How to Make a Power Cord

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A broken power cord does not mean the end of your appliance.
A broken power cord does not mean the end of your appliance. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Eventually it will happen to you. You will cut the power cord on an electrical appliance. You might think the appliance is ruined. However, you can make a new power cord instead of throwing the appliance away. If the cut cord is still long enough, you can simply connect a new plug. If not, you must install a new cord.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Replacement plug
  • Screwdriver
  • Power cord wire

Replacing the Plug on an Existing Cord

Make sure the appliance is unplugged. Locate the break in the wires on the cord by locating the break in the cord’s insulation. Cut the cord behind the break with wire cutters. Leave as much cord attached to the appliance as possible.

Remove the clamp from the replacement plug with a screwdriver. The clamp is located on the end of the plug opposite the prongs. The clamp secures the cord to the power wire.

Slide the clamp onto the cord approximately 1 foot.

Remove 1 inch of the outer insulating jacket from the end of the cable with a utility knife or wire strippers. Spread the wires inside the cord apart and check to ensure you did not cut into the insulation on the individual wires. If you did, cut the end of the cord and start again.

Strip ½ inch of the insulation off each wire with the wire strippers. Twist the strands of wire so they do not fray. If the wire is solid core, meaning one large wire inside the insulation, there is no need to twist the wire.

Place the white wire around the silver terminal, place the green wire around the green terminal and place the black wire around the gold terminal. Tighten the terminals with a screwdriver.

Slide the clamp down the cable and onto the prong end of the plug. Secure the clamp to the prong end of the plug with the screwdriver. Tighten the screws on the clamp to secure the clamp to the cord.

Replacing the Entire Cord and Plug

Locate where the cord goes into the housing of the appliance. Depending on the type of appliance you are repairing, you might have to remove screws that secure a piece of plastic over the terminal bolts. If you are replacing a cord on an appliance that has a metal back (like an oven) you might have to remove a metal cover to access the terminal bolts. This process will differ slightly for every appliance.

Loosen the terminal bolts with a screwdriver or a socket set and pull the cord free from the appliance. Make note of which color wire went to which terminal bolt. This is important to ensure you reinstall the cord properly. Not all terminal bolts inside appliances are color-coded.

Slide a new cable into the housing. Pull approximately 12 inches through the housing.

Remove 1 inch of the outer insulating jacket from the end of the cable with a utility knife or wire strippers. Spread the wires inside the cord apart and check to ensure you did not cut into the insulation on the individual wires. If you did, cut the end of the cord and start again.

Strip ½ inch of the insulation off each wire with the wire strippers. Twist the strands of wire so they do not fray. If the wire is solid core, meaning one large wire inside the insulation, there is no need to twist the wire.

Secure each wire to the wire terminals, following the same color pattern as when you removed the original wires.

Place the housing or terminal cover back in place and secure it to the appliance.

Remove 1 inch of the outer insulating jacket from the other end of the cable with a utility knife or wire strippers. Spread the wires inside the cord apart and check to ensure you did not cut into the insulation on the individual wires. If you did, cut the end of the cord and start again.

Strip ½ inch of the insulation off each wire with the wire strippers. Twist the strands of wire so they do not fray. If the wire is solid core, meaning one large wire inside the insulation, there is no need to twist the wire.

Place the white wire around the silver terminal, place the green wire around the green terminal and place the black wire around the gold terminal. Tighten the terminals with a screwdriver.

Slide the clamp down the cable and onto the prong end of the plug. Secure the clamp to the prong end of the plug with the screwdriver. Tighten the screws on the clamp to secure the clamp to the cord.

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