# British Line and Netural Conventions?

I

#### Ira Rubinson

Jan 1, 1970
0
I live in the US and am re-wiring a 30 year old Logitek lapping machine
which was built in England. If I plug it in to a receptacle in the US, as it
is presently wired, then the limit switches carry 0V and the neutral is
fused. I don't think this is correct because a short to chassis in the limit
switch circuit will defeat the limit switch function. Are English wall
receptacles reversed with respect to US receptacles?

Thanks -Ira

G

#### Graham Holloway

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ira Rubinson said:
I live in the US and am re-wiring a 30 year old Logitek lapping machine
which was built in England. If I plug it in to a receptacle in the US, as
it
is presently wired, then the limit switches carry 0V and the neutral is
fused. I don't think this is correct because a short to chassis in the
limit
switch circuit will defeat the limit switch function. Are English wall
receptacles reversed with respect to US receptacles?

Thanks -Ira
English wall receptacles are completely different from US ones. Someone must
have fitted a US plug on the machine (wrongly) before you got it. Call in an
qualified electrician. Check the voltage settings as well and also see if
the change in frequency from 50Hz to 60Hz could give you a problem (motors,
etc.)

Graham H

E

#### Eeyore

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ira said:
I live in the US and am re-wiring a 30 year old Logitek lapping machine
which was built in England. If I plug it in to a receptacle in the US, as it
is presently wired, then the limit switches carry 0V and the neutral is
fused. I don't think this is correct because a short to chassis in the limit
switch circuit will defeat the limit switch function. Are English wall
receptacles reversed with respect to US receptacles?

In that era, live was red (for warning) and neutral was black. If you've wired
black (UK) to black (US) there's your problem.

Graham

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
In that era, live was red (for warning) and neutral was black. If you've wired
black (UK) to black (US) there's your problem.

Graham

The US convention is "white is life, black is death."

The other phases are red and blue. Quite patriotic wiring!

I got bit by a loose black wire yesterday, working on our old
hydraulic elevator. 120 nips a bit, but I bet 240 is a lot worse.

What colors do you use now?

John

E

#### Eeyore

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
The US convention is "white is life, black is death."

The other phases are red and blue. Quite patriotic wiring!

I got bit by a loose black wire yesterday, working on our old
hydraulic elevator. 120 nips a bit, but I bet 240 is a lot worse.

What colors do you use now?

The dull Euro-norm brown = live and blue = neutral. I think it came about by having
to be different to anything anyone used before !

The phase colours used to be red, blue and yellow. They've changed now to brown
something and something.

Graham

G

#### Gary Tait

Jan 1, 1970
0
The US convention is "white is life, black is death."

Funny though, in automotive, black is usually ground, and I've seen people
used to one wireing sceme crew up the other, usually someome used to
automotive electrics mucking up AC wiring.

E

#### Eeyore

Jan 1, 1970
0
Gary said:
John Larkin wrote

Funny though, in automotive, black is usually ground, and I've seen people
used to one wireing sceme crew up the other, usually someome used to
automotive electrics mucking up AC wiring.

Just look at the colour coding on every multimeter's test leads.

The old UK wiring colours were the best.

Graham

J

#### Jeff L

Jan 1, 1970
0
John Larkin said:
The US convention is "white is life, black is death."

The other phases are red and blue. Quite patriotic wiring!

Same colors here in Canada. Your low voltage 3 phase option is strange in
the USA (the 120V, 220V offset 3 phase thing). Here we have the more
standard 120V 208 3 Phase. We have a fairly odd 600V 3 phase that is often
coming into most commercial / industrial buildings with more then a 72 kVA
service. 480v seems more common around the world, and is used in the USA.

Europe uses a few odd voltages for 3 phase, like 380V.

One thing to note: white wires can be hot - eg the drop to a switch from a
light fixture.
I got bit by a loose black wire yesterday, working on our old
hydraulic elevator. 120 nips a bit, but I bet 240 is a lot worse.

If your dry, and not grounded overly well, you may not even feel 120V AC.
Wet is another story. I tried to remove the fresh spattered wet drywall
compound from around an outlet once when I was a kid - bad mistake it was
touching the hot terminal, and apparently all the acidicness of the compound
makes a good electrolyte.
What colors do you use now?

Most of Europe seems to have the brown blue thing, with a green ground with
a yellow stripe.Very strange industrial plugs, and weird wire. I like the
covers that pop over the receptacle used for the huge 3 prong plugs - almost
impossible to electrocute yourself by sticking something in the plugs or
touching the prongs as you insert them. The plugs themselves are a little
too huge for my tastes, but old people must like them.

Japan seemed to have blue, brown and IIRC black for 3 phase, at lest that
was how some machines we have were wired. They have 100V over there instead
of 120V, and one half of the country is 60Hz, the other is 50Hz. I think one
of their 3 phase voltages is 200V.

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
Funny though, in automotive, black is usually ground, and I've seen people
used to one wireing sceme crew up the other, usually someome used to
automotive electrics mucking up AC wiring.

Black ground is the electronic convention. Green is filament power,
red is B+. I forget the rest.

John

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
Same colors here in Canada. Your low voltage 3 phase option is strange in
the USA (the 120V, 220V offset 3 phase thing). Here we have the more
standard 120V 208 3 Phase. We have a fairly odd 600V 3 phase that is often
coming into most commercial / industrial buildings with more then a 72 kVA
service. 480v seems more common around the world, and is used in the USA.

