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Old 02-10-2020, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default Brown/Orange/Yellow conductors

I recently used #12 THHN Brown/Orange/Yellow colored conductors on 120 volt single phase branch circuits to feed some exhaust fans. I paired each circuit with it's own neutral. The inspector said the NEC doesn't allowed to use Brown/Orange/Yellow on 120 volt branch circuits. The inspector couldn't give me any reference to the code article. I have looked in the NEC but I cannot find any code article which says this cannot be done. Can someone point me to a particular code article which this is not allowed.

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Old 02-10-2020, 10:55 PM   #2
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as for my knowledge the inspector is technically incorrect, in the code they only talk about the grounding conductor to be green, the grounded conductor to be white, and for a bastards leg to be orange. I believe it is just common electric workmanship that we pull boy colors for 480v circuits. however it may just be more worth the trouble to just set some boxes and change your colors at termination to black and white to please the inspector instead of questioning and pissing him off
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwire480 View Post
I recently used #12 THHN Brown/Orange/Yellow colored conductors on 120 volt single phase branch circuits to feed some exhaust fans. I paired each circuit with it's own neutral. The inspector said the NEC doesn't allowed to use Brown/Orange/Yellow on 120 volt branch circuits. The inspector couldn't give me any reference to the code article. I have looked in the NEC but I cannot find any code article which
says this cannot be done. Can someone point me to a particular code article which this is not allowed.

Thanks
Hotwire480
There is no specific purpose for Brown Orange yellow in NEC. However the NEC does say you have to identify your different voltages if more than one are present. It is very common for someone to use those colors to identify 480 V. If someone in that same building has already identified Brown, Orange, Yellow for 480 then it could be a problem. Orange is identified for use as a high leg in a Delta system. But it doesn't say you can't use it for other circuits. White,green ,and Gray(?) are the only colors I know of that can not be used for ungrounded conductors.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:32 PM   #4
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215.12(C) Identification of Ungrounded Conductors. Ungrounded
conductors shall be identified in accordance with 215.12(C)(1)
or (C)(2), as applicable.
(1) Feeders Supplied from More Than One Nominal Voltage
System. Where the premises wiring system has feeders
supplied from more than one nominal voltage system, each
ungrounded conductor of a feeder shall be identified by phase
or line and system at all termination, connection, and splice
points in compliance with 215.12(C)(1)(a) and (b).
(a) Means of Identification. The means of identification
shall be permitted to be by separate color coding, marking
tape, tagging, or other approved means.

200.6 Means of Identifying Grounded Conductors.
(A) Sizes 6 AWG or Smaller. An insulated grounded conduc‐
tor of 6 AWG or smaller shall be identified by one of the follow‐
ing means:
(1) A continuous white outer finish.
(2) A continuous gray outer finish.
(3) Three continuous white or gray stripes along the conduc‐
tor's entire length on other than green insulation.

250.119 Identification of Equipment Grounding Conductors.
Unless required elsewhere in this Code, equipment grounding
conductors shall be permitted to be bare, covered, or insulated.
Individually covered or insulated equipment grounding
conductors shall have a continuous outer finish that is either
green or green with one or more yellow stripes except as
permitted in this section. Conductors with insulation or indi‐
vidual covering that is green, green with one or more yellow
stripes, or otherwise identified as permitted by this section shall
not be used for ungrounded or grounded circuit conductors.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:00 PM   #5
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Are people putting a sticker on the panel identifying the color coding used throughout the building?
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:11 PM   #6
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Are people putting a sticker on the panel identifying the color coding used throughout the building?
Only if there is more than one system present.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:20 PM   #7
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Electrons don't care how copper dresses.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:17 PM   #8
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Why would you use those colors for 120v.? What colors were already used in that panel? That's a red flag for inspectors, it indicates that you don't have any idea of what you're doing. Especially if it's single phase.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:18 PM   #9
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Electrons don't care how copper dresses.
But, apparently inspectors do.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:26 PM   #10
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But, apparently inspectors do.
They should worry about real issues.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:41 PM   #11
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NFPA 79 mentions recommended colors for machines.

