NEC 200.6(A) Anybody know why?

jaggedben

Senior Member
A volt meter to verify the color represents what you think it should:)
Well if I'm in a panel I tend to just look at what things are connected to. ;)

As far as I'm concerned the NEC could make a rule that every conductor has to be black.
I would be against that rule. Not saying I'm wedded to the current rules, but I would prefer no rules over that suggestion. It certainly helps with other things (besides safety) to color code.
 

Carultch

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
As far as I'm concerned the NEC could make a rule that every conductor has to be black.
I'd prefer to have a rule that allows you to start with black wire for any and all sizes, and tape at terminations as we already do. And allow white tape for textual labels, provided that phase/polarity is identified immediately adjacent to it. This way, you can always remediate the conductor identification after wire has already been installed. And such that you don't have to supply 5 different colors when there is no real issue with starting with all black wire. Colored wire certainly is useful, but I don't see the value in it being mandatory.

It makes sense to reserve green/bare for grounding, white and gray for the grounded, and to allow creative license to identify other conductors in non-reserved colors. While standard color schemes are most helpful, I understand why ungrounded color code requirements are no longer required. Most people will follow industry norms of black/red/blue and brown/orange/yellow, but there are times when there is a completely different existing color code. So either you match the existing, or you do your work in the current industry norm.

There are also cases when you might have an exotic voltage situation, that doesn't match a standard. And you'd either make up your own scheme, or match the industry norm of the nearest standard voltage system. Example is a 347Volt delta configuration for a Solectria XTM series inverter (XT = external transformer). The nearest standard system would be brown/orange/yellow
 
Last edited:

jumper

Senior Member
Are you saying that there is actually no real life safety issue with termination taping wires of all sizes?
Darn tooting I am. Why is a phase taped #4 neutral safe, but a #6 is not. Hint: no reason.

As long as conductors are properly identified, color tape or other effective means, I could care less about what size conductor is involved.
 

Carultch

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Darn tooting I am. Why is a phase taped #4 neutral safe, but a #6 is not. Hint: no reason.

As long as conductors are properly identified, color tape or other effective means, I could care less about what size conductor is involved.
Exactly. The only reason I could think of why smaller conductors would be a real life safety concern without a continuous factory finish for identification, is that statistically there are going to be a lot more of them, and a lot greater chance that you would mix them up. But provided that you don't mix them up, there shouldn't really be any safety concern.
 

jumper

Senior Member
Exactly. The only reason I could think of why smaller conductors would be a real life safety concern without a continuous factory finish for identification, is that statistically there are going to be a lot more of them, and a lot greater chance that you would mix them up. But provided that you don't mix them up, there shouldn't really be any safety concern.
I believe way back when there was a reason for the rule that someone posted, but I do not remember what it was.

Now it is really a silly left over rule IMO.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
One possibility is that at the time the rule was made availability of colored wire in larger sizes was lower.
Also stocking multiple spools of wire in different colors is more of a burden for larger sizes than for smaller ones. The location of the dividing line is, of course, arbitrary.
 

jap

Senior Member
Since there isn't really a good explanation for not being able to phase tape a smaller conductor, I came up with my own.

My thoughts are, the smaller the conductor your trying to tape, the crappier it looks.

Maybe that's why.

JAP>
 

jumper

Senior Member
Since there isn't really a good explanation for not being able to phase tape a smaller conductor, I came up with my own.

My thoughts are, the smaller the conductor your trying to tape, the crappier it looks.

Maybe that's why.

JAP>
Well......I am gonna say Goldy's point is just a tad more plausible.:D

But, ya never know...
 

jap

Senior Member
Well......I am gonna say Goldy's point is just a tad more plausible.:D

But, ya never know...
Hey,,,,, your a moderator,,,,, your not supposed to take sides,,, your supposed to stay neutral,,,,,, and if your a size 6 or smaller you should have an overall outer covering of white or gray I might add. :lol:

JAP>
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
One possibility is that at the time the rule was made availability of colored wire in larger sizes was lower.
Also stocking multiple spools of wire in different colors is more of a burden for larger sizes than for smaller ones. The location of the dividing line is, of course, arbitrary.
Also one would hope the larger sizes would be less likely to be messed with by someone who is not qualified.
 

Carultch

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Hey,,,,, your a moderator,,,,, your not supposed to take sides,,, your supposed to stay neutral,,,,,, and if your a size 6 or smaller you should have an overall outer covering of white or gray I might add. :lol:

JAP>
Hahahaha! Good one.

Although this does bring up an important distinction. It is the grounded conductor that needs to be white or gray, and not necessarily the neutral. In the rare scenario that you have an ungrounded floating neutral, what would be the preferred color scheme for it?
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Well the easy answer is that after #6 wire usually only comes in black, so up to #6 there is no need to
re-identify it as you can get white and green.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Well the easy answer is that after #6 wire usually only comes in black, so up to #6 there is no need to
re-identify it as you can get white and green.
You can easily get white and green because NEC requires us to use them. If they upped the size to say #1 we would have this same conversation but with #1 being the dividing line of what is commonly available in white/green.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
You can easily get white and green because NEC requires us to use them. If they upped the size to say #1 we would have this same conversation but with #1 being the dividing line of what is commonly available in white/green.
See, you're catching on. I don't know why everyone says all those awful things about you. :lol:It's like the joke if the Queen had.........
 
Top