Replace an extension cord plug
Photo 1: Remove the wire jacket
Make a shallow cut lengthwise through the outer jacket, then lightly score around the cord until you can break the jacket off.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Strip the wires
Cut and strip the wires to the length indicated in the strip gauge, leaving as much of the outer jacket as possible.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Connect the wires
Twist the wires tight, then screw them into the plug—black to the gold screw, white to silver, green to green.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
The price of heavy-duty extension cords has jumped in recent years because of rising copper prices, so rebuilding old, damaged ones with new plugs or receptacle ends ($5) is a smart move.
Cut off the old plug, then cut back the insulation jacket with a sharp razor knife (Photo 1). Don’t push the blade in—just score the rubber jacket gently until you can tear the rubber off, so you don’t accidentally cut into one of the wires.
Strip the wires (look for a stripping gauge on the plug or in the instructions), then separate the wires and screw them into place. This step can be fussy, especially with stiff 12-gauge wire, but resist the temptation to cut the insulation jacket back—the more of the jacket you can leave inside the plug, the less likely it is to tear or pull out of the plug clamp when the cord is yanked out of an outlet.
Close the plug and screw it together tightly so the cord is locked in. Our replacement plug had a reversible gasket with a curved side for heavy cords. Other types use screws to hold the cord in place.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Utility knife
- Wire stripper/cutter
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- New plug or socket