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Color Codes


Electrical regulations and standards that apply to boat builders and recreational boats. 

Wiring Color Codes: If you look at any wiring you will see that the wires are all different colors. This is so an electrician knows what they are looking at.   Each color has a specific function.

Direct Current Color Codes: From ABYC standard E-11 Table XIV and Table XV.

Green/Green w/yellow stripe DC Grounding Conductor Bonding Wires (insulated)
Yellow or Black or
Black W/Yellow stripe
DC Negative Conductor Negative Mains
Red DC Positive Conductor Positive  Mains
Yellow /Red Stripe Starting Circuit Starting Switch to Solenoid
Brown/Yellow stripe or Yellow Bilge Blowers Fuse or Switch to Blower
Dark Grey Navigation Lights Circuit Breakers or Switch to Lights
Dark Grey Tachometer Tachometer Gauges & Senders 
Brown Gen Armature Generator Armature to Regulator
Brown Alt Charge Light Generator Terminal or Alternator Aux Terminal to Regulator
Brown Pumps Circuit Breakers or Switch to Pumps
Orange Accessory Feed Amp Mtr to Alt or Gen Output & Acc Circuit Breaker & Switches
Orange Common Feed Distribution Panels to Accessory Switch
Purple Ignition Ignition Switch to Coil & Electrical Instrument
Purple Instrument Feed Distribution Panel To Electrical Instruments
Purple Main Power Feeds Positive Mains (particularly un-fused)
Dark Blue Cabin & Inst Circuit Breakers or Switch to Lights
Light Blue Oil Pressure Oil Pressure Gauges &Senders 
Tan Water Temp Water Temp To Sender To Gauge
Pink Fuel Gauge Fuel Gauge Sender to Gauge
Green/Stripe Tilt Down/Trim In Tilt & Trim  Circuits
Blue/Stripe Tilt Up Or Trim Out Tilt & Trim  Circuits

Alternating Current: Wiring Color Codes

I strongly recommend that unless you have experience or training working with AC electrical systems, that you hire an electrician. AC is deadly!

Black: Hot: An ungrounded current carrying conductor. This is the hot side of the system. Do not touch! You will get zapped!

White: Hot: Shore Grounded Neutral.  A current carrying conductor maintained at ground (Earth) potential. Do not touch! You will get zapped!

Green or Green with Yellow Stripe: Grounding Conductor. Used as a path to ground if there is a ground fault in the system. Do not cut or disconnect! Normally does not have any current.  If there is current in the green wire there is something wrong.

Red:  Hot: An ungrounded current carrying conductor in 120/240 volt systems. Do not touch! You will get zapped!      Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved Revised 05/07/2021