Why do you need to change a plug?

A standard appliance plug may need to be changed because of a number of issues, usually because damage has been caused to the plug top, whether this is a snapped pin or damaged casing.

Tools and safety:

Before you begin to remove the existing plug you need to ensure you have a small flathead screwdriver and a new plug top. You may also additionally need a spare fuse (if the existing one in the plug has blown under fault) and a set of wire strippers (if the termination end of the cable is damaged and needs cutting back). We also recommend you wear some type of gloves as the copper strands from the cables can be very sharp and irritating if they get on or under your skin.

Removing the existing plug top:

To begin removing the existing damaged plug top begin unscrewing the centre screw near the top to release the back cover of the plug. Once this is removed you’ll have access to the terminals. The bottom two screws on the front of the plug can also be undone as these just screw into the flex clamp.

how to fix a plug

Next you should remove the fuse to allow better access. While the fuse is removed you should visually inspect it to see if there is any damage, even though it is not always easy to tell. If any damage has occurred it will be slightly dark in the middle with a foggy, smoky-like nature. Now all three of the terminal screws in the pins can be unscrewed which will loosen all three of the conductors (be sure to watch out for any copper splinters).

how to fix a plug

Installing the new plug:

Before beginning you should visually inspect the existing cable to ensure there is no damage, the things to look out for are:

  • Damage to the outer plastic sheathing that groups all the cables together
  • Damage to in the inner plastic sheathing for each individual cable
  • Damage to the exposed copper that came out of the existing pin terminals in the old plug

If there is any damage then it’s advised to strip back the cable to before the damage to ensure a better and safer connection.

To install the new plug you’ll need to unscrew all three screws on the front of the new plug to remove the back plate and the flex clamp, but be sure not to lose any of them. Also, it’s much easier if you remove the new fuse to allow easier access to the pin terminals.

You should now connect the outer plastic sheathing of the cable into the flex clamp and screw it down from the front of the plug. Following this, you can now connect the cables. Follow the instructions below to ensure you connect the correct cable.

  • Green and yellow cable (known as earth) into the top pin
  • Brown cable (known as live) into the pin connected to the fuse
  • Blue cable (known as neutral) into the bottom pin

Copy the picture below to ensure it is connected correctly.

how to change a plug

Depending on if the cable is double insulated then you may not have a green and yellow cable. If this is the case then it can be left empty in the pin. Be sure to make sure that there is a little as possible of copper showing outside of the pin terminal and that the cables are properly secured with a tug test.

Almost there:

You’re nearly finished. Before screwing the back plate on you need to ensure you insert the correct fuse for the appliance. This will either be a 3, 5 or 13 amp fuse. We suggest you look and see what the rating of the fuse in the old plug was and use a new one with the same rating. Fuses can often be picked up from most newsagents or DIY shops if there is not already one with the new plug. Once this is done you can proceed with screwing back the back plate of the plug but make sure you don’t squash any cables.

Now for a final test to see if your skills have paid off. Place the new plug into an existing wall socket and turn it on. If for some reason the appliance doesn’t work you may need to investigate if the plug was connected correctly, if the appliance is damaged and in a more extreme circumstance if the socket is faulty. We recommend you contact a qualified electrician if this is the case for your own safety. Click here if you would like any advice on how to pick a reliable tradesman.