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What Colour is the Live Wire

  • Post published:November 24, 2021
  • Reading time:3 mins read
Home > What Colour is the Live Wire

Have you ever looked inside a plug and wondered what the coloured wires are? Or, would you just like to know more about the electrical systems around your home?

Knowing the purpose of each wire is important for your safety, especially if you want to carry out minor electrical work such as wiring a plug. If you’re not aware what each wire does, it can leave you with severe injury or worse.

So keep reading and we’ll answer specific questions such as what colour is the live wire and what is it’s purpose?

What Colour Is the Live Wire?

In UK electrical systems, the live wire is brown and has been since 2006 when it became mandatory. The other two wires are:

  • Earth- Green and Yellow
  • Neutral- Blue

But it’s important to know that prior to this, the wiring colours were:

  • Live – Red
  • Neutral – Black
  • Earth – Green and Yellow/Bare

The reason for the change was so that the UK’s electrical system aligned with other European countries. This is why it’s often referred to as the ‘harmonised system’.

It’s likely that if your house was built prior to 2006, it will still consist of the old wires. This is because it wasn’t an obligation that all wires were changed, only that new buildings and extensions were fitted with the new system.

So, if you are looking to carry out minor electrical work, you must familiarise yourself with the old and new colours.

What Is the Purpose of the Live Wire?

The duty of the live wire is to carry the electrical current towards the plug and the appliance. Without the live wire, your appliance would fail to operate due to the lack of electricity.

The neutral wire completes the circuit and carries the current back to the supply.

Finally, the earth wire is in place for safety reasons and isn’t part of the circuit. It is connected to the case and a metal plate/ water pipe underground. If it was absent and there was a fault with the live wire, the current would travel through the case and anyone who touched it would be electrocuted. So, the earth wire prevents this by redirecting the electricity.

Do You Need a Qualified Electrician?

We hope this short live wire guide has answered any questions you had and has been insightful.

Finally, if you need any electrical work carrying out we suggest you give one of our friendly team a call, they’re specialist electricians in Milton Keynes and will be happy to help.

Our team of qualified electricians will be happy to discuss your needs and come out to visit. They’ll then be able to complete the work to a high standard and ensure your safety.