Plugs and Cord Switches

How to Replace Plugs and Cord Switches

If a lamp cord or plug are brittle or damaged, rewire the lamp with a new cord that has an integrated plug. If the plug has a cracked body or loose prongs but the cord is in good shape, install a replacement plug.

Cord maintenance

Always grasp the plug when you pull a plug out of a receptacle. If you tug on the cord, you may loosen or break wiring connections in the plug. Organize and run your cords to minimize tripping hazards.


About 10 minutes

Phillips screwdriver, cutting pliers, utility knife, wire strippers, long-nose pliers

Cutting and twisting stranded wire; attaching stranded wire to terminals

A suitable work surface

Replacement plug, cord switch

Replacement Plug Options

Most replacement plugs connect in much the same manner as the plugs shown. The 90-degree plug allows you to position the cord at an angle, making it easier to plug into a receptacle in a tight spot.

Flat Lamp Plug: Screw Terminals

To replace a plug snip the cord near the old plug, divide the cord, and strip 3/4 inch of insulation from the end of each wire. Slip the wires through the replacement plug and connect them to the terminals. Tug to check the connections, and make sure there are no loose strands.

Flat Lamp Plug: Snap-Together Plug

To add a squeeze-type replacement plug, snip off the old plug and feed the cord through the new plug body. Place the prongs over the cord and push the cord completely into the prong core. Squeeze the prongs tight. Slide the body up and snap it onto the core.

Appliance Plug: Step 1

For an appliance, choose a heavy-duty plug with a grounding prong. Working carefully with a knife to avoid cutting into wire insulation, strip about 2 inches of sheathing from the end of the cord. Strip about 3/4 inch from the ends of each wire and twist the wire strands tight.

Appliance Plug: Step 2

Slide the replacement plug's body onto the cord. Connect the wires to each of the terminals -- black to hot (the narrower prong), green to ground (the round prong), and white to neutral (the wide prong).

Appliance Plug: Step 3

Tug on the wires to see that the connections are firm and make sure there are no loose strands. Assemble the plug body and tighten the screws.

Rotary Cord Switch: Step 1

If a lamp switch is hard to reach, install a cord switch. To install a rotary cord switch, cut through the hot (smooth) wire, leaving the neutral (ribbed) wire intact. Separate the wires about 3/4 inch on each side of the cut.

Rotary Cord Switch: Step 2

Without stripping the ends push the wires into the body of the switch. When you screw the two parts of the body together, prongs on the switch contacts will pierce the hot wire to make contact.

Rocker Cord Switch: Step 1

To install a rocker cord switch, snip the hot (smooth) cord without damaging the neutral (ribbed) cord. Separate the wires about 1 inch on each side of the cut. Strip about 3/4 inch from the cut ends and twist the strands tight.

Rocker Cord Switch: Step 2

Push the neutral wire into the switch's groove. Connect the stripped ends to the switch's terminals. Snap the top part of the switch over the wires and tighten the screws.

Comments (3)
joshballer2 wrote:

how do you install a plug when its hot

11/13/2009 04:23:39 PM Report Abuse
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