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Plug Replacement with Screw Terminal Plug

When your jigsaw stops working or a lamp goes dark, often the problem is as simple as a disconnected wire in the plug. This is especially prevalent in power tools which are often plugged and unplugged in various outlets. Also, power tool plugs can often be subject to being stepped on because they are frequently left lying on the floor during a job. You may want to go out and buy a new one, but then again, you might have a sentimental or even a financial reason for wishing to prolong the life of your drill or circular saw.

screw terminal plug
An excellent and secure form of plug replacement is to simply snip off the old plug and install a "screw terminal plug" (image at left). Once you snip the cord, split the two wires at a length of about two inches. There may be insulation around the outside. You will have to strip this off in order to separate the wires. For both these operations you can use a utility knife.

On the end of the new screw terminal plug there will be an insulator. You will want to remove it and then push the cord through the plug at the base. Tie a knot with the two wires and settle the knot into the basin between the two prongs. This will help prevent pressure on the wire connection to the prongs in the event that the cord is pulled when the appliance is unplugged from an outlet or extension cord. You will want to trim your wires so that they just go around the terminal screws. The extra wire can cause difficulty in replacing the insulator.

Now, using a wire stripper (you can also do this with a utility knife - but be careful!), remove the insulation from the two wires to a length of about 1/2 inch. Loosen the terminal screws with a screwdriver, taking care not to remove the screws completely. Now twist each wire around a separate screw in a clockwise direction. Tighten the screws, and replace the insulator.

As you can see, replacing a plug is a fairly easy procedure and well worth trying before tossing out your favorite sawsall. A screw terminal plug comes in two-prong and three-prong varieties and are available at a very reasonable price at your local hardware store.

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More information on electrical work:
How to Wire an Outlet on a Circuit
How to Wire a Switch
How to Wire a Three Way Switch
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