Oh, the humble extension cord, a true workhorse of the electrical world. Yet, it can endure quite the thrashing. However, yanking the plug out by the cord is the most common culprit of its wear and tear. This repeated action leads to stretching the cord wires, separating the outer Jacket, and the grounding prong coming loose. When any of these types of damage occur, it’s wise to consider replacing the plug entirely.
Fixing Extension cable
Caution and safety are paramount in the world of extension cords. Damaged cords must be replaced entirely or have the damaged section cut off and a new plug attached. Never cover the damage with electrical tape.
Choose the appropriate plug for your cord, such as a grounded three-prong plug for cords with a ground wire or a two-prong polarized plug for simple household cords. Learn how to replace a medium-duty grounded extension cord plug in this project.
Remove the Old Plug and replace it with the New one.
Before further action, the cable must be unplugged from all power sources. Remove broken cable ends before using your wire cutters to separate the old plug from the cord. Keep the new plug out of the way for the time being as you carefully slide it over the cut end of the cord.
Plugs may come in pairs, one of which has the prongs and electrical connections, and the other is the exterior shell or body. If so, merely attach the cord’s outer shell for now.
Remove the exterior Jacket.
In the art of cord surgery, a precise incision is paramount. Take a utility knife and carefully slice into the outer Jacket, but be vigilant not to slice too deep lest you unleash a potential electrical shock or a blaze of flames. The incision should extend a respectable 3 inches from the cord’s end. Once the incision is made, open the Jacket’s two sides by splitting them apart with your nails. Finally, trim off the excess Jacket using wire cutters or a utility knife with deft precision.
Get rid of the Wire Insulation.
And now, with the precision of a surgeon, we take our wire strippers and carefully remove around three-quarters of an inch of the outer insulation from each conducting wire within the cord. We must use the correct notch on the strippers that perfectly match the wire’s diameter or gauge.
Fold Underwriter’s Knot
Tie the neutral and hot wires with an underwriter’s knot for extra security against the wires detaching from the plug when the cord is pulled. If there is no space for the knot, it’s still okay if the plug has a clamping device to hold the cord in place.
Join the Cord Wires
Loosen the terminal screws on the plug using a screwdriver. Wrap the black wire clockwise around the brass terminal and tighten the screw onto the wire, ensuring no stray wires are sticking out. Connect the white wires to the silver terminals and the green wire to the ground screw using the same technique.
Double-check connections by gently pulling on each wire. New plugs may have an indicator line to show how much insulation to strip, and newer plugs may have a clamping connection that eliminates the need for wire wrapping.
Tighten the Plug
With the aid of a screwdriver, firmly fasten the plug clamp onto the cord. In the scenario where the plug comprises two sections, smoothly glide the outer shell towards the wired area of the plug, and attach both parts using the screws provided. Afterward, make sure to tighten the cord clamp on the body.
The humble extension cord is essential to our daily lives, providing electricity to power our devices and tools. However, it may suffer from wear and tear, particularly if we yank the plug out by the cord. We must consider replacing the plug entirely to ensure our safety when damage occurs. Repairing an extension cord requires caution, attention to detail, and knowledge of the appropriate tools and techniques.
With the steps outlined in this guide and perhaps using the right equipment, you can perform cord surgery precisely and restore our extension cord to its former glory. So, remember to exercise care and safety when handling damaged cords, and always opt for replacement or repair when necessary.