What are wire marking standards?

Keeping wires properly marked is an important part of most workplaces. Failing to label wires will cause safety problems, reduce the reliability of systems, make troubleshooting more difficult, and result in a variety of other issues. Fortunately, there are quite a few different wire marking standards that can help any workplace plan out how they want to label all the various wires that they have. Different wire marking standards will be used depending on the type of wiring being marked. For example, electrical wires will usually have a different marking standard than computer wires.

ANSI Cable Labeling 

ANSI/TIA-606-B is a very popular set of standards that was put out specifically for the labeling and recording of wires in the telecommunications industry. These standards are primarily going to be used for marking things like network cables, fiber optic cables, and other related systems in various environments. This set of standards is entirely voluntary, but most companies follow it because it has been proven effective.

Wire Color Coding

Another wire marking set of standards that is followed by most companies is concerning the color of the wires in question. There are a lot of different color options that can be used depending on things like the voltage of the wires, whether a wire is positive, negative, or ground, and much more. In many cases, the wires will come from the wire manufacturer with colors, so they are intended to be used in specific ways. Most wire color codes are voluntary standards, but in some environments,  they are regulated by OSHA or other agencies.

Custom Standards

While standards that are followed by companies throughout the country and around the world are important, there are also times when you need to come up with your own strategies based on your specific needs. Having a set of standards that applies only to your facility will allow you to improve safety, reduce downtime, and generally improve the way things work. When a company owns multiple facilities, it is almost always a good idea to follow the same standards in each one so if an employee moves to another location, they won’t have to be retrained. These are just a few of the different types of wire marking standards that a facility can follow. The most important thing is to make sure your facility is putting safety first, and working to ensure all wires are properly marked at all times.


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