When you want to connect wires to a socket, there are a few steps you need to take. Whether you’re wiring a new appliance or simply replacing an old one, it’s important to do the job properly so that electricity doesn’t leak out of the socket and cause problems later.
Identify the Wires
Most sockets have a number of different wires in them. These are generally identified by their colours, so that you know which one goes where. The colour of the plastic insulation also helps to distinguish them. If you have any doubts, contact your local electrician.
Strip off the Insulation
Before connecting a wire to an outlet, it’s best to strip off at least half an inch of the plastic coating from the end of the wire. This is to make sure there are no strands of metal that can conduct electricity away from the wire. This can be done by a wire stripper or a utility knife.
If you’re using a wire stripper, you can use the slots in the head to separate the wires into sections that are roughly the same gauge as each other. This will make the task easier.
Tighten the Screws
To connect the wires to a socket, start by wrapping each wire around its own terminal screw. You can use the same method for all three screws, but it’s preferable to wrap each wire clockwise to ensure a secure connection. This will also prevent any strands of copper from coming loose.
Stack The Wires
Once you’ve stripped off the plastic coating, stack the wires in order of their base colours. Typically, the black wire will go on the brass terminal screw, the white wire on the chrome screw and the green wire on the green ground screw. The order of the individual screws will depend on the make and model of your electrical socket.
Identify the Wires
The first thing you need to do is strip off about 1/2″ of the plastic insulation