We might have come across the term Earthing while studying building services concerning electricity or current. Earthing, in simple terms, can be explained as the process in which transfer of any immediate discharge of electrical energy directly to the earth without any interruption. This is typically carried out using low-resistance wire, better known as electrical Earthing. The electrical earthing system is formed by connecting either a non-current carrying part of the equipment or a neutral supply system to the earth. 

What is Earthing Wire Colour in India and What is Wire Coding? - Sheet1

What is Wire Coding?

Wire coding is the system used to code electrical wires. The wires used for electrical wiring are annotated with information like temperature, conductivity, wire gauge, etc. A general color coding system is used universally to identify the different types of wires. 

Based on the power phase, whether single-phase or three-phase, the different colors are assigned to the wires to denote different voltage capacities. For single phase power three wires are used, one each for line, neutral, and protective ground. for a three-phase power supply, the three wires used are for lines, neutral, and protective ground.

Wire coding is essential as it provides easy and safe identification of wires. The handling of any electrical equipment comes with some safety measurements to be followed. The employment of wire coding makes it very convenient to take the necessary safety measurements while handling the wires. 

What is Earthing Wire Colour in India and What is Wire Coding? - Sheet4
Wire coding system_https://qph.cf2.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-eca8ea23317b2de2b2362ecb40874e01

Why is Earthing necessary?

Every electrical system requires earthing. It protects from shock and electrocution. With Earthing done, it guarantees the protection of humans and appliances from an excessive amount of electric shock. The risk of fire through electrical circuits is actively avoided through Earthing. Most importantly, it protects the buildings from Lightning

How Earthing works? | Wire Coding

Earthing protects from electrical shock by supplying a path as a protective conductor for any faulty current to flow to the earth. Earthing is used to protect you from an electric shock. Along with this, Earthing causes the circuit breaker or fuse to turn off the current to the circuit that has the fault.

What is Earthing Wire Colour in India and What is Wire Coding? - Sheet2
Earthing function_https://electrical-engineering-portal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ground-network.jpg

What is Earthing wire?

Wires that carry the function of earthing is called Earthing wire. 

Earthing wire is typically made using galvanized iron due to its vast properties. It is essentially iron that has been coated with a protective zinc layer on the outside to prevent it from erosion. During the process of electrical Earthing, the wires are subjugated to the outside atmosphere like moisture, oxygen, heat, etc. this affects the quality and longevity of the metal used as the Earthing material. With galvanized iron, the protective coating of zinc, laid over iron when in its liquid form hardens and forms a shell over the metal surface. This added layer of zinc protects the metal from the formation of rust and corrosion. 

Earthing wire Color Standards | Wire Coding

In India, electrical wires are typically represented via primary colors – Red, Green, and Blue. Earthing or ground wire is represented by green color. In particular, green wires stripped with yellow are used. 

A green wire can only be connected to another green wire. Grounding wires are usually not meant for any other purpose other than Earthing. It is primarily used in the sockets for Heavy electric appliances such as AC, ovens, geysers, TV, etc. The grounding wires in these sockets are connected to a single point or grounding terminal in the building, which is later connected to the Distribution box (DB). The green wire provides a path to the ground for the circuit’s electric current. Typically, green wires could be carrying major currents and must be handled with care. 

What is Earthing Wire Colour in India and What is Wire Coding? - Sheet3
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Wire Coding System in India 

Color coding systems can vary based on the local laws of a state. The different jurisdictional systems may have different opinions of the coding system. The coding system for some wires may be the same universally and is made mandatory to follow. India follows a different coding system. According to the old standard, Red, green and black were used where red is used as a power conductor, Black for neutral, and Green for earthing. 

Recently, a newer color coding system was introduced. However, we can still see the older version used. The new color code includes the primary colors -Red, green, and blue. Locally known as the RGB standard where the red and green remain the same and blue is used for indication of the neutral conductor. It is quite common for red to be substituted by brown and used for living or power conducting wires. When using a three-phase power supply, the active line power conductors are denoted by the colors Red, Yellow, and Blue.The neutral conductor is made up of the color Black, and the protective ground is denoted by either Green or Green-Yellow.

Wire coding system in India_ https://www.electronicshub.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/India-Color-Code-for-Electrical-Wiring.jpg

Importance of Wire Coding 

Wire coding offers a system in which the purpose of wires can be easily identified. This makes understanding an electrical system much easier and safety measures can be taken accordingly. Wire coding is the universal language for electrical systems. 


  1. Administrator (2015). Electrical Wiring Color Codes. [online] Electronics Hub. Available at: https://www.electronicshub.org/electrical-wiring-color-codes/#:~:text=for%20protective%20ground.- [Accessed 8 Sep. 2022].
  1. www.allaboutcircuits.com. (n.d.). Wiring Color Codes | Color Codes | Electronics Textbook. [online] Available at: https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/reference/chpt-2/wiring-color-codes/.

 Circuit Globe. (2017). What is Electrical Earthing? – Definition, Types of Earthing & its Importance in Electrical System – Circuit Globe. [online] Available at: https://circuitglobe.com/electrical-earthing.html.

Image credits 

  1. https://kingsmillindustries.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Earth-bar-in-the-lightning-protection-system-1024×546.png.webp
  2. https://electrical-engineering-portal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ground-network.jpg
  3. https://i0.wp.com/www.electricalindia.in/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/electrical-earthing-safety-lowvoltage.jpg?fit=792%2C612&ssl=1
  4. https://qph.cf2.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-eca8ea23317b2de2b2362ecb40874e01
  5. https://www.electronicshub.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/India-Color-Code-for-Electrical-Wiring.jpg

Pratishtha is an architecture graduate, for her architecture is not just about building structures, it's about how others experience those structures. Her belief is that architects are the ones who could invent different ways to choreograph user experience and convey their intent either through loud writing or silent aura of their design.