Skip to main content

Plug Wire Colours in the UK

In the UK, a properly wired electrical socket will have three different coloured wires. Brown is a live wire, blue indicates a neutral wire and yellow and green indicates earth. The earth (or ground) wire is an important safety feature as it stops the live wire from transporting the electrical current straight onto the casing of the appliance in the event of a problem.

Before you attempt to open a plug socket or carry out any kind of minor electrical work in your home, you should be fully aware of what the colour of each wire in your plug socket means.

Prior to 2006, electrical sockets had the following colours – red for a live wire, black for neutral and green and yellow for earth. It is now illegal for any sockets to show these wire colours if they have been installed after 2006. If your sockets feature the old wiring colours, you may want to consider having these updated.

If your home has a mixture of new and old wiring, the electrician must place a warning n the socket in question to ensure that there is no confusion when carrying our further electrical work in the future.

How Long Should Wires Last?

When installed correctly, electrical wiring can last anywhere between 30 and 40 years. If your home is new, you probably don’t need to worry about the electrics. However, if you are moving into an old home, you may want to have the electrics tested or replaced before you move in.

Positioning of Wires in a Socket

The blue, neutral wire is always to the left on a UK plug, the brown wire is to the right and the yellow and green earth wire runs through the centre of the plug.

London Electricians

If you have suffered an electrical fault, it is always advisable to call in a professional to avoid possibilities an electrical shock or causing further electrical problems. If you assistance from one of our fully qualified electricians, please call today on 020 8728 9179 or send your enquiry through to our online contact form.