WARNING! – It is important to remember that electricity can kill and even the simplest tasks can have deadly consequences if not carried out correctly.
Never attempt any electrical work if you are in any way unsure about what you are doing.
First strip the outer jacket of the cable – the best technique is to use a very sharp blade or craft knife.
Measure a length of cable against the plug, so you know how much of the outer jacket to remove. It should be from the topside of the strain relief to the top terminal.
Bend the cable at the cutting point and gently slice or press into the jacket with the knife until you can just see the wires inside, be careful not to puncture the insulation on the internal wires at this point.
Repeat this action from four directions until you have cut all the way round the circumference, the outer jacket will then pull off to reveal the wires inside.
Next we need to identify the wires and understand which terminals they should be connected to.
- Live wire: Brown
- Neutral wire: Blue
- Earth wire: Green / yellow striped
The plug terminals should be labelled with L N E respectively.
The wires are connected to the following terminals:-
- Brown, (L) live, Bottom Right (remember Bottom Right BRown)
- Blue, (N) Neutral, Bottom Left (remember Bottom Left BLue)
- Green / yellow, (E) Earth, goes to the top terminal.
Once the wires are exposed you can measure them against the respective terminals and trim accordingly, remember to leave enough (about 5mm) for the terminal connection. Then strip off this 4-5mm of wire insulation; insert into terminals and screw down etc.
Some appliances may only have live and neutral wires, these are appliances that have no exposed conductive parts and do not require an earth for safety. However, if you are making an extension lead this must contain all three connections and be made up from high gauge three-core cable that is nominally rated at 13 to 15Amps.