How to Identify PVC Ferrule Wire

Written by cassandra tribe
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How to Identify PVC Ferrule Wire
Numbered ferrules are available to assist with later wire identification. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

PVC ferrules are used when making connections on wires and cables. The ferrules provide a secure connection between the end terminals and wire splices, as well as insulation for the core wire that was exposed to make the join. Ferrules are also specifically colour coded or marked according to the electrical code used in the construction of the building or unit. Knowing whether the code used was International, U.S., Canadian or German is necessary in order to identify PVC ferrule wire.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Electrical code colour chart (IEC, NEC, CEC or DIN)
  • Electrical schematic

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  1. 1

    Find out which electrical standard was used when the wiring was installed or is being used to guide the installation. There are four codes of standards: the International Electrotechnical Commission, the Canadian Electric Code, National Electrical Code and the Deutsches Institut für Normung or the German Institute for Standardization. Each uses a different colour code.

  2. 2

    Make a note of the colour of the wire and the colour of the PVC ferrule attached to the terminal connection on the wire. The PVC ferrule is the plastic sleeve attached to a connector that is placed over the end of a wire and crimped to form a connection. Check the ferrule for any numbers that may be printed on it as well.

  3. 3

    Consult the appropriate electrical standards colour-code chart to identify the ferrule. Match any numbers printed on the ferrule with the electrical schematic specific to the location or unit as these numbers are used to identify wires within custom systems.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep a small notebook for each wiring job that tracks the specifics of the wires and ferrules used to make it easier to decode the wires later if repairs or additions to the system are needed.
  • Don't assume that wiring in the U.S. was coded according to NEC standards. Many construction projects are now requiring use of international standards. Having the wrong colour code could lead to electrocution, short circuits and other potentially damaging situations.

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