Cable color standards in the US

In summary, the conversation discusses the difficulty in finding industrial cables that match the standard wire colors specified by a customer for a project in New York. The speaker has searched through various cable manufacturers and found some options for 208V systems, but nothing suitable for 480V systems. They are seeking advice and suggestions for finding a suitable cable that meets the customer's specifications without having to use colored shrinking tubes. Possible solutions include contacting major suppliers and wholesalers who may be able to custom build a cable or assist in the search. Additionally, consulting with a local licensed electrician is recommended.
  • #1
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TL;DR Summary
Problems finding cables that match the standards.
I am from Europe and mainly do engineering here but now I have a new project for a machine that is going to be installed on a wind-farm outside of New York. We have a very specific customer spec that specifies the wire colors that we have to use in all the power cables. The spec says the following:

208V systems:
L1 = BLACK
L2 = RED
L3 = BLUE
N = WHITE
PE = GREEN or GREEN/YELLOW

480V systems:
L1 = BROWN
L2 = ORANGE
L3 = YELLOW
N = GRAY
PE = GREEN or GREEN/YELLOW

So far so good, when I google standard wire colors in USA, it matches with this spec. But when I start searching for 5 core (4+PE) cables that actually have these wire colors, I find almost nothing. I spent 2 days to check datasheets from Belden, Nexans, General Cable etc. Some cables with the 208V spec I have found rated for normal houses, but I have found no industrial cables suitable for 3-ph 480V transmission that have the above colors. What am I missing here?

For industrial use, is it not possible to find cables that have wires in what is the standard in the US? Does that mean that electricans need to put colored shrinking tube on all wires to make this match with standard? Customer does NOT allow putting colored shrinking tubes on wires so I cannot solve it this way.

Can someone shed som light on this topic? Thanks in advance!
 
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  • #2
Welcome to PF.
Ask the customer/client to nominate a supplier and cable that meets their specification.
 
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  • #3
After an admittedly un-thorough search my only idea is that it has something to do with brown M&M's.

BoB
 
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Likes Tom.G
  • #4
As many cable manufacturers will custom build a cable, try contacting the sales departments of the major suppliers.

Here are some that popped up with a Google search:
http://www.standard-wire.com/special_services.html
https://www.southwire.com/contact-us
https://www.helukabel.com/us/home.html

(above found with:
https://www.google.com/search?q=5+conductor+cable+brown+orange+yellow+gray+green)

Another possibility is to find a large local wholesaler and let them do the searchiing. If you are doing a big buy they will be happy to help... especially if the salesperson you contact is on commission. :wink:
Cheers,
Tom
 
  • #5
I think it may be prudent for you to engage a local licensed electrician. He probably knows the good suppliers too.
 
  • #6
As many cable manufacturers will custom build a cable, try contacting the sales departments of the major suppliers.

Here are some that popped up with a Google search:
http://www.standard-wire.com/special_services.html
https://www.southwire.com/contact-us
https://www.helukabel.com/us/home.html

(above found with:
https://www.google.com/search?q=5+conductor+cable+brown+orange+yellow+gray+green)

Another possibility is to contact a large local wholesaler and let them do the search. They will be happy to, especially if it is a big buy... and even more-so if the salesperson is on commission. :wink:

Cheers,
Tom
 

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