be enough for the granny cottage. Earth is fine, but the wire I have is black and red. Can this still be used? I think I'm sure I heard the electrician who did my place say he used blue / brown. I recently changed a plug at my friend's place (must be 5 years old) and it was black / red to live and neutral, so now I'm confused.

    If 100% not allowed, I wont ask electrician to use it. If I can, that's a welcome saving.

    It's 100m rolls of Aberdare house wire still sealed.
    Brown and blue is used for flexible cables ... appliances etc ... I have seen it used for day/night switches etc.

    Cable colour coding could be another interesting topic to go into.

    Blue could be a phase wire in a 3 phase system

    Blue could be the neutral in an appliance cable.

    Blue could even be a return in a light circuit.

    Just to confuse people ... there are importers bringing in products designed for the USA and not SA ... the black is live and not the neutral... but that is discussion for another day.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Simon123 (16-Nov-20)

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    Have attached the relevant regulation with regards to colour

    6.3.3.2 The means of identification for an a.c. circuit may be by colours or
    by numbers, as follows:
    a) where colours are used
    1) a neutral conductor shall be identified by black only,
    2) an earth continuity conductor shall be identified by the bi-colour
    green/yellow only, or by being bare. Green/yellow insulated
    conductors shall NOT be used as live conductors under any
    circumstances,
    3) a phase conductor shall be identified by a colour other than
    green/yellow, green or black, and
    NOTE Welding cable manufactured to SANS 1576 should not be used in
    circuits above 100 V.
    4) the colours may be applied at the ends of the conductor (of a
    multicore cable) by means of durable colour marking (e.g. insulating
    sleeves or by electrical insulating tape wound more than once around
    the conductor), and
    b) where numbers are used, "0" shall indicate the neutral conductor.
    NOTE Where the purpose or the function of a conductor is apparent, marking is
    not required.

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    Simon123 (16-Nov-20)

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    Junior Member Simon123's Avatar
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    Thanks - was totally confused. Going to pull a socket off tonight when home and see what my house was wired with recently.

    So the black / red / green rolls of house wire I have will be perfect. this is such good news as the cottage build is coming in at crazy pricing, so each grand saved goes a long way.

    once again, thanks to the experts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GCE View Post
    Have attached the relevant regulation with regards to colour

    6.3.3.2 The means of identification for an a.c. circuit may be by colours or
    by numbers, as follows:
    a) where colours are used
    1) a neutral conductor shall be identified by black only,
    2) an earth continuity conductor shall be identified by the bi-colour
    green/yellow only, or by being bare. Green/yellow insulated
    conductors shall NOT be used as live conductors under any
    circumstances,
    3) a phase conductor shall be identified by a colour other than
    green/yellow, green or black, and
    NOTE Welding cable manufactured to SANS 1576 should not be used in
    circuits above 100 V.
    4) the colours may be applied at the ends of the conductor (of a
    multicore cable) by means of durable colour marking (e.g. insulating
    sleeves or by electrical insulating tape wound more than once around
    the conductor), and
    b) where numbers are used, "0" shall indicate the neutral conductor.
    NOTE Where the purpose or the function of a conductor is apparent, marking is
    not required.

    Someone should share this info with people importing occupation sensors using the black as live ... eeeeish.

    While they are sharing it would be a good idea to share this info with all the "sparkies" who use the green/yellow as the return on day/night switches when they use cabtyre to join the sensor in a round box
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post

    While they are sharing it would be a good idea to share this info with all the "sparkies" who use the green/yellow as the return on day/night switches when they use cabtyre to join the sensor in a round box
    I also use the green/yellow conductor in cabtyre for the return from day/night sensors ( convenient ) but I slip a peace of red heatshrink over the ends to make it legal.

    Peace out .. Derek

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derlyn View Post
    I also use the green/yellow conductor in cabtyre for the return from day/night sensors ( convenient ) but I slip a peace of red heatshrink over the ends to make it legal.

    Peace out .. Derek
    Reading note 6.3.3.2

    2) an earth continuity conductor shall be identified by the bi-colour
    green/yellow only, or by being bare. Green/yellow insulated
    conductors shall NOT be used as live conductors under any
    circumstances
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    Reading note 6.3.3.2

    2) an earth continuity conductor shall be identified by the bi-colour
    green/yellow only, or by being bare. Green/yellow insulated
    conductors shall NOT be used as live conductors under any
    circumstances
    4) the colours may be applied at the ends of the conductor (of a
    multicore cable)
    by means of durable colour marking (e.g. insulating
    sleeves or by electrical insulating tape wound more than once around
    the conductor)

    Quite legal when the conductor is in a multicore cable such as cabtyre.

    Peace out ... Derek
    Last edited by Derlyn; 18-Nov-20 at 10:10 AM.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    The SA electrical regs contradict the international harmonised colours for neutral (and phase for that matter) with 3-phase cables such as HO7 or 3185y type trailing cable. Ref IEC 60455 / 60446.
    The harmonised colours are L1-Brown L2-Black L3-Grey N-Blue. Also the grey is often so dark it's difficult to differentiate it from the black. We just use heatshrink indicators with large lettering to label the wires as L1, L2, L3 and N. Bottom line to be safe with an existing install is you've always got to test to establish line and neutral colours.
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