electrician in Hampstead - Tim Kyle

What Do Different Color Electrical Wires Mean?

Electrical wire colors are standardized within the United States and follow the NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC). Wires are colored to indicate their purpose. So, before you consider changing an overhead light fixture or repairing a faulty switch, know what each color means. It’s best to leave electrical wiring to the professionals. If you need an electrician in Hampstead, contact Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling to learn more.

The Meaning of Electrical Wire Colors

Wires come in a variety of colors, each with its own purpose. Wires that are green, green with yellow stripes, or bare copper are ground wires. These are conductors (shock absorbers) which allow electricity to easily pass through. If your home was built before 1960, you may not have a grounded system. You can check the kind of outlets that are in your home to find out if your home is grounded or not. If the system is ground, outlets will have two slots plus a D-shaped slot.

Black wires are hot wires that carry the electricity. It’s important to treat these wires with extreme care. While hot wires are usually black, they can also be red. You will see red wires when an outlet is 240-volt or a wall switch controls the outlet.

Blue and yellow hot wires are not as typical. They carry power but are many used in outlets that are controlled by power switches. White or gray wires are neutral. Their purpose is to provide a return path for electricity in a circuit. Regardless of color, most electrical wires carry high voltage that can harm you if you’re not careful. So, treat all colors with caution.

Looking for an Electrician in Hampstead?

Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling has been providing residential and commercial services to clients in Maryland and Pennsylvania since 1986. We value honesty, integrity, and respect which is why we offer up-front pricing and all of our technicians are professionally trained. Our services include repairs and rewiring, new construction, fire alarm systems, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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