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

PairWireRing/TipColor Long/ShortWire Markings
11Tip White - Blue
2Ring Blue - White
23Tip White - Orange
4Ring Orange - White
35Tip White - Green
6Ring Green - White
47Tip White - Brown
8Ring Brown - White
59Tip White - Slate
10Ring Slate - White
611Tip Red - Blue
12Ring Blue - Red
713Tip Red - Orange
14Ring Orange - Red
815Tip Red - Green
16Ring Green - Red
917Tip Red - Brown
18Ring Brown - Red
1019Tip Red - Slate
20Ring Slate - Red
1121Tip Black - Blue
22Ring Blue - Black
1223Tip Black - Orange
24Ring Orange - Black
1325Tip Black - Green
26Ring Green - Black
1427Tip Black - Brown
28Ring Brown - Black
1529Tip Black - Slate
30Ring Slate - Black
1631Tip Yellow - Blue
32Ring Blue - Yellow
1733Tip Yellow - Orange
34Ring Orange - Yellow
1835Tip Yellow - Green
36Ring Green - Yellow
1937Tip Yellow - Brown
38Ring Brown - Yellow
2039Tip Yellow - Slate
40Ring Slate - Yellow
2141Tip Violet - Blue
42Ring Blue - Violet
2243Tip Violet - Orange
44Ring Orange - Violet
2345Tip Violet - Green
46Ring Green - Violet
2447Tip Violet - Brown
48Ring Brown - Violet
2549Tip Violet - Slate
50Ring Slate - Violet
2651Tip Red - White
52Ring White - Red

Note: Some cable vendors only use a single color for the Tip wire, and mark 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. Untwisted, there will be five identical Tip wires of the same color 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.


PairWireTip/Ring Wire Color Markings
11Tip Green
2Ring Red
23Tip Black
4Ring Yellow
35Tip Blue
6Ring Orange
47Tip Brown
8Ring 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. For cables of 100-pair or less, the White binder is optional.


Group NumberGroup Pair Counts Binder Color Long/Short Binder Color Markings
11-25 White - Blue              
226-50 White - Orange              
351-75 White - Green              
476-100 White - Brown              
5101-125 White - Slate              
6126-150 Red - Blue              
7151-175 Red - Orange              
8176-200 Red - Green              
9201-225 Red - Brown              
10226-250 Red - Slate              
11251-275 Black - Blue              
12276-300 Black - Orange              
13301-325 Black - Green              
14326-350 Black - Brown              
15351-375 Black - Slate              
16376-400 Yellow - Blue              
17401-425 Yellow - Orange              
18426-450 Yellow - Green              
19451-475 Yellow - Brown              
20476-500 Yellow - Slate              
21501-525 Violet - Blue              
22526-550 Violet - Orange              
23551-575 Violet - Green              
24576-600 Violet - Brown              


Super-units Binder Identification Colors

It is desirable for manufacturing purposes to combine four 25-pair groups into "super units" when cables have 900-pair or more.


Pair NumberGroup NumberBinder Color
1-6001-24 White
601-1,200*25-48 Red
1,201-1,800*49-72 Black
1,801-2,400*73-96 Yellow
2,401-3,000*97-120 Violet
3,001-3,600*121-144 Blue
3,601-4,200*145-168 Orange

* Based on the Full Count binder color coding used in RDUP copper cable designs having 1,200-pair or more.


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