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How to wire a plug - 3 pin plug

Please read the disclaimer before attempting any electrical work. If you are uncertain then contact a qualified electrician.

Information on wiring a 3 pin plug

One of the most common causes of electrical problems is a badly wired plug. Wiring a plug is a fairly simple task but it is important that you get it right.

Step 1

The first thing you should do is strip about 4cm of the outer sleeving. Be sure to cut the sleeving lengthways with a knife that’s sharp and be careful not to cut the inner wires then remove the outer sleeving you have cut.

Step 2

You should now separate the 3 wires and cut the 3 wires removing about 5mm of the outer cabling but be careful not to cut into the inner wire and finally for this step twist each separate strands of wire tightly.

Step 3

Be sure you connect each wire to the correct terminals. Start by loosening the screw and pushing the bare wire into the terminal and then tighten up the screws to make sure the wire is secure. You should always make sure there are no strands of bare wire showing and the wire isn’t loose as this could be a potential hazard.

Colour Guide (New Colours):
Brown = Live
Blue = Neutral
Yellow and Green = Earth

If your appliance is fairly old the colours may be different (Old Colours):
Red = Live
Black = Neutral
Green = Earth

Step 4

After checking the cables are tight and secure you should now secure the main cable clamp and be sure it’s holding the outer sleeving and not the bare sleeving.

In this stage you should be sure that the correct fuse is fitted. There are 3 different types of fuses which are: 3A, 5A and 13A.

  • If your appliance is up to 700w then fit a 3A fuse.
  • If your appliance is between 700w and 1200w then fit a 5A fuse.
  • If your appliance is more than 1200w then a 13A fuse should be fitted.

These days most modern appliances come with a sticker or even a plate that shows the maximum power usage in WATTS (W).

You should always be sure to check that there are no loose wires before putting on the plug cover and check that the cable doesn’t get crushed when you place the cover on. Once you have put the cover on the plug tighten the screws and make sure they are tight.

You may find that some plugs only have 2 wires in them these wires are live and neutral. This means that the plug is double insulated and these plug types don’t rely on the earth wires protection. You should still wire the plug the same way you just don’t need to wire the earth cable. But you should make sure the earth terminal isn’t loose.

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