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Old 05-01-2019, 22:12   #1
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Cable color codes

I'm wiring up my bilge pumps directly from the battery terminals. I bought some twin flex 9 AWG (9 B&S) for the purpose. When I peeled back the insulation I found a green insulated wire and a pink insulated wire. If they were red/black I'd have no trouble identifying positive/negative. (I'm inclined to think Green - Negative and Pink - Positive)

I have googled and now I'm more confused because apparently there has been a change of color codes and also google doesn't differentiate between AC and DC.

Just to conform with the code can anyone please advise?

Clive
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Old 05-01-2019, 23:31   #2
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Re: Cable color codes

Don't know about the code colours, but your dilemma is a simple one. Even not knowing you have 50% chance to get it right.
If you have not already disconnected everything, what about checking with a multimeter the polarity of the feeder wires. Or did you make photo of the connections prior to changing it?

Either way not a problem, try it one way. If the pump does not pump (but motor is running), then plus and minus are reversed. Most (95%?) of all bilgepumps can not be damaged by reversal of polarity (most are plain centrifugal pumps). And even it is a diaphram pump... that is OK with reversal of polarity, but of course it may not pump when connected wrongly.

If your pump has an electronic sensor/floatswitch... I would then be more careful and would not take that 50% chance.
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Old 05-01-2019, 23:42   #3
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Re: Cable color codes

Thank you Hank.

I'm building the yacht and I know the polarity of the switch/fuse at the instrument panel as the wires are red/black. I will know the polarity of the Rule bilge pump so there is no problem there.

Of course it doesn't matter which color I make "positive" I just don't want to give someone chance to show me how little I know about DC electrical work!

Clive
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Old 05-01-2019, 23:50   #4
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Re: Cable color codes

There is no universal code for low voltage DC circuits. Just to be clear, there is no agreed to code for 12 Vdc. There are loose standard colours but this varies widely in different contries and different industries.

Typically in Oz boats postive is red and negative is black. It your case it would be fine to use pink for positive and green for negative.

The most important thing is to record how you did it on a wiring diagram and be consistent.
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Old 05-01-2019, 23:59   #5
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Re: Cable color codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
.........

Of course it doesn't matter which color I make "positive" I just don't want to give someone chance to show me how little I know about DC electrical work!

Clive
Sorry, that ship has already sailed

You might be interested to know that most wiring in general aviation is simply white and then people argue over whether the string holding the looms together should be black or white. Personally I used black string for fixed wing and white string for rotary wing
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Old 06-01-2019, 00:55   #6
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Re: Cable color codes

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
There is no universal code for low voltage DC circuits. Just to be clear, there is no agreed to code for 12 Vdc. There are loose standard colours but this varies widely in different contries and different industries.

Typically in Oz boats postive is red and negative is black. It your case it would be fine to use pink for positive and green for negative.

The most important thing is to record how you did it on a wiring diagram and be consistent.

Thanks Wotname.

All the other DC wires on the boat are red/black.

There is nothing complex with the wiring - every motor has its own switch and fuse. A lot of lights have there own switch - cockpit light, engine room light, compass light but there will be all sorts of switches for the electronics.I have made liberal use of cable ties - everything is laid out neatly. I wont bother with a wiring diagram but I will number each cable pair and provide a list of what each number represents. (I am not wiring an aircraft or helicopter!)

If you didn't have the list you'd look at the switch/fuse, look behind the switch for the number and follow that (using the numbers) through to the pump/blower/ ? What could be more simple?

Clive
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:01   #7
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Re: Cable color codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
There is no universal code for low voltage DC circuits. Just to be clear, there is no agreed to code for 12 Vdc. There are loose standard colours but this varies widely in different contries and different industries.

When I first started I planned to use wires to the standard color code but of course it was impossible. (I did get a loom of wiring off a Caterpillar diesel and they had followed it)


Standard Boat Wiring Color Codes

These are the most common color codes used in boat wiring.


https://www.cpperformance.com/t-boat_wiring_colors.aspx
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:52   #8
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Re: Cable color codes

Apparently the Germans had color codes for cables:

The German DIN Standard DIN 47100 regulated the color-coding for the identification of cores in telecommunication cables. The standard was withdrawn without a replacement in November 1998, but remains in widespread use by cable manufacturers.
The isolations of the several wires in a cable are either solidly colored in one color, or striped lengthwise in two colors. Use of the three-colored wires numbered 45 and up is rare
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:29   #9
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Re: Cable color codes


Coms cables have a whole world of standard variations be they copper, fibre, data etc etc.
Each pair in a three thousand pair copper street cable can be identified with a combination of five basic colours (blue, orange, green, brown, slate) plus white and red.

At least in the UK and Oz, dunno what our american friends used...
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:10   #10
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Re: Cable color codes

Pink being close to red, that's your Positive.

Green or yellow is a standard for low-voltage DC Negative.

Many feel there should be no colours in common between DC and AC circuits.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:29   #11
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Re: Cable color codes

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Pink being close to red, that's your Positive.

Green or yellow is a standard for low-voltage DC Negative.

Many feel there should be no colours in common between DC and AC circuits.
This post highlights the very issue!
There isn't a standard as such.
E.G. Common usage suggests dc negative should be black ?? or green ?? or yellow??

One can many examples of each colour to support their claim but really what matters (IMO) is consistency in any one boat.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:40   #12
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Re: Cable color codes

I like consistency. If the rest of the boat is wired with red and black DC conductors, then put strips of red and black electrical tape on the pink and green conductors near the connection points. This will help when you or someone else works on the circuit sometime in the future.

Cheers!

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Old 06-01-2019, 06:42   #13
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Re: Cable color codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
This post highlights the very issue!
There isn't a standard as such.
E.G. Common usage suggests dc negative should be black ?? or green ?? or yellow??

One can many examples of each colour to support their claim but really what matters (IMO) is consistency in any one boat.
True there isnt one standard.
AYBC have tried to make it as logical and unconfusing as possible.
They say
DC
Pos- Red
Neg- Yellow (so it doesnt get confused with AC Active).
AC
Active- Black
Nuetral- White,
Earth- Green

It's not a requirement, but sounds as good as any other to me.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:46   #14
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Re: Cable color codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
This post highlights the very issue!

There isn't a standard as such.

E.G. Common usage suggests dc negative should be black ?? or green ?? or yellow??



One can many examples of each colour to support their claim but really what matters (IMO) is consistency in any one boat.
Yes exactly.

But it's often impractical when partially fixing / retrofitting.

Ptouch labels covered by clear heat-shrink works well.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:48   #15
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Re: Cable color codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
This post highlights the very issue!
There isn't a standard as such.
E.G. Common usage suggests dc negative should be black ?? or green ?? or yellow??

One can many examples of each colour to support their claim but really what matters (IMO) is consistency in any one boat.
True there isnt one standard.
AYBC have tried to make it as logical and unconfusing as possible.
They say
DC
Pos- Red
Neg- Yellow (so it doesnt get confused with AC Active).
AC
Active- Black
Nuetral- White,
Earth- Green

It's not a requirement, but sounds as good as any other to me.
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