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Old 10-10-2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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THHN Colors


HI;

Say I have a big spool of THHN that is black that I would like to use, with prices of wire so high, If I could use up this spool for a run that would be ideal.

Is it legal to use this and tape the ends with the correct colors or does neutral always have to be white with THHN?

Are the rules any different with different gages, i.e. heavier wire is harder to find in multiple colors for example.

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Jamie

Last edited by jamiedolan; 10-10-2008 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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Legally you can only reidentify #4 and larger.

As far as violations, this is like jay walking.


IMO of course.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:12 PM   #3
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You can use it for hot wires only. You can not recolour it for use as a neutral or ground.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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Although I'd discourage you from doing it, I have to agree with 220/221's jaywalking analogy. I wouldn't turn a homeowner down for doing it assuming the wire was properly color-indicated (thoroughly) at every box and termination point. I'd chastise a professional for doing it and would be less inclined to accept it, but would probably allow it on a very limited basis.

Your best bet is to check with your inspector to make sure he's not going to give you a hard time for it.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:21 PM   #5
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I've seen it done before I dont think its bad. Wrong perhaps but not bad
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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What size is it?
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
What size is it?
I have some 6, and a couple spools of 12 and 14. I saw a good deal of a spool of 8, and was considering running that for a project.

It was really the heavier stuff that I was thinking of doing it with because the cost isn't all that high with the 12 and 14. I might used them up wiring the contact sensors on my garage door. So my questions really mainly applied to 8 gage and heavier.

Jamie
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:46 AM   #8
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I agree with 220/221 and especially with KC's comments. Though code-wise it's not correct to re-identify #6 and smaller, doing it to #6 & #8 in a limited situation might be ok with your inspector...if you can sweet talk him into it.
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:52 AM   #9
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Personally I hope that it is considered "ok" in that a recent project I was converting a 240 only circuit into a 120/240 circuit by running a neutral wire (its all in 1" conduit). I had to put in 2 outlets of different configurations (one is for a 3 wire welder, the other for a 4 wire portable sub panel. All I had to make pigtails out of was #6 white, so I wrapped electrical tape around the pigtails the entire length (only about 8-12") and color coded them to match the supply wires. The neutral wire is white the entire length from the panel to the outlet box and right into the 4-wire outlet itself; the short pigtails are the only thing I re-colorcoded.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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the short pigtails are the only thing I re-colorcoded.
If I encountered this scenario on an inspection, I would ask the electrician to use some vinyl tape to color-indicate the actual run of wire by the wire nut in addition to using the correct color of pigtail wire. In my opinion, that makes the setup more deliberate looking, and would remove anyone's doubt or suspicion of what each wire is doing.

It is one of those situations where doing what the inspector wants is sure better than the code-compliant alternative!
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #11
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I know its not the best scenario, and believe me if I had a couple short pieces of #6 in black that I could re-color Red and Blue, I would have used that. But I figured if I completely covered the white pigtails end to end with electrical tape (you can barely tell it was white) that would be more acceptable than just a strip on the ends with it largely being white.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
I know its not the best scenario, and believe me if I had a couple short pieces of #6 in black that I could re-color Red and Blue, I would have used that. But I figured if I completely covered the white pigtails end to end with electrical tape (you can barely tell it was white) that would be more acceptable than just a strip on the ends with it largely being white.
For this short of run, why wouldn't you just buy the right wire? HD sells it by the foot, your only talking about a few dollars.

I only asked this question because I have about 1500 feet of thhn laying around right now. If there was a short run, I would not hesitate to just buy the proper wire and do it right.

Jamie
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