Outer Sheath Cable Colour

Is there any guidance, best practice or standard when selecting cables dependant on the use of the circuit? As for example a Red cable will usually indicate a Fire system cicuit, a Yellow cable would indicate a 110v CTE construction supply.

I'm aware of the Table 2 in the IEC 60309 relating to plug and socket colours, but I'm sure I've seen some guidance in the past relating to cables also.

  • I don't think there's much official for the general case - certainly some prefer to match flex sheath colours to plug colours - but there are lots of other variables/constraints. Some cable types (e.g. HxxRN types) have a limited colour palette available for the sheaths (i.e. matt black only) - others (e.g. T&E) use the sheath colour for other characteristics (e.g. grey = ordinary smoky PVC, white = LS0H). In some cases matching the existing decor is the first consideration.  Yes some specific applications demand something special (e.g. fire) but I think that's the exception rather than the rule.

          - Andy.

  • The origin of my question comes from having black HxxRN type cables at an installation, then being asked by the installer if a different colour cable can be used (in this case green) as it's available and they can get there hands on it quickly. It looks odd and I would call it poor practice, but I'm struggling to find a reason/justification to say it's not permittable.

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