Mike's PBX Cookbook

Standard Cable Color-Coding Reference

These are the standard color codings for telephone cables containing up to 26 pairs. For cables containing more than 26 pairs, a Binder Color Code wraps multiple bundles of 25 pairs with a colored binder thread. For cables containing more than 600 pairs, a Super Unit Binder Color code is used to separate multiple Binder bundles.


Insulation Band-Marked Color Code

Wire Pair Ring/Tip Color Long/Short Wire Markings
1 1 Tip White - Blue
2 1 Ring Blue - White
3 2 Tip White - Orange
4 2 Ring Orange - White
5 3 Tip White - Green
6 3 Ring Green - White
7 4 Tip White - Brown
8 4 Ring Brown - White
9 5 Tip White - Slate
10 5 Ring Slate - White
 
11 6 Tip Red - Blue
12 6 Ring Blue - Red
13 7 Tip Red - Orange
14 7 Ring Orange - Red
15 8 Tip Red - Green
16 8 Ring Green - Red
17 9 Tip Red - Brown
18 9 Ring Brown - Red
19 10 Tip Red - Slate
20 10 Ring Slate - Red
 
21 11 Tip Black - Blue
22 11 Ring Blue - Black
23 12 Tip Black - Orange
24 12 Ring Orange - Black
25 13 Tip Black - Green
26 13 Ring Green - Black
27 14 Tip Black - Brown
28 14 Ring Brown - Black
29 15 Tip Black - Slate
30 15 Ring Slate - Black
 
31 16 Tip Yellow - Blue
32 16 Ring Blue - Yellow
33 17 Tip Yellow - Orange
34 17 Ring Orange - Yellow
35 18 Tip Yellow - Green
36 18 Ring Green - Yellow
37 19 Tip Yellow - Brown
38 19 Ring Brown - Yellow
39 20 Tip Yellow - Slate
40 20 Ring Slate - Yellow
 
41 21 Tip Violet - Blue
42 21 Ring Blue - Violet
43 22 Tip Violet - Orange
44 22 Ring Orange - Violet
45 23 Tip Violet - Green
46 23 Ring Green - Violet
47 24 Tip Violet - Brown
48 24 Ring Brown - Violet
49 25 Tip Violet - Slate
50 25 Ring Slate - Violet
 
51 26 Tip Red - White
52 26 Ring White - Red

Note: Some cable vendors save manufacturing costs by having using only a single color for the Tip wire, and marking the Ring wire with two colors For example, for Pair 1, there would be a solid white Tip wire, and a White/Blue RIng wire twisted together as normal. Once untwisted, as many five identical Tip wires of the same color would be present and this could cause confusion. Such cables require different handling than a cable with fully-marked wires.

 


Insulation Solid Color Code

Certain types of telephone wiring use solid color insulation markings rather than banded color codes. Solid color wiring is commonly used for jumper wire, distribution frame wire and station wire.

For sheathed station cables (pairs are usually not twisted) containing four to eight conductors, the following table is used. This includes "flat" cables, also known by the name "Satin Flex", regardless of outer insulator color. If a wire only has four or six conductors, it always uses the first four or six colors.

 

Wire Pair Tip/Ring Color Wire Color Markings
1 1 Tip Green  
2 1 Ring Red  
 
3 2 Tip Black  
4 2 Ring Yellow  
 
5 3 Tip Blue  
6 3 Ring Orange  
 
7 4 Tip Brown  
8 4 Ring White  

For cables containing more than 8 conductors using solid colors, the pairs must be twisted together and the top color table is used.

 


Binder Color Code

For cables containing more than 25 pairs, the standard color sequence is repeated and each group of 25 pairs is wrapped in a Binder that is colored according to the table below.

 

Binder Number Binder Color Long/Short Binder Color Markings
1 White - Blue              
2 White - Orange              
3 White - Green              
4 White - Brown              
5 White - Slate              
 
6 Red - Blue              
7 Red - Orange              
8 Red - Green              
9 Red - Brown              
10 Red - Slate              
 
11 Black - Blue              
12 Black - Orange              
13 Black - Green              
14 Black - Brown              
15 Black - Slate              
 
16 Yellow - Blue              
17 Yellow - Orange              
18 Yellow - Green              
19 Yellow - Brown              
20 Yellow - Slate              
 
21 Violet - Blue              
22 Violet - Orange              
23 Violet - Green              
24 Violet - Brown              

 

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