There are a lot of reasons extension cords get damaged, from getting squeezed in the door to accidentally getting cut during landscaping efforts. But before you go out and purchase a new one, try fixing it!
Repairing an extension cord doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. First you’ll want to check and see which end the damage is closest to and purchase the proper grounding plug. More specifically, decide whether you’ll need one for damage closest to the female end or the male end. Once you cut the damaged section out of the cord, you can even buy one female end and one male end and make two shorter cords out of your damaged cord!
As an example, you can purchase this 15 Amp 125-Volt 2-Pole 3-Wire Grounding Cord Outlet from Leviton if the damage is closest to the female end. It’s less than $4 at Home Depot, and comes in a variety of colors to match your extension cord, including black, gray, orange and white.
To begin, make sure your cord is unplugged and then cut the cord cutting out the damaged section using a wire cutter. Now strip back the cord’s outer insulating sheath, exposing about 2-in. of the colored wires inside. When doing this, be sure you don’t cut through the actual wires.
Now, strip about 1/2-in. of insulation from each of the three wires inside the cord, using a wire stripper. Once the insulation is off, twist each stranded copper wire around itself. Wrap each twisted wire clockwise around its coordinating screw on the replacement male or female end. Finally, tighten the screws. A helpful color coordination hint: green goes with green, black goes with gold and white goes with silver.
When attaching the wires, be sure you leave a little slack to account for the plug housing to fit over the wires when you close it. Once you get the spacing just right and the housing closes nice and snug around the wires, just reattach the screw on the outside until the cord feels secure in the opening and you’re good to go!