How to wire a plug

How to wire a plug

17th October 2023

How to wire a plug

Wiring or rewiring plugs is simple but important task when it comes to achieving an effective electrical system. This step-by-step guide will take you through what you need to know when it comes to installing new plugs or replacing old ones.

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What you’ll need:

Wiring/rewiring a plug can be done using a few very common and easily accessible tools:

·         New plug

·         Wire strippers

·         Wire cutters

·         Screwdriver


Step 1:

Just like with all electrical work, the first extremely important step is to disconnect the power supply to the appliance you are working on, to ensure the work is carried out safely.

Step 2:

Next, remove the old plug and dispose of it, making sure that it is disposed of correctly and safely.

Using your screwdriver, remove the screw on the face of the plug and keep hold of it, then you can work on undoing one side of the cable grip to release the cable from the plug. After this, unscrew each of the terminal pins just enough to release the wire, then the plug can be disposed of.

Remain cautious when removing the plug to ensure that none of the wires are damaged.

Step 3:

Once the old plug has been removed, remove 50 milometers of outer sheath from the cable then separate the wires to Live, Neutral and Earth.

More modern appliances will have wires colour coded as follows:

Live: Brown

Neutral: Blue

Earth: Yellow and Green

If you’re wiring a plug for an older appliance, the colour coding of wires differs slightly:

Live: Red

Neutral: Black

Earth: Green

You can find out more about old vs new wiring colours in our post here.

Step 4:

Using the new plug to guide you, cut each of the wires to the appropriate length using your wire cutters. Most standard plugs will require the brown/live wire to be the shortest, and the yellow and green/earth wire to be the longest.

Step 5:

Now that your wires are all the correct length, remove a section of insulation from each wire with the wire strippers, resulting in just enough exposed wiring to match the depth of each terminal in the plug.

Before inserting the wires in to the terminal, make sure to twist the exposed wiring gently but tightly by hand so that all of the wiring fits in to the terminal.

Step 6:

Now it’s time to insert the wires in to the terminals. It is vital that the correct wire is inserted in to the correct terminal, there should be markings on each terminal to indicate which wire matches with it.

Step 7:

Once the wires are securely in to their correct terminals, you can then re-tighten the terminal screws, then the cable grip to ensure the wires and plug are securely connected to the cable.

Note: If the terminal screws are too loose, this can cause overheating.

Step 8:

Once all of the internal screws have been tightened and there is no loose exposed wiring, you can then test the plug to make sure everything is secure.

You can do this by pulling sharply on the cable, if everything stays in place then the job is complete, all that’s left to do is place the plug cover back on and secure it in place.

Wiring Plug

With these steps, wiring or rewiring a plug can be an incredibly simple process, providing it is undertaken with extreme caution. If you’re looking to stock up on the essentials for your next wiring job, you can shop our full range of sockets and wiring products here.