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Electrical Wiring Colors in Australia A Guide

Electrical Wiring Colors Guide
October 10, 2021

There's no disputing that electrical wire colours may be perplexing to the untrained eye. Behind your walls are a plethora of shades and tones. And, because Australian wiring standards have evolved dramatically throughout the years, millions of homes now have a path of rainbow-coloured cables.

The updated AS/NZS 3000:2018 Electrical Installations Wiring Rules made the most current revisions in 2018. Although the guidelines have simplified things worldwide (we're now more in line with European and UK wiring standards), previous installations will not be affected.

The wiring in your home most likely does not meet the requirements of the 2022 standards. In your home, what is currently a blue neutral wire might be a live hot wire. What does this imply for you, though?

If you undertake DIY electrical repair, you might end yourself playing with fire. But don't be concerned.

All In One Renovators isn't about to put you in danger. To avoid a jolting disaster, use this guide to Australian electrical wire colours to help you see clearly.

Electrical Wires' Primary Purpose

Assume again if you think there's only one wire delivering power to and from your outlets and appliances. Each wire has a distinct purpose. Colour labelling allows your electrician to quickly identify each function, which aids in detecting any faults.

Previously, multiple colour combinations for installation wiring and appliance wiring, such as powerpoints, were included in Australian electrical wire colour codes. Now everything is the same for a more seamless experience.

When it comes to vocabulary, there are a few distinct expressions that are frequently utilized. Active wires, for example, are also known as hot wires. They are known as phase 1, 2, or 3 wires, or live 1, 2, or 3 wires, in a three-phase system.

In the meanwhile, an earth wire is also known as a ground wire. That's a similar phrase, but it's a little more complicated for someone unfamiliar with electricity.

Each form of electrical wiring has a specific purpose.

Active Wires

Active Wires

Current (power) is sent from the meter box to residential switches, powerpoints, and appliances through an active electrical line. Because there is a live electrical current, they are referred to as hot wires.

In a three-phase/multiphase system, there are many active wires. Each cable has a different colour to help identify the destination and purpose.

Neutral Wires

Neutral Wires

A conductor, or connection, is a neutral wire. It aids in returning current to the power source by acting in the opposite direction of an active wire.

This keeps circuits from being overloaded. Avoid touching neutral wires since they might cause an electric shock.

Earth Wires

Earth Wires

The green earth wire is the common denominator in all colour schemes (although now it's a green & yellow combination).

The ground wire serves as a safeguard against electrical shock. As its name implies, the earth wire conducts a live current into the ground and away from electrical outlets and appliances. When physical contact is established, the electrical shock does not proceed across the circuit towards a human.

Electrical Wiring Standards in Australia in 2022

Electrical Wiring Standards in Australia in 2022
Electrical Wiring Standards in Australia in 2022

Since the adoption of the AS 3000 in 2018, Australia's wiring has better reflected worldwide standards. Electrical wire colours in Australia mirror those in Europe and the United Kingdom, allowing more items to be effortlessly integrated into international circuits.

Single-phase wiring is typical in most homes because a constant electrical load is ideal for household usage. Workplaces and buildings that employ heavy machinery and huge appliances, on the other hand, require more energy. To satisfy the increased demand, they need a three-phase wire, often known as multiphase wiring.

Single-phase wire colours, according to current Australian electrical regulations, are:

Neutral - Blue

Active - Brown

Earth - Yellow and Green

Meanwhile, three-phase wiring in Australia is as follows:

Phase 1 - Brown

Phase 2 - Black

Phase 3 - Grey

Neutral - Blue

Earth - Yellow and Green

Other Colors of Wiring in Your Home

Colour guidelines for electrical wiring were only implemented a few years ago. As a result, your home's wiring is likely to be out of sync. As a result, a wide diversity of colour schemes can be seen in most Australian homes.

The good news is that they're all safe since they were at the time the industry standard. However, it just indicates that your wiring colours match those in internet publications that haven't been updated in a while.

Differences in subtlety between online sources and what's inside your walls might pose a hazard, especially if any unauthorized or DIY rewiring has been done.

If your home was constructed before 2018, the following colours are likely to be seen in your electrical circuits:

Previous wiring standards defined Single-phase as:

Active - Red

Neutral - Black

Earth - Green

In addition, prior three-phase wiring included the following features:

Phase 1 - Red

Phase 2 - White

Phase 3 - Blue

Neutral - Black

Earth - Green

Several additional colour combinations are also possible. Homes from before the year 2000 might have a completely different appearance. White or grey, both neutral colours, are standard, as are black or yellow for active cables.

Is It Necessary For Me To Do My Own Electrical Work?

It's wise to leave electrical work to the pros. This is especially true with a broad range of colour combinations, which puts you in the dangerous situation of unexpectedly handling live wires.

Your home's electrical wiring may be compatible with any of Australia's electrical wiring colour schemes. If previous work has included house rewiring or illegal electrical repairs, the age of a home may not be a helpful indication.

That is why significant work, like house rewiring, should always be left to a qualified electrician. They are well-versed in all rules and can securely address issues with a switchboard, power outlet, light socket, or electrical circuit.

When replacing a light switch, the last thing you want to do is mix up the wires and electrocute yourself.

Please leave it to the professionals at All In One Renovation to handle it. We'll give a secure service to keep your house running.

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