Hell, we have everything here. 120/208, split 240 stinger, all sorts
of stuff. 480 l-l for the bigger stuff. And electricians never leave
schematics behind.

John

P

#### Phil Hobbs

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
Black ground is the electronic convention. Green is filament power,
red is B+. I forget the rest.

John
Yellow is 5V filament.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

J

#### Jeff L

Jan 1, 1970
0
Gary Tait said:
Funny though, in automotive, black is usually ground,

Or the darker wire. I've seen green used on street bikes, along with black.
Black on many motorcycles (including off road - eg dirt and motocross) is
the ign kill wire. Older snowmobiles used black for the ign kill wire also.

P

#### Peter Bennett

Jan 1, 1970
0
Funny though, in automotive, black is usually ground, and I've seen people
used to one wireing sceme crew up the other, usually someome used to
automotive electrics mucking up AC wiring.

On a used boat I just bought, apparently some DC wiring was done by an
AC electrician - he used Black/White pair wire, with white as ground
and black as +12 (but I think there's also some with black as ground -
lots of odd electrical things: there were two 12 volt batteries
apparently in parallel as the house bank - when I replaced them, I
found that the ground lead for one battery was not grounded! Must
have been that way since 2001, when the batteries were last replaced -
or perhaps much longer!)

--
Peter Bennett, VE7CEI
peterbb4 (at) interchange.ubc.ca
new newsgroup users info : http://vancouver-webpages.com/nnq
GPS and NMEA info: http://vancouver-webpages.com/peter

P

#### Paul Hovnanian P.E.

Jan 1, 1970
0
Gary said:
Funny though, in automotive, black is usually ground, and I've seen people
used to one wireing sceme crew up the other, usually someome used to
automotive electrics mucking up AC wiring.

Hmm. Brown is ground in an old Porsche. Red is B+ and other (switched)
circuits are everything else.

P

#### Paul Hovnanian P.E.

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jeff said:
Same colors here in Canada. Your low voltage 3 phase option is strange in
the USA (the 120V, 220V offset 3 phase thing). Here we have the more
standard 120V 208 3 Phase. We have a fairly odd 600V 3 phase that is often
coming into most commercial / industrial buildings with more then a 72 kVA
service. 480v seems more common around the world, and is used in the USA.

Europe uses a few odd voltages for 3 phase, like 380V.

380V is just the line to line voltage of a 220V line to neutral star
service. That's pretty standard (either a single phase or three phase
throughout Europe).
One thing to note: white wires can be hot - eg the drop to a switch from a
light fixture.

That's for electricians benefit to run a single NM (Romex) from the
light to the switch. They are stuck with one white wire for a hot. Safe
practice is to hook the white in the switch leg to the incoming hot from
the branch circuit (in the fixture) so when somebody sees a black and
white connected together, they'll stop and think (What the $%@&#! is going on?). If you are pulling wire into conduit, white (gray) is for neutral only. H #### Homer J Simpson Jan 1, 1970 0 I live in the US and am re-wiring a 30 year old Logitek lapping machine which was built in England. If I plug it in to a receptacle in the US, as it is presently wired, then the limit switches carry 0V and the neutral is fused. I don't think this is correct because a short to chassis in the limit switch circuit will defeat the limit switch function. Are English wall receptacles reversed with respect to US receptacles? In N America, the outlets are wired backwards; and black is 'hot'. In Europe and many other countries, the left hand pin of a power outlet is hot. Also black (or blue) is always 'cold' (neutral) and red, brown or another color is hot. H #### Homer J Simpson Jan 1, 1970 0 The dull Euro-norm brown = live and blue = neutral. I think it came about by having to be different to anything anyone used before ! Also ground/earth was green and is now green/yellow striped. M #### Michael A. Terrell Jan 1, 1970 0 Jeff said: One thing to note: white wires can be hot - eg the drop to a switch from a light fixture. Some inspectors won't sign that off, without either phase tape or a piece of colored heatshrink tubing on the switched white wire. Phase tape is a lot cheaper than a coffin. -- Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to prove it. Member of DAV #85. Michael A. Terrell Central Florida H #### Homer J Simpson Jan 1, 1970 0 Hell, we have everything here. 120/208, split 240 stinger, all sorts of stuff. 480 l-l for the bigger stuff. And electricians never leave schematics behind. In Europe, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries there is one voltage in the range of 220 to 250 volts (actual value depends on the country) single phase to neutral and a three phase supply based on that (* square root of 3). The next voltage used is 11 kV 3 phase or similar used for huge motors with special precautions. In N America they use every voltage under the sun - hell they even used multiple frequencies up until recently! It's very odd. You can even see two switch boards in commercial buildings each with a different voltage. H #### Homer J Simpson Jan 1, 1970 0 That's for electricians benefit to run a single NM (Romex) from the light to the switch. They are stuck with one white wire for a hot. Safe practice is to hook the white in the switch leg to the incoming hot from the branch circuit (in the fixture) so when somebody sees a black and white connected together, they'll stop and think (What the$%@&#! is
going on?). If you are pulling wire into conduit, white (gray) is for
neutral only.

Code now outside of N America may require you to sleeve the wrong color wire
to the correct color, i.e. black to red.

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