The hard and fast rules of coloured wires

Hi all,
Now, it may be some 15 years ago, but I was always taught at school that basic wiring went thus, Positive was red and Negative was black ???
Simple I know till we hit the realms of DCC, but I'm not on about that today.. (Or Hornby where they adopted the Henry Ford livery, any colour, so long as it is black!)
Well, it seems that Express models have also started going away from the norm ! Imagine my utter astonishment when I took home some of the very nice yard lamps that they retail, go to read the destructions, just to make sure and I find two wires from the LED and a resistor.....
OK, so I have a white and a black....
Connect resistor to black... OK....
Now connect Black to your + feed and white to the - ...... Eh ??
It was bad enough wiring the DCC lighting kit into the class 37 when the instructions had a blue, yellow and white wire to match your leads on the chip, but the LED's your sent to fit had only Red and Black as colours !
Come on, lets get the simple bits right, then we can finally progress....
--
Andy Sollis
CVMRD Exhibition Manager & CVR Guide book Author
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But that changed to Brown for + and Blue for - in the uk a long time ago in some cases

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"> But that changed to Brown for + and Blue for - in the uk a long time ago in

No it has not!!!! The change to brown and blue was for MAINS AC wiring, which has no +ve and -ve.
Jeff
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And then only for flex.
Fixed wiring (ie the stuff buried in the walls) has only recently changed to the new European harmonised colours.
MBQ
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message
<snip>

Well white is the return (-) side of the LEDs in computers and I suspect other electronic units.
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Hi Andy,
> Now, it may be some 15 years ago, but I was always > taught at school that basic wiring went thus, Positive was > red and Negative was black ???
For DC there are no hard and fast rules. The usual convention is
+ positive from ground = red
zero volts (ground) = black or white or green
- negative from ground = blue
But it's entirely up to you. Normally the "warmer" of the two colours will be positive with respect to the "cooler" of the two colours.
For mains AC, the legal convention is brown for line and blue for neutral (AC doesn't have plus and minus). Low voltage AC is usually both white or both black.
For electronic components such as LEDs, etc, the usual convention is that the longer lead is positive. You can remember that by mentally forming a plus and minus symbol out of the leads (+ symbol needs extra length for the cross arm).
regards,
Martin.
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Martin Wynne wrote:

I think it used to be red for live and black for neutral in some cables (solid core rather than flex) but I'm pretty sure that's changed to brown and blue now as well. Something to do with harmonising with other countries' colours.
peter
(After just getting my head around 3 phase supplies, the sparky on a site where I was working had to keep looking up the new cable colours as the generators used the new colouring system but the equipment being connected used the old colours!)
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On 11/01/2007 21:43, naked_draughtsman said,

Ah, but this is all to make mains wiring much easier and less confusing!
<sarcasm>
The nice bright colours used for three-phase are now being replaced by dull colours that will be hard to distinguish in dirty, dark and dusty electrical boxes, black was neutral and is now one of the lives, and blue was one of the lives and is now neutral. Still, I guess the EU must know what they're doing, mustn't they? I'm sure there won't be any scope for dangerous errors and confusion, will there?
</sarcasm>
--
Paul Boyd
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Paul Boyd wrote:

If you allow people to work in other parts of the EU, confusion will arise unless the colours are standard throughout. Inevitably some countries have to change their traditional colours.
Mark Thornton
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On Jan 11, 10:14 pm, Mark Thornton

And even more confusion when the "foreign" sparky comes to the UK and finds there are now two standards, the old and the new, which, as has been pointed out wrt 3-phase, can be dangerously confusing.
MBQ
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I recently replaced a bathroom extractor fan and was introduced to the delights of twin-live four wire connections for the first time. The box which Screwfix sent me included an invitation to join "The Guild of Master Craftsmen" which gives you some idea of the entry standards required by that particular organisation. I've never replaced an extractor fan before in my life.
(kim)
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I think the entry standerds are paying the fee
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Did you inform the Local Authority's building regs department that you were intending to do electrical work in the bathroom? When the new mains cable colours came in the regulations were changed: Kitchen, bathroom and outdoor electrical work is for qualified professional electricians only and they must supply a certificate to show the work is up to standard...
I thought it was a joke, but it's all too true. The amount of DIY electrical work officially permitted now is very limited.
--
Dave,
Frodsham
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David Jackson said the following on 11/01/2007 22:58:

You're right - it is true. The catch is that unless you're connected to the trade in some way, you won't know about it! The likes of B&Q will still happily sell you an extractor fan, but they will "forget" to tell you that you're no longer allowed to install it yourself. Apparently we're not even allowed to wire in a cooker any more!
Just to give you an idea of how daft the rule can be, at work we produce electrical and electronic widgets. Some of these are 3-phase control boxes. To test them, we plug them in, and poke about with live 3-phase around. We don't need special qualifications to do this. However, we need to move a 3-phase connection box which is part of the building wiring, but because we don't have the right bit of paper we are not allowed to do that and have to call in an electrician to do this job!
It's getting to the point where we won't be allowed to change light bulbs any more!
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
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There has been no change to what is permitted as DIY work. Only the inspection and certification regime has changed.

Yes you are if you first submit a building notice to the local authority. What you will not get away with is doing a shoddy job.
MBQ
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B&Q produce a leaflet, though, which is quite helpful.
Modern split-level cookers now arrive with a 13-amp plug fitted to each section, so you can just plug 'em in to the relevant socket. New houses/newly rewired houses have the sockets fitted. What happens in an older house with a 30-amp switch/13-amp socket, I don't know - my cooker is fairly recent so I won't need to find out for a few years yet.
--
Dave,
Frodsham
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On 12/01/2007 17:44, David Jackson said,

I do - they'll just buy one of those double plug adapters and plug it into the single socket!
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
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It's about time they came up with light bulbs that never need changing.
--
Jane
OO and DCC in the garden
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That is simply not true, anyone can still do the work. It is still perfectly legal to DIY in any situation.

Suitably qualified people can self-certify their own work and issue the paperwork.
If you DIY then you shouold inform your local councils building control officer who will arrange for an inspection. There will be a fee for a building notice but they are not allowed to charge extra for the actual inspection.
MBQ
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said the following on 12/01/2007 10:05:

And therein lies the catch. Joe Public is not suitably qualified and wouldn't know what paperwork to issue if it was plonked in front of them. Joe Public is still going to do the work regardless.

Yes, they should. But they won't, especially when the word "fee" is mentioned.
So at the end of the day, regardless of any rules and regulations, DIY electrical work will still be done by unqualified people with no certification, as it has been for decades. And a significant proportion of that will simply be down to Joe Public just carrying on as they always have done, in blissful ignorance of what is actually required!
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk /
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