How to Wire a 3-Pin Plug


The 3-pin plug is the standard way to provide power to a device in North American. A typical plug delivers a maximum of 120 volts at 15 amps. Each pin has a specific task. The bottom/round plug is the ground. This is the safety system that provides a safe path for the electricity to go to the earth if it gets somewhere it shouldn't. The larger flat terminal is the neutral connection which provides a path back to the distribution panel. The smaller flat slot is the "hot" connection which delivers the power to the device.

Things You'll Need

  • Male 15-amp grounded connector
  • 16/3-gauge stranded copper wire
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire strippers
  • Strip 1/4 of insulation off the end of each of the three wires with wire strippers.

  • Loosen the terminal screws on the male 15-amp grounded connector. Wrap the black wire around the hot (+) terminal and tighten it down with a screwdriver.

  • Wrap the white wire around the terminal for the neutral (-) connection and tighten down the terminal screw with a screw driver.

  • Wrap the green or bare wire around the terminal screw for the ground connection and tighten down with a screwdriver

Tips & Warnings

  • Never work around wires which are live. Turn the power off at the source and confirm it is off before beginning work.
  • Even a small amount of electricity can stop the human heart. Be extremely careful when working with electricity.

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