Brown Wire | Wiring Colours

Brown Wire | Wiring Colours

Every time I install an outlet or connect some stationary device, the question arises: what does the color of the wire mean – phase? Or is it land? The confusion is added by the fact that not all cables are our own VVG-3 with white, blue, and yellow-green wires. There are also Chinese with combinations of gray + brown + white, there are also complex multicore cables, which can only be dealt with by an electrician’s handbook.

In everyday life, there is nowhere to take all these encodings, so we will focus on the simplest wiring. A simple one is a three-core cable and a household task, for example, installing an outlet.

Encoding, labeling, and history

The idea of ​​dividing wires by color is not new – the very first experiments, as old textbooks draw us, were carried out with multi-colored terminals and wires. All the same uncomplicated simplicity remained in cars – the blue and red wires are unlikely to be confused. True, he is sometimes black, but that’s a completely different story.
When examining the wiring, the most important for determining the color of the wire is not the phase, but the ground and zero, the phase can always be found using a detector screwdriver or (almost) any diode. But to confuse the colors of earth and zero sometimes becomes simply dangerous, and it is necessary to determine what color of the wire, phase zero, ground in advance.

Phase wire color

As previously indicated, there is no need to determine the phase by color – almost always there is access to one or another tool for determining. Some “zoo” in colors is observed due to the fact that there are extended, non-everyday standards for color differentiation of wires, they are used by real electricians. For example, brown indicates that the wire is for outlets and red for lighting. The load and permissible operating parameters depend on this.

The marking of the phase conductor (L) by the manufacturer can be carried out in one of the following colors:

  • black;
  • White;
  • Gray;
  • Red;
  • Brown;
  • Orange;
  • purple;
  • pink;
  • turquoise.

Most often, the color of the phase wire is brown, black, and white.

Ground wire color

Grounding is the most uncontested wire, it always has a yellow-green color. There are deviations, for example, pure yellow – when the wire is imported. The network writes that there is a yellow-green-blue wire color, which denotes a combined working zero and ground.

Neutral (Zero) wire color

The minus has a small selection of colors – usually, it is blue wire, which is found in almost any cable, or (very rarely) red/cherry. As it was said about the ground – confusing these wires is strictly not recommended.


We fix the general color scheme:

  • Ground – the color of the wire is yellow-green or the color of the wire is yellow;
  • Zero is blue;
  • Phase – the color of the wire is white, red, brown and any other unfamiliar.

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