220V wiring color codes- Help solve the puzzle?

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  #1  
Old 03-04-07, 04:51 PM
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Question 220V wiring color codes- Help solve the puzzle?

I had a conduit (1") that fed a remote room, and disconnected all the wires. I numbered each wire and made a nice legend, so I would know which circuit breakers to reconnect them to. Of course, that was a while ago, long before the gremlins stole my paper in the dark of night - am I the only one??

So, I found a device to ring out the wires (basically, a light with two alligator clips, and a sending unit/light with clips on the other end). There were twelve wires, and what I found and subsequently connected so far is this:

- 14AWG black, 14AWG white: lighting,outlet - connected to 15A/110V circuit breaker
- #10 black, 10 red, 14 green twistlock 20A + I thought may be baseboard heaters - connected to 30A/220V (figured it must be 30A with that size wire & would possibly feed heaters)
- #12 black, 12 white - connected to 20A/110V
- #12 black was folded back/taped off - not used before

That leaves the following not yet attached:
- two #12 blue
- two #12 red

- 20A/220V circuit breaker
- 30A/220V circuit breaker

Other than the #14 green, and the #12 blues, I believe all the other wires are stranded. There used to be a wall heater about 6 feet from the panel, which probably had used one of the 220V breakers that isn't in use. At this point, one small heater in a bathroom is working (believe it didn't before I connected the 220 circuit). None of the 2 baseboard, 1 radiant or 1 blower heaters now work.

I would have thought the reds and blues would have been hot - what would you think if you found these in a conduit? Would they normally be paired together by color (with same or with different, i.e, red with red, or red with blue) as the 220 hot leads? Does everything else share the same neutral, or are the blue used as neutrals on the 30A/220V circuit and the one remaining circuit (probably 20A/220V)? I could always take apart all the heaters, and trace the wires back that way, but as always, I am hoping that you electricians have a nice standard that would help keep me lazy! I've got enough other things to do...

The more I think about it, I would suspect the 20A/220V Twistlock outlet is fed by the 10AWG wires, and grounded by the #14 green, but the heaters are on the same #10 hots, with a separate ground - maybe the blue? Well, you see what happens when I find a little time on a Sunday afternoon, so I would appreciate any help I can get!

Thanks!!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-04-07, 05:57 PM
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Sorry to disappoint you. While there is no color CODE, except for white, gray, and green; there are some common standards.

But, your wires can't be guessed based on color.

Besides, especially in older installations, there are just too many people that have run the wrong color anyway, and it is still common to run a white as a hot in preassembled cables, even though they should be recoloring them when they do.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 05:57 PM
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Work from loads back.

I had a conduit (1") that fed a remote room, and disconnected all the wires. I numbered each wire and made a nice legend, so I would know which circuit breakers to reconnect @@

I guess you didn't number each wire. You wrote numbers on paper.

Where are the other ends of these wires? In a box? if so, what else is in this box? NMb cables? Well then that is where you start. Find where each NMB (rx) cable goes, then the THHNs don't matter so much, you just pair them up as needed. #12s with 20A ckts and #10s with 30A etc., hots with neutrals and blah blah blah...

I hope it's clear..
 
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Old 03-04-07, 06:50 PM
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Thumbs up Well, lookie here - I found a junction box!

Thanks for the replies...since I posted that, I did some crawling around and moving things out of the way, and I was able to trace back the conduit to a box. I was going to put my feet up, grab a beer and watch some t.v., but, now you've shamed me into being productive. I'm going to pop open that box and see what's up. If I find one blue & see what it's doing, I'm home free!

I actually did number the wires at the panel, but I didn't number the breakers - I just wrote that on the paper. That's why I'm in this predicament. The remaining wires are connected to various heaters, so (other than the box I just found) nothing is exposed to be able to see the wires (or put the alligator clips on them).
 
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Old 03-04-07, 06:53 PM
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Huh!!!

You'll pass up a beer for work!? You are a novice.
 
  #6  
Old 03-04-07, 07:46 PM
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Unhappy The plot thickens...

Ha ha - right you are! I shoulda just kicked back...

The red & blue pairs were all hot. I now know where they all go. The red were connected to two pairs of romex lines that I assume go to two baseboard heaters, one in next room(at least 6' long), one in bathroom (at least 4' long). The blue pair go to a 220 outlet with a built-in radiant heat device (kinda looks like an overgrown rear windshield with defroster in the glass). The problem is, they are all 12 gauge, and I only have one 20A & one 30A breaker not connected. Shouldn't #10 be used for 30A?

It looks like the #10 was run to a 20A twistlock outlet (just passes through junction box with no connections, directly to twistlock outlet about 8' away). This is now connected to a 30A breaker.

The #12 red pair goes to the junction box, and connects to two pair of romex, feeding the baseboard heaters.

The #12 blue pair goes to that radiant heater.

The #12 red & blue aren't hooked up yet, but I only have one 20A, one 30A breaker

The only way this isn't true, is if the #10 passes through the wall behind the outlet. Guess I gotta do some more investigating, to make sure where those Romex connected to the red are routed, so I know for sure they really go to the baseboard heat.

I wonder if they mixed up, and were supposed to have the #10 go to the baseboard heat via wire nuts to the Romex?

Have I confused you enough? And I didn't even have that beer :-(
 
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