Friday, April 8, 2011

Electrical repair

Last Sunday I discovered the broken extension cord.  Son-in-law was going to throw it out.  I said not to and purchased a replacement plug.  Today I fixed the cord.  I cut off the broken plug.  Then I cut the outer cord back about an inch.  I noted the three different color wires.  White, Black, Green.  Which cord goes to which part of the new plug? 

I guessed that the green went to the ground (the round part) and the black and white would go to each of the prongs.  But which would go to which side? Would it matter?  I assumed it would because the plug had one prong larger than the other.  I didn't want to cross the wires: when I plugged the cord into the wall and then plugged something into the end of the cord I didn't want the wire that went to the larger prong on my electrical item to then cross over and plug into the wall on the smaller prong.  Likewise, I didn't want what was originally the smaller prong to cross over to the larger prong. 

Since I didn't know which wire went to which prong I had two choices.  I could cut off the other end and replace that end as well.  Then I could choose which wire went to which location.  As long as they matched at each end the color wouldn't matter.  The other way I could do it, which was the way I ended up, was to cut apart the original plug.  The black wire was attached to the larger prong so on the new one I made sure the black wire was attached to the larger prong.  Easy.

It took about five minutes to complete this project.  It would have been nice if I had a wire stripper.  I do, it was rusted and bent up (thanks grandkids).  What tools did I use in this project?  A box cutter razor blade, a pair of scissors, a screwdriver, and two pliers to pull apart the original plug.  I saved over $50 by repairing it plus it's another step toward self reliance.


  1. These are the type of things that seem so normal and natural to me. Nice to read I am not alone, though I wish I had taught more to my children. Thank you for the reminder.

    Did you get any snow or hail?

  2. We got 1/2 inch of rain but nothing else. Sun's shining today so we'll get lots of stuff done outside.

  3. I have an article for you on extension core repair that you might want to check out, I read your article 3 times to make sure I did not miss some thing and I am sure that your original cord was wired wrong. On a plug the larger prong is your neutral or white wire connection and the smaller prong is the black. On your plug your will have the three screws where you will connect your wires, they are silver for white wire ( the neutral ) Gold for the black ( the hot ) and the green screw for the ground. I have a few articles that will also help.,,1576708,00.html#

    And this one for outlets

    Hope this helps

  4. Thanks Scott. I am going to replace the other end of the cord and then rewire each end to have the wires go to the proper (white neutral/black hot) location. I'm expecting that the cord was originally set up with black as neutral and white as hot since this was how the broken end was wired. I've used that cord for years and never had an issue until the prong broke. I will redo it so it's right. Thanks.

  5. Good job.

    Over the past year and a half I have found myself getting more and more frugal. I have found myself in similiar situations where in the past I would have chucked it and bought a new one - now I repair.

    Inflation and my desire to get morre prepping supplies makes me think twice about where I spend my money.

    Thanks - Rourke

  6. Way to go! I love that you just dove in to the project and tried to do what you could to fix it before just completely replacing everything and giving up. I am not that patient, I probably would have gone to electrical repair in Centennial CO. But if you want to save money, you have to patience. Thank you for sharing your story.