by Malcolm Rowe

“The great thing about standards…

… is that there are so many to choose from”. And, sometimes, it seems, we can choose between different incompatible variants of the same standard:

An electricity distribution board.  A label
reads “This installation has wiring colours to two versions of BS
7671.  Great care should be taken before undertaking extension, alteration
or repair that all conductors are correctly identified.”
An electricity distribution board at Vauxhall train station

Impressive! At first I assumed this was a similar — but more ‘exciting’ (read: dangerous) — variant of the “we don’t care what colour you use as long as the pins are connected the same” rules of wiring that Ethernet connections use. However, it seems as though the commercial/fixed wiring regulations have simply finally caught up with the (now ancient) UK consumer/flexible wiring standards by doing away with the red/black colour scheme in favour of the blue/brown scheme that most of the rest of Europe uses. How boring!