Thread Number: 95154  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Green as Neutral and White as Active
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Post# 1198024   1/26/2024 at 22:13 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Why was green used as a neutral (or even hot) and white as a live conductor in appliances manufactured between the 1950 and 1960s? And what color was used when grounding was required? What was the reasoning behind this?

Post# 1198025 , Reply# 1   1/26/2024 at 22:47 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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I think this thread should go in the super forum index since it’s a thread for miscellaneous appliances, questions about auto repair, repairs around the home, wiring etc.

Post# 1198031 , Reply# 2   1/27/2024 at 00:43 by chetlaham (United States)        

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I'm thinking of major appliances like the BD Whirlpool in this thread:

The wires hot wires for the motor, tub lamp, solenoids, ect are mostly white, while the common neutral for the suds valve, water valves and wig-wags is green.

While in the NEC does not apply internally to home appliances, I am wondering what color code standard manufacturers followed in the 50s and 60s and why it wasn't harmonized like it is today.

Post# 1198054 , Reply# 3   1/27/2024 at 09:50 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Because whirlpool wanted to do it that way there is no standard that says what color the wiring inside the machine must be if you look at old Norge washing machines all the wiring was white.


Post# 1198111 , Reply# 4   1/28/2024 at 01:17 by chetlaham (United States)        

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Here is another example of a vintage dryer where green is used as a live current carrying conductor.

You're right, there was no standard. Being able to pick any wire color sounds so fun to me. :) You're own standard- and your own work of art- makes for a sweet color scheme. Lucky Maytag employees. I'm getting ideas already.

Post# 1198150 , Reply# 5   1/28/2024 at 15:03 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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“Norge washing machines all the wiring was white”

Sounds like that would be a pain to figure out what goes where if you had to replace something or dismantle it for a servicing etc. Probably would use electrical tape in different colors (if that was a such thing back then) as some sort of reference on how it all goes back together.

I think one of the reasons why they went to all color coded wires is it’s much, much easier to identify what goes where and how to put it back together.

Post# 1198160 , Reply# 6   1/28/2024 at 15:57 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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They had little numbers printed near the terminals on the wires for identification purposes, but it did make tracing a wire through a harness difficult.


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