Wiring a UK Plug


Electricity can KILL! If you are in any doubt at all about what you are doing, or your ability to do the work, you should refer any mains connection work to a qualified electrician.


uk mains plug wiring

In order to wire up a UK plug you will need the following:

  • A set of wire cutters and optionally wire strippers
  • An insulated electrical screwdriver

You should be aware that when you are replacing an existing plug (perhaps because it has been damaged) the colours of the wires in a mains lead may not correspond with the coloured markings identifying the terminals in the plug.  Assuming that you have a modern cable with harmonised colours (Brown, Blue and Green and Yellow cores) you should proceed as follows:

Warning: It sounds stupid, but people are really killed whilst trying to rewire a plug or change a fuse while it still plugged into the mains! You MUST disconnect the plug before working on it, and NEVER plug it back in until the case is sealed.

  1. Unscrew the retaining screw so that you can open the plug.
  2. Take the top and set it to one side, making sure that you do not lose the screw if it is removable on the plug you are using.
  3. If the plug has a screw fitted cable clamp, unscrew it and set the screw(s) aside for later use.

    Tip: If the clamp has two screws, remove one completely and leave the other connected but screw it almost to the end so that it can be rotated out of the way.  This will both reduce the risk of losing screws and speed up the job – simply rotate back and fit the second screw once the job is done.

  4. Cut and strip the cores to the correct length. There should only be enough copper exposed to match the depth of the terminal, and there must be no cuts, nicks or damage to any of the insulation on any core – if this happens cut the wire back and start again.
  5. Fit the prepared wires to the appropriate terminals, ensuring that the retaining screw locates directly onto the copper and not onto the insulation and that there is no more than 1mm of exposed copper outside the terminal:
    • The wire which is coloured GREEN-AND-YELLOW must be connected to the terminal in the plug which is marked by the letter E or by the safety earth symbol or coloured GREEN or GREEN and YELLOW.
    • The wire which is coloured BLUE must be connected to the terminal in the plug which is marked with the letter N or coloured BLACK.
    • The wire which is coloured BROWN must be connected to the terminal in the plug which is marked with the letter L or coloured RED.
  6. When wiring a UK 3-pin plug, you should always leave more slack in the earth wire than in the live and neutral. This will ensure that, in the case of accidental pulling force on the cable, the earth wire will be the last to disconnect.
  7. Refit the cable clamp and screw down tight
  8. Refit the plug lid and screw down tight

 


Electricity can KILL! If you are in any doubt at all about what you are doing, or your ability to do the work, you should refer any mains connection work to a qualified electrician.


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