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Portable Appliance Testing Wikipedia

Wiring a Plug


Wiring a plug is not difficult but you would be surprised how often people get it wrong. A wrongly wired (or fused) plug puts everyone at risk from electric shock or fire.


Eight simple steps to a well wired plug:

1. Strip off the outer cable sheathing to expose about 4cm of the insulated wires. A craft knife or a pair of cutters is useful for this. Use this to slit the outer insulation, taking care not to use too much force as this may damage the inner wires. Pull back the outer insulation and cut it off.

2.  The inner wires may be twisted, so separate these out. Cut the Live (brown) wire and the Neutral (blue wire) so that they are about 3 cm in length. This will make them about 1 cm shorter than the green/yellow Earth wire.

3. Remove the insulation from the inner wires to leave about 5mm of exposed metal core on each wire. When doing this, take care not to cut into the individual strands of wire. Twist the strands of wire together neatly.

4. Connect the wires to the correct terminals. The brown Live wire to the terminal on the fuse holder marked L, the blue Neutral wire to the terminal marked N and the green and yellow Earth wire to the terminal at the top of the plug marked E. Class II appliances do not have an earth wire because they are double insulated (Usually marked with a double box symbol).

5. Fit the exposed metal core of each wire through each terminal and tighten the terminal screws. Ensure that the insulation reaches right up to each terminal and that there are no loose strands of wire.

6. Fit the flex firmly into the cord-grip making sure that the grip fastens on the outer insulating sleeve of the flex.

7. Read the instructions on the appliance to see what rating of fuse is required and fit the correct fuse in the plug. If the instructions are not available, use the gauge of mains flex used and the power rating of the appliance to work out the fuse rating.

8. Fit the plug cover making sure that the inner wires are lying in the right channels, and do not become crushed when the screw is tightened.