London, UK The colours of cables in fixed electrical installations are set to change following a recent meeting of the National Committee for Electrical Installations. Cables in domestic premises will change from red and black to brown (for phase) and blue (for neutral) respectively. This change will align the electrical installation wiring colours with those of flexible cables of appliances and equipment.
Amendment no. 2 and the updated BS 7671:2001, IEE Wiring Regulations, should be published on 31 March 2004, permitting cables with the new colours to be used from that date. There will be a two-year overlap period during which cables in the old colours or new colours, but not both, will be able to be used. After 31 March 2006, only installations using the new colour coding will conform to BS 7671.
The British Electrotechnical Committee has set up a special committee to publicise these changes for both the public and professional trades. The changes followed a three-month public consultation period during which 155 comments were received.