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Appliance Plug or Cord Defective

Problem: The detachable plug, which inserts into an appliance such as a roaster or waffle iron, becomes defective or a small appliance cord becomes frayed or damaged.

Background: Appliance plugs used on small heating appliances are commonly found in three sizes, and may or may not have a control. The cords usually have 2 insulated wires covered by an asbestos protector and a braided cover. Heavy-duty, rubber-covered cords are often used for vacuum cleaners and washing machines and may contain either 2 or 3 wires.

What to do: To replacing the receptacle plug, see
Electrical Plug Detective. To replace the plug,  end, which fits into the appliance, disconnect the cord and the receptacle and disassemble the plug on the end of the cord that connects to the appliance. Keep track of the placement of each part.

Remove 2½ inches of outer covering on the cord, and run the cord end through the plug’s spring protector. Temporarily fit the wires into 1 of the 2 plug casing halves to deter mine where to cut the individual wires so they are of proper length. Then remove ½ inch of the rubber insulation from the end of each wire and tie an underwriter’s knot (see Electrical Plug Detective). Pull the cord back snugly against the spring protector and attach wires to terminals on the clips. Place terminal clips and spring into I of the plug casing halves and fit the other half over it, replacing the screws or clamps that hold the casing together. Inspect receptacle plug at the other end of cord, and replace it if necessary.

Special advice: Splicing of broken wires within a cord is not recommended, and any cords spliced on a temporary basis should be replaced as soon as possible. Splicing for emergency use can be done by cutting out the broken piece and inserting a cord connector. Or an emergency splice can be done by cutting out the broken section, stripping 1 inch of insulation from the wires, twisting them together, and wrapping tape around each wire, then around both wires, and then overlapping the tape onto the cord. Note: Never splice house wiring even on a temporary basis. When replacing cords, buy replacements that match the original in wire size and type.

Helpful hint: Always turn any control to “off” and disconnect an appliance cord first from the wall outlet rather than from the appliance. Avoid grabbing the cord to disconnect; grasp the plug instead. Keep oil and grease away from appliance cords, do not place cords under rugs or in doorjambs, avoid sharp bends, and store in a cool and dry place.


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