By Warren Lentz - October 31, 2023
Wiring or rewiring electrical outlets is a simple but important task for an efficient electrical system. This step-by-step guide will tell you what you need to know when installing new outlets or replacing old outlets.
What you’ll need:
Wiring/rewiring an outlet can be done using some very common and easily accessible tools:
· New plug
· Wire strippers
· Wire cutters
As with all electrical work, the extremely important first step is to unplug the device you are working on to ensure the work is carried out safely.
Then remove the old plug and throw it away. Please ensure proper and safe disposal.
Using your screwdriver, remove the screw on the front of the connector and hold it in place. You can then loosen one side of the cable clamp to release the cable from the connector. Next, unscrew each connector pin just enough to expose the cable. The plug can then be disposed of.
Be careful when removing the connector to ensure that none of the cables are damaged.
Once the old connector is removed, remove 50 kilometers of outer jacket from the cable and then disconnect the phase, neutral and ground cables.
On more modern devices, the cables are color coded as follows:
Earth: Yellow and Green
If you’re wiring a plug for an older appliance, the colour coding of wires differs slightly:
You can find out more about old vs new wiring colours in our post here.
Using the new connector as a guide, use your wire cutters to cut each wire to the appropriate length. Most standard plugs require the brown/hot wire to be the shortest and the yellow and green/ground wires to be the longest.
Now that all of your wires are the correct length, use the wire strippers to remove a piece of insulation from each wire, leaving just enough exposed wire to match the depth of each terminal on the connector.
Before inserting the wires into the terminal, gently but firmly twist the exposed wires by hand so that all of the wires fit into the terminal.
Now it's time to insert the wires into the terminals. It is important that the correct wire is inserted into the correct terminal. There should be markings on each terminal indicating which wire corresponds to it.
Once the wires are securely inserted into the correct terminals, you can tighten the terminal screws and then the cable clamp to ensure that the wires and connector are securely connected to the cable.
Once all internal screws are tightened and there are no exposed wires, you can test the connector to make sure everything is tight.
You can do this by pulling the cable firmly. If everything stays in place, the job is done. All you have to do is put the socket cover on and secure it.
With these steps, wiring or rewiring an outlet can be an incredibly easy process if done with extreme caution.