Old wiring colours Australia

In 2018, Australia introduced a new set of standards to replace the old wiring colours in Australia. This was mainly done to better reflect the global standards for wiring colours. As a result, your current wire colours may reflect the old standards. However, don’t worry too much – the functionality for each wire remains the same.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the old wiring colours in Australia, and the new set of standards that were recently introduced with the AS 3000 standard.

Current wiring colours in Australia

Depending on the year in which your circuits were installed, and the types of wires being used (single-phase or three-phase), your wire colours may be different to that of your neighbours.

As of 2021, the colours used in current Australian electrical standards for single-phase wiring are:

  • Active – Brown
  • Neutral – Blue
  • Earth – Green & Yellow

As indicated above, each wire colour corresponds to the state of the wire. For example, if a wire is actively being used to provide power to your house, it would be a brown colour.

Similarly, there were a new set of standards introduced for three-phase wiring. The colours used for these types of wires include:

  • Phase 1 – Brown
  • Phase 2 – Black
  • Phase 3 – Grey
  • Neutral – Blue
  • Earth – Green & Yellow

As you can see from the lists above, the colour standards for the neural and earth state are largely the same – the main difference lies with the individual phase wires, which helps to indicate which type of wire is being used.

Old wiring colours in Australia

If your electrical wiring system was installed prior to 2018, the colour of your wires will most likely be different. Thankfully, Australian standards dictate that even though the colour of your electrical wires may be outdated, they still remain safe and usable.

The colours used for single-phase wiring in Australia, prior to 2018, include:

  • Active – Red
  • Neural – Black
  • Earth – Green

The colours that were used for three-phase wiring, prior to 2018, include:

  • Phase 1 – Red
  • Phase 2 – White
  • Phase 3 – Blue
  • Neutral – Black
  • Earth – Green

The main issue with having an outdated electrical wire colour is that it may cause some confusion. For example, if you intend to hire someone to perform some home renovation that involves your electrical circuit system, the colours used in your home may not match the modern standards that are present in online articles and diagrams.

There is also the potential threat of unknowingly handling live wires, which can be very dangerous for the average person.

Having said that, most professionals are aware of the recent changes to wire colours in Australia, so this is usually no cause for concern.