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How to Change Appliance Cords and Plugs

If an appliance isn’t working, you can replace worn plugs and cords. When replacing the cord on an appliance, it must be as heavy a gauge as the one you’re taking out, especially when an appliance heats up. These appliances must have cords that can resist fire; they have an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) fire rating. Think about the heavy, fabric-wrapped cord on an iron; it’s made to withstand a lot of heat. Next in line come frying pans and electric griddles; they have medium-weight cords. Coffeepots and most appliances with motors have cords that are somewhat lighter because they operate at a much lower temperature. Now compare each of the three types of cords to a common extension cord and you’ll see what we mean.

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Appliance cords have reuseable plastic outer insulators that hold the cord into the base. To remove the insulator, squeeze it on the inside with pliers until it pushes out of the hole. Take it off the wire and don’t throw it away. Now follow these steps:

  1. Cut off the cord about 2 inches above the plug.

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    The wiring just above the plug can get damaged when you insert or take the plug out of wall sockets. By cutting the cord shorter, you avoid potential trouble spots.

  2. Squeeze the two prongs of the new plug together (like you squeeze tweezers) so you can pull them out of the casing.

    The plastic insulator will come off with them. Now you have to attach the wires of the cord to the plug.

  3. Slip the cord through the plug casing.

  4. If the prongs are on a single unit with crimp-style connectors, open the prongs by gently pulling them apart.

  5. Push the cord into the slot at the back of the unit.

  6. Squeeze the prongs closed (together).

  7. Slide the unit back into the casing.

  8. Replace the plastic insulator.

If you decide to buy both the cord and plug, you only have to attach the cord to the appliance. Buy the new cord before you take the old one off the base of the appliance. Then attach the new cord to the base in reverse order for taking it off.

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