Jan 3, 2006, 1:52 PM
Post #2 of 10
I’m not certain if there is a color code or any electrical code in Mexico, if there is it is certainly not followed and there is zero enforcement. It is a certainty that many if not most of the “electricians” here are self trained handymen, and not true mechanics. I have run into a very few that were very competent, however they are in the minority. It is prudent to assume that no electrical codes have been followed, and check the wiring out yourself with a multi-meter. It’s a pain in the neck to trace all the wiring out, but it is usually the only way you can be sure of what you’ve got.
We moved into a new house 4 years ago. We are the first occupants. The builder bragged about what a good electrician he had, it was one of his sons. About a month after we moved in, I checked the wiring out. Over half of the power receptacles had the hot and neutral wires crossed. Many of the “electricians” here figure that if a light bulb burns, or a TV or refrigerator runs, it is unimportant in which direction the electricity flows.
There is one outlet in our kitchen that I could not correct. The “electrician” had evidently spliced 2 wires together inside a conduit, and had crossed them in the process. When I corrected the polarity one outlet, the other one was wired backwards, and vice versa. Since we lease this house, I didn't want to start pulling wires out of the conduits to make any more corrections.
I doubt if many of those guys even know what a color code is, and they probably have no idea why wires come in different colors. The first house we lived in here had no grounded outlets. When I commented on it to an “electrician” that was installing some ceiling fans for us, he said “That is not needed, so we don’t install ground wires in Mexico.”
A tip: If you do end up finding wires that are crossed or the wrong color, try to find some “phase tape.” I don’t know if it is available in Mexico. Phase tape is colored electricians tape, but only about 3/8ths of an inch wide. Buy some in several colors; you can then correct the color code by putting a band of phase tape around the end of each wire in the Junction box. Phase tape is not legal for most electrical uses in The US, but I have used it extensively to color code pneumatic control tubing. It is a viable solution here.
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