There are many electrical jobs that should always be left to a professional. Wiring a plug however is relatively straightforward and is something that you can probably do yourself. This does not mean the task should be taken lightly though. A large proportion of household electrical accidents are caused by incorrectly wired plugs. Follow these guidelines to ensure you’re doing it correctly and safely.
Inside of a plug
The diagram below shows the primary components inside a 3 pin plug.
- Cord grip on top of flex
- Neutral terminal
- Earth terminal
- Live terminal
Get the plug ready
- Using a screwdriver turn the centre screw anticlockwise, remove it and take off the front cover
- Loosen the 2 bottom screws of the cord grip
- Unscrew each of the screws from the 3 brass terminals
- Remove the fuse
Get the flex ready
- Line up the flex against the plug and cut back the outer covering to the cord grip.
- Strip about 1cm of the coloured insulation from each core to expose the wires underneath
Attach the flex to the plug
- Green/yellow wire to earth terminal (E)
- Blue wire to neutral terminal (N)
- Brown wire to live terminal (L)
- Slide the flex underneath the cord grip.
- Make sure that there are no loose wire strands by twisting the strands of each core between your thumb and forefinger
- Attach the wires to the terminals. How this is done depends on the type of terminals in the plug.
Clamp terminals: Wrap each of the cores around the correct terminal using the colour code above. Put the washer on top of the twisted wire and tighten the screws in place ensuring that the coloured insulation is not caught under the terminal clamp.
Pillar terminals: Double back the twisted, exposed wire for about 5 mm and enter it into the appropriate terminal hole. Tighten the terminal screw on the wire.
- Tighten the 2 bottom cord grip screws. Be careful that the cord grip is firmly attached to the full outer covering and not on the inner cores of the cable.
- Replace the fuse.
- Replace the cover.