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How to fix an electrical plug?

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Published: 2009-11-20

Electrical plugs do play a major role in all connections as being used in todays housholdas anywhere. Plugs are country specific and follow stardards. Plugs are designed to safely connect any cable to mains and therefore have some tasks to accomplish. A malfunctioning plug can be a nightmare and cause an appliance failure, a house fire or on PC's faulty operating and unwanted loss of data or some damage to sensitive components.

Electrical Plug
Foto: Shutterstock.com

Keep in mind

  • It is always worth your while to check occasionally on the condition of a plug. 
  • When plugs fail, they usually have the internal cable loose or broken or bent prongs that aren't compatible with the outlet anymore. 
  • In rare occasions, the insulating feature is compromised. 
  • The later happens, when pieces of the casing broke off and metal contacts are visible inside, touching such plugs contain a big risk factor, replace them immediately!

Things you will need

  • If it ain't broken, you wouldn't need to fix it, so a good check is needed to determine the reason for the failure of the plug. 
  • You would need some basic household tools to do this properly: 
  • A pair of universal pliers, a screwdriver and maybe some sandpaper, fine grit.

Step by step:

  1. First disconnect plug and cable from mains 
  2. Check metal prongs, which connect to the outlet for discoloration or residue
  3. Straighten warped prongs with the pliers careful, avoid breakage
  4. Clean prongs with fine grit sandpaper if dirty or oxidized
  5. Check if plug is serviceable and has a screw
  6. Casted plugs have no visible screw and are non-serviceable
  7. Disassemble plug and visually check for a lose cable inside
  8. Make sure all cables are connected well to their respective prong inside
  9. Cable connects can be clamp-style, soldered or screwed, verify this
  10. A lose cable can be reconnected, if this is done right
  11. Screw-type connections: open screw in prong, remove old cable fragments, reinsert a freshly de-isolated cable into prong and tighten it again
  12. Soldered type of connections require assistance by an electrician with soldering experience
  13. Clamp types need to be re-clamped
  14. Make sure a proper connection has been reestablished and no current can possibly reach any part of your body before reconnecting with mains again
  15. Hardware stores sell replacement plugs for sealed units or the unserviceable variety cheaply
  16. Grounded plugs (3 wires), as required on heavy duty or heavy load appliances require corresponding outlets and extra care
  17. Outdoor plugs may have a rubberized outer part, which is often removable for servicing

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