Old NM Braided Jacket Color Code...? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 06-30-2011, 07:36 PM   #1
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Old NM braided jacket color code...?

Greetings all,

Rewiring and adding new circuits to my house and was wondering about the color code for the old braided-jacket NM cable.

I suspect that the previous owner has a 20-Amp circuit on 14-2 instead of 12-2 but can't read the writing on the jacket.

What I can see is that it is silver, braided jacked with a red stripr and or text. I thought that red vs blue indicated 12 vs 14 but I can't find it anywhere...anybody help?



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Old 06-30-2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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I don't believe you will find a color code for the size. Even today there is no requirement for this. Use a wire stripper to gauge the conductor. Turn the power off first.


Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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There were many colors and flavors of type NM cables from years past. I've seen blue, white, black, brown, green, tan, and a couple of others I can't think of. Each manufacturer had their own color schemes and even changed them from time to time.

As stated in another post, there are no mandated color codes, even today.

Most manufacturers have voluntarily adopted the white = 14, yellow = 12 and orange = 10 gauge coding system, however.

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Old 07-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies

I will crack open the jbox and check it out. I just try to touch that stuff as little as possible. It is still well insulated but brittle at this point.

Last year I was replacing some outlets and the insulation broke off one of the conductors right at the top/back of the box and no more slack to pull through. Didn't feel comfortable with just rolling on a few layers of tape so it got replaced. Got my butt in gear to add some outlets around the kitchen counter so it worked out.

I really don't want to spend my 4th of July weekend in the attic so I will be gentle with the old stuff.

Thanks Again
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