Home Wiring Colors Explained


In the United States, 120 volt house wiring typically follows a standardized color code for safety and consistency. Here's an overview of the standard color codes for house wiring in the USA:


1. Black: Black wires are commonly used for hot wires, which carry electrical current from the power source to electrical devices and outlets. They are typically connected to circuit breakers or fuses in the electrical panel.


2. Red: Red wires can also be used for hot wires in certain situations. They are often used in three-way switch configurations, where a light or electrical device can be controlled from two different switches.


3. White: White wires are used for neutral wires, which complete the electrical circuit and return current to the electrical panel. They are connected to the neutral bus bar in the electrical panel and are typically not switched.


4. Green or Bare Copper: Green wires or bare copper wires are used for grounding purposes. They provide a safe path for electrical current to flow in the event of a fault or short circuit, directing it away from electrical devices and preventing electrical shock.


5. Blue and Yellow: In some cases, blue and yellow wires may be used for specific purposes, such as carrying switched power to lighting fixtures or special electrical devices. However, these colors are less commonly used compared to black, red, white, and green/bare copper.


It's important to note that while these color codes are standard in the United States, there may be variations depending on local electrical codes and practices.