Camlocks – The Basics

Camlocks are an integral part of any emergency power generation as they serve to help move currents to where they are needed. The use and implementation of cams varies from country to country and are used more in some places than others. With a large array of colors, extra care should be taken when looking at your own system.

Not having the adequate connections in place generally causes more problems than the generator was intended to solve. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to have an experienced and trusted electrician look and maintain your emergency power distribution points.

Whatever your set up may be, camlocks usually serve as the connection points between the generators or power source and the distribution and lighting apparatus you implement.

Camlocks are typically only used in more professional settings so you may not find them in your more rudimentary installations. If you are not sure you are dealing with camlocks, as most electrical equipment has an array of color-coding, seek professional advice.

At first glance, the different colors and arrangements may seem daunting and to put simply – that’s because they are.

What you can be sure of is that the number of different colors represents the different functions of each connection point but importantly, the meaning of each color is not always the same! 

The colors of different camlocks are usually the most common source of confusion when looking at an emergency generator’s installation and maintenance.

Green ones are typically used for equipment grounding, for example, whereas grey or white are neutral. Other than this, there is not always a consensus and for this reason you should always check with an experienced electrician.

Depending on the colors used, different color combinations usually denote different voltages in a set-up (generally: black, red, and blue for 240; and orange, yellow, brown, for 480).

Please note once again, that these combinations are those most common in the United States – therefore, you should give extra attention to systems and parts coming from other countries when installing or maintaining your systems.

If you are trying to update or fix an old system you should be wary that you are using the right colors as even the usual colors mentioned above have changed somewhat over time – black, for example, used to be used for neutral instead of white or grey in countries like the UK!

Although it does not need mentioning here, emergency power installations are an especially useful and many times necessary piece of equipment for a number of companies and businesses – for these reasons extra care should be given to their up-keep and general maintenance.

If you are unsure about how to fix products or services make sure you get in touch with professional advice. Furthermore, if you think the advice you are given may not be correct, do not hesitate to get a second opinion as maintaining working connections to back-up power generating machines is often a very serious matter.