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How to Replace an Extension Cord Plug

Read these 4 easy steps to help you rewire and replace your extension cord.

Extension cord plug. Alamy

The prongs on extension-cord plugs are easily bent—and easily straightened with pliers. But after a few such re-straightenings, the metal can fatigue and snap off. When a plug’s life is over, it doesn’t mean you need to buy a new cord.

How do you wire an extension cord plug?

For about five bucks, you can attach a replacement plug. So, you don’t have to throw away that old extension cord, even if one of its prongs is broken.

Steps on How to Replace and Wire a Plug:

Step 1: Cut the Old Plug and Slice the Jacket

Cutting the old plug and slicing the jacket.
Step 1
  • First, cut off the damaged plug.
  • Then use a utility knife to split and slice off the jacket about 3/4 inch from the end of the cord. Take care not to cut the three wires inside.
  • Using a wire stripper, as shown, strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the end of each wire.

Step 2: Attach Wires to Terminal Screws

Attaching wires to terminal screws.
Step 2
  • Open the replacement plug so you can reach the terminal screws inside.
  • Attach each section of exposed copper to the appropriate terminal screw: green wire to the green grounding screw, white (neutral) to the silver screw, and black (“hot”) to the brass screw.
  • Wrap the wire clockwise around the terminal and tighten each screw securely.

Step 3: Reassemble Plug Replacement

Reassembling the plug replacement.
Step 3
  • Reassemble the replacement plug and tighten the screws holding it to the cord.

Step 4: Test the cord

  • To see if a cord is working properly, plug it into a three-prong receptacle.
  • Then, fit a plug-in circuit tester onto the cord's other end. The tester's lights will indicate whether the wires are hooked up correctly and the cord is grounded.

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