Harmonised Cable Names and Codes

Harmonised Cables have names and codes that describe the construction and capabilities of the cable. These are typically printed or stamped into the cable itself,  but what exactly do they mean?

The code is comprised of four major identifiers, in a combination of numbers and letters which can appear more like alphabet soup than a structured electrical specification.

However there is a simple way to decode plug patterns and connections, making locating the correct specification dead easy.

  • The first identifier, which is either a blank space or an ‘H’ indicates whether the cable is harmonised – if there is an ‘H’ it is a harmonised cable with internationally recognised core colours.
  • The second identifier, a pair of letters, identifies the material of the inner insulation and outer sheath. For example, the most common flexilble cable uses the letters VV indicating Vinyl inner and outer insulation.
  • The third identifier is a number which assigns the voltage rating; for example, 05 represents a voltage rating of 300/500 volts AC. The rating given is the highest voltage allowed for the device. Other voltage ratings are described below.
  • The fourth and final identifier is either a blank space or a letter that determines whether the cable is flexible (‘F’).

Putting that all together into a quick reference chart produces the following:

HO Cable Naming and Codes diagram

You can view a larger version in your browser.

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