What Is the Color Coding for House Wiring?

Home electrical wiring uses a common color scheme, which is useful when installing or maintaining a reliable electrical design in a household. Different colors represent different electrical currents and will be found in certain groups of home applications.

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Colored wires

Black/Red

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Black and red wires are used as hot wires.

Black and red wires are used as hot wires. Black and red wires are found in switches and outlets.

Blue/Yellow

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Blue and yellow are also used to reference hot wires.

Blue and yellow are also used to reference hot wires. They are more commonly used as travelers in three- or four-way switches and in some lights and fans.

White

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White is typically used to represent a neutral wire.

White is typically used to represent a neutral wire. It has similar uses to a ground wire.

Green/Bare Copper

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Green/Bare Copper

Green and bare copper wires are commonly used only for the ground wires.

Warnings

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Multimeter

These colors are the most common in home electrical design, but be careful to always check by using a multimeter before doing any work on wires.