Repairing Home Appliances

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Electrical, Home repair    by: ITC

When appliances don’t work properly, the plug is often the problem. Prongs may be broken or bent. Wires may be burnt where they attach to the prongs. The plug itself may be split or cracked.

There are two basic types of plugs:

• Clamp-on plugs

• Wired plugs

Clamp-on plugs are easiest to replace. They have no screws and require no stripping. Cut damaged plug, and separate the wires for about 1/4 inch. Open the clamp or lever on the new plug and simply insert the wire ends into the plug. Close the clamp or lever, and the plug is ready for use. Clamp-on plugs should be used only for light-duty use, such as lamp cords.

To repair a wired plug take out the cardboard or plastic cover and loosen the screws. Pull the wires farther through the plug and cut off the bad ends. Separate the two wires for about 1-1/2 inches and strip 1/2 inch of insulation off the ends. Twist the copper strands so they will not separate easily. To relieve the stress on the plug and on the copper wire, tie an “underwriters knot”.

Pull the knot back into the plug cap and wrap the bare wire ends around the screws in the direction the screw tightens. Tighten the screws and replace the cover.

If your plug has three prongs repair it the same as a two-prong plug. Make an underwriters knot with the black and white wires. Attach the third green wire to the green screw. Attach the white wire to the silver screw and black wire to the brass screw. Be sure none of the bare wires are touching each other. Replace the protective cover.

Some plugs are completely cased in rubber. If one of these plugs goes bad, unplug the appliance and cut off the bad plug.

Broken electrical plugs are often because of appliance failure. Plugs are frequently stepped on or kicked accidentally. Common damage includes bent and broken or burnt wires, and damaged plug casings.

With a two prong plug, separate the wires for about an inch and a half and strip off the insulation for about 1/2 inch. Scrape the wire until it shines and twist the copper ends so they hold together.

Tie an underwriters knot in this way. This knot puts the pull on the insulation instead of the wire. If this knot is not used, the wire may come loose in a short time, especially if the plug is removed by pulling on the cord.

After the knot is pulled into the plug cap, the stripped wire is wound around the screws in the direction that the screw will be turned to tighten. This pulls the wire in under the screw. If the wire is looped in the opposite direction it will be pushed away as the screw is tightened.

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