As spring approaches, it's time to get your outdoor equipment ready before you actually need it. If you notice that the plug or cord on an electric appliance such as a weed eater or hedge clipper is worn, it's very simple to cut off the old plug or worn section of cord and add a new plug.

What you will need

A three prong male plug end

The replacement plug will resemble the old plug, and must include the round grounding prong. Don't attempt to substitute an ungrounded lamp cord replacement or any similar plug with only two parallel flat prongs for a grounded plug.

Grounding is especially important outdoors, where you may encounter wet or damp conditions.

A wire cutter, stripper tool

This tool can be used to cut the cord of an appliance to remove a worn section, and can also be used to strip the insulation from the ends of the wires in the cord to connect them to the new plug end.

Philips head screwdriver

You'll need this to connect the wires to the terminals inside the replacement plug.

Cutting the cord 

If only the plug is worn or defective, you will cut the cord as close to the plug as possible to save as much cord length as you can. If a section of the cord is worn or damaged, cut the cord at a point just beyond the damaged area.

The cutting area of the wire stripper/cutter is at the base of the blades, near the center pivot point of the tool. Place the cord inside the blades at this point and close the blades completely.

Preparing the cord for connection to the new plug

You will use the tips of the wire cutter/stripper to pull back the plastic covering of the cord, exposing the three individual wires inside.

The wire stripper function of the tool consists of small numbered notches in the blades. These notches ar numbered according to the gauge (thickness) of the individual wires.

Your cord will have the gauge of the wire printed on the side of the cord in yellow print, or on a white plastic tag near the plug,

When the gauge number is found, place each of the three wires individually into the corresponding numbered slot in the wire stripper blades, close the blades, and pull the wire through. You will only need to remove about one inch of insulation from the end of each of the wires.

Connecting the new plug

The front section of the replacement plug, which has the three prongs, is attached to the plug by three screws, which you will remove with the Philips head screwdriver.

The opposite end of the plug has an opening through which the wires will go. There are two screws on this side that tighten sideways to close the opening and hold the wire in place after it is connected.

Loosen these two screws to widen the opening , then push the wire through.

You will then connect the three wires to the three screw terminals behind each prong on the front section of the plug end.

Place the black wire into the gold screw terminal, the white wire into the silver terminal, and the green or copper wire into the green terminal and tighten the terminal screws.

Reconnect the two sections of the replacement plug by replacing the three screws that were removed, then tighten the two screws that secure the cord in place in the rear portion of the plug and you're finished. To learn more, contact an electrician like Dunedin Electric Co., Inc.

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