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Electrical Wiring Colours

If you need to re-wire a plug or perform any repairs to an electrical appliance, you will need to know about electrical wiring colours, how they affect the functionality of your appliance and any general electrical safety procedures. Generally speaking, UK Plugs should follow a standard layout of electrical wiring colours. These are:

  • Earth - Green and Yellow
  • Neutral - Blue
  • Live - Brown

Note: Each terminal inside the plug should be marked with an E, N or L.

It's important to note that the earth wire, currently green and yellow in modern appliances, used to be green only in older-style plugs. The neutral wire, currently blue in modern appliances, used to be black in older-style plugs and the live wire, currently brown in modern appliances, used to be red in older-style plugs. Although the majority of modern electrical appliances will use the new colour coding, you may occasionally encounter older electrical wiring colours.

UK plugs should also follow a standard layout - this makes the task of re-wiring a plug much easier. Here is an easy way to remember the correct electrical wiring colour procedure:

BL = Bottom Left = Blue = Neutral
BR = Bottom Right = Brown = Live

Important safety precautions

It's vitally important to change damaged or faulty plugs immediately - If you notice obvious damage to a plug, throw it away and replace it with a brand new plug. The same applies to any visible wiring, if you suspect that any of your wiring is faulty, replace it or seek expert advice from a qualified electrician - failure to do so can be a serious safety risk. Incorrectly wired plugs and/or damaged wiring can result in serious injury (electric shock/fire risk) - and at the very least can damage an appliance.

Always make sure that you use the correct fuse for an appliance. If in doubt, check the appliances instruction manual for advice, or again, engage the services of an experienced and qualified electrician. For reference only, there are 3 main types of plug fuse: 3 amp, 5 amp and 13 amp. The fuse is any essential component in any plug- it prevents your appliances from overheating. It's important to always use the correct fuse for an appliance, if the wrong size fuse is fitted, you risk overheating - this can damage the appliance and even cause fires. Unless you are 100% sure as to what you are doing, always enlist help when dealing with electrical wiring, sockets, wiring or plugs.



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