View Full Version : 14-2 and 12-2 color diff at breaker neutral

Andrew M
10-13-2007, 11:59 AM
I am installing a 110 v floor heating system and due to load they recomend using the Red 12-2 wire and a 20 amp breaker. When I open the wire I notice a Black, A red and a ground. All the other circuits in my Siemens loadpanel have a black to the breaker, white to the neutral bar and ground to ground bar. On my 12-2 can I use the black as the load, red to the neutral bar and ground to ground on a single pole 20 amp breaker?

Speedy Petey
10-13-2007, 12:04 PM
I assume you are in Canada. You have 240v 12/2. We do not have this cable in the US.
I don't know the exact code but I'd say NO, you cannot use either black or red as the neutral.
You need 12/2 with a black and white.

Andrew M
10-13-2007, 12:07 PM
Yes, Canada. I have not been able to locate a 12/2 with white. Any one out there from Canada eh? East?

10-13-2007, 06:23 PM
Maybe you can use the red wire as the neutral as long as you mark it "white" (with a piece of white tape)?

Speedy Petey
10-13-2007, 06:24 PM
In the US that would not be legal either.

10-13-2007, 07:08 PM
it seems you have the wrong wire, use 12/2 ( white, black and copper) black to breaker ,white to neutral and copper to ground. CEC 4-028 states you have to color the one color white (use shrink for a good job or white electrical tape for a fast job. correct me if im wrong guys

10-14-2007, 08:31 AM
I'm pretty sure that you'll be ok, code wise, by marking the red with white tape (heat shrink is better).


Speedy Petey
10-14-2007, 03:23 PM
"Pretty sure" ???
You do know he is in Canada, right?

From the look of it you DO need black and white cable since it is available.

Rule 4-028(1) requires that the neutral conductor of consumer services up to and including No. 2 AWG copper and aluminum be identified with a white or natural grey covering or by three continuous white stripes along the entire length of the conductor. When only black conductors are available, the identified (neutral) conductor should be permanently marked as outlined in Subrule (4) of Rule 4-028.

We just need someone familiar with Canadian code to clue us in to what Subrule (4) of Rule 4-028 is.

IMHO, just get the correct cable. Why mess around with something so trivial.

10-14-2007, 07:12 PM
4-028 Identification of insulated Neutral conductors up to and including No.2 AWG copper or Aluminum
(1) Except as permitted in Subrules (2), (3), and (4), all insulated neutral conductor in the following situations shall be identified by a white or natural gray covering:
(a) Where installed in a raceway and forming part of a low-voltage consumer's service to a service box with a rating up to and including 200A;
(b) Where having a size up to and including No. 2AWG copper or aluminum: or
(c) Where part of a flexible cord permanent attached to the conductors mentioned in paragraphs (a) or (b).
(2) Where conductors of different systems are installed in the same raceway, box, or other type of enclosure and the identified circuit conductor of one system is coloured by a white or gray covering, each identified circuit conductor of the other system, if present, shall be provided with a specific identification, and the identification shall be permitted to be an outer covering of white with an identifiable coloured stripe (not green) running along the insulation
(3) The covering of the other conductor or conductors shall show a continuous colouring contrast with that of an identified conductor except that in the case of those flexible cords where the identified conductor is identified by a raised longitudinal ridge or ridges, the other conductors shall have no ridges
(4) For multi-conductor cable, the insulated neutral conductor shall be permitted to be permanently marked as the identified conductor by painting or other suitable means at every point where the separate conductors have been rendered accessible and visible by removal of the outer covering of the cable,and the painting or other suitable means of marking the identified conductor shall not be permitted to render illegible the manufacturer's numbering of the conductor

This is taken from CEC 2002

I take from this that you can id the red wire with a "suitable means" which would be shrink or paint or white tape ( not thrilled when i see tape)
we have used shrink when we run something like red, black and blue and were not using it for 3 phase, then we shrink the blue with white
that being said buy the right wire and save your self the grief
PS good luck on your project:)

10-14-2007, 11:16 PM
andrew, what manufacturer is this floor heat cable from? Flextherm is in Canada, and Warmly Yours is a good source of information. Who makes your heating cable? What did they say when you contacted them?