IIRC, the only color standards for wiring are that white always signifies neutral (or, more properly, "the grounded, current-carrying conductor), and green, green/yellow stripe, and bare always signify ground. Any other color (including a color with a white stripe) is always considered "hot."
A 2-wire cable in a switch loop (switch is on a dead-end), where the white wire may be "hot" when the light is on, the white wire must be colored at each end to indicate that it is NOT a neutral. Likewise if a 3-wire cable dead-ends at a 3-way switch, the white wire must be colored if it's not used as a neutral.
With the 3- or 4-wire cable, there is no standard for which conductor is switched or unswitched. If one of the wires in the cable is unswitched, the preference is that it be the black one to reduce confusion.
(It seems that there was something about gray, but I just don't remember.)
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.
Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb
No, you can not do that without and additional line conductor to the second switch that is hot all the time. If your line and fixture wires both go to the first switch box(which is not that uncommon) then you need two additional conductors to the second switch box, as there will be no neutral there either. Canuk best described how to do it. Overcrowding of boxes is one of the most common and problematic violations of the code. If you have three number 14/2 w.g. and a single device such as a switch or receptacle, in a typical 3" x 2" x 3.5" (deep)box, you are at maximum fill. If it is a metal box with a single clamp, you are overfilled. If you are using 12/2 w.g. you are overfilled with just three romex, a device, and no clamp in the same box. Medium and shallow boxes don't allow near that much fill. A very important point by Canuk. If in doubt, use a two gang box, or two boxes.
Jim McDanial pretty well covered the colors. I have never seen a colored wire with a white stripe just the opposite. Also, anytime a white, gray, or green wire is used as a hot it must be marked in a manner that is permanent, effective, and completely encircling the conductor; not only at every termination point, but also at every box where that conductor may be accessed. NEC 2008 200.7 (C).
Colored tape other than white, gray or green usually will meet this requirement, although it is not really permanent.
Last edited by ZZZ; 11-10-2010 at 02:06 PM.
"Lead by Example"