This is not Code But it is where some get the idea that you have to use these colors.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:01 PM   #12
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Long ago I used RED, brown, orange, yellow for fire alarm as per spec. Never seen it again although I did use up the remaining b,o,y wire as switch legs on other jobs.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwire480 View Post
I recently used #12 THHN Brown/Orange/Yellow colored conductors on 120 volt single phase branch circuits to feed some exhaust fans. I paired each circuit with it's own neutral. The inspector said the NEC doesn't allowed to use Brown/Orange/Yellow on 120 volt branch circuits. The inspector couldn't give me any reference to the code article. I have looked in the NEC but I cannot find any code article which says this cannot be done. Can someone point me to a particular code article which this is not allowed.

Thanks
Hotwire480
Who does that?
Why would you do that?
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by just the cowboy View Post
NFPA 79 mentions recommended colors for machines.

This is not Code But it is where some get the idea that you have to use these colors.
In most of the factories I've worked in, all power wires are black, and control are red.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:29 PM   #15
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To the OP: what you did is -- strictly speaking -- Code compliant.

However, as a practical matter, it's completely impractical.

Purchase the wire colors that the trade expects -- and stop such foolishness.

You can always burn off the B O Y further on down the line. They don't exactly spoil, do they?
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwire480 View Post
I recently used #12 THHN Brown/Orange/Yellow colored conductors on 120 volt single phase branch circuits to feed some exhaust fans. I paired each circuit with it's own neutral. The inspector said the NEC doesn't allowed to use Brown/Orange/Yellow on 120 volt branch circuits. The inspector couldn't give me any reference to the code article. I have looked in the NEC but I cannot find any code article which says this cannot be done. Can someone point me to a particular code article which this is not allowed.

Thanks
Hotwire480
Buy a wire label printer. You are not doing anyone a favor in the future running rainbow colors to identify a circuit.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:56 PM   #17
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It is in code. I will find it. I feel the colors mentioned are accepted by electricians, but not specified in code

Most facilities where 480 three phase use BOY Brown, Orange Yellow as the phase conductors. Many also have present lower voltage three phase. Black Red & blue are my choice for lower voltage. An inspector once specified orange as the odd leg in three phase Delta. I'm uncomfortable with using orange for both 480 & 240. I choose blue for lower voltage. Code says I have to post color code in the electrical room.

My opinion is BOY are 480, Bla, R Blu are 240 or 208. Bla R are 240 single phase. Bla W are 120. I do not believe code specifies that. In installations I've seen the only variable is 240 V three phase orange, or blue might be used. Throughout a facility be consistent, and post the choice on a wall.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:03 PM   #18
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Personally, I use pink for hot .... Just kinda stands out there
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:02 PM   #19
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Is it a code violation to use Brown Orange Yellow on 120/240? No.

Neither is using a brown plate on a white device, but why would you?
What message does it project?
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:33 PM   #20
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It is in code. I will find it. I feel the colors mentioned are accepted by electricians, but not specified in code

Most facilities where 480 three phase use BOY Brown, Orange Yellow as the phase conductors. Many also have present lower voltage three phase. Black Red & blue are my choice for lower voltage. An inspector once specified orange as the odd leg in three phase Delta. I'm uncomfortable with using orange for both 480 & 240. I choose blue for lower voltage. Code says I have to post color code in the electrical room.

My opinion is BOY are 480, Bla, R Blu are 240 or 208. Bla R are 240 single phase. Bla W are 120. I do not believe code specifies that. In installations I've seen the only variable is 240 V three phase orange, or blue might be used. Throughout a facility be consistent, and post the choice on a wall.
The code specifies that orange be used on delta high legs, but only where the grounded conductor is present. If there's no white,wire, orange isn't required. Just for fun, I went to brown, purple, yellow for 480.
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