Substation Control-cable Color Codes

For control cables with multiple conductors, there is a need for standardized color codes in order to reduce/eliminate wiring errors.

The most common standard for control cables is ICEA (Insulated Cable Engineers Assocation) Standard S-7-532 and NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) Standard WC57. Within these standards, there are many “methods” and “color sequences” called out, but only a few are in common use today.
The two most common are found in Appendix E, tables 1 and 2, of the ICEA/NEMA standard (and are therefore referred to as E-1 and E-2). Earlier editions of the standard had the color sequences located in Appendix K, so some people still refer to K-1 and K-2 color codes.

E-1 is the most commonly specified by utilities. For application where NEC is applicable (typically commercial/industrial applications), E-2 is commonly specified.

Click to enlarge: ICEA E1

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Click to enlarge: ICEA E2

At Power Sales Group Inc., we find Southwire, with it’s many years of experience in implementation and customer service,  to be experts in control cable application.  For more information on control cable systems and Southwire services, please contact us at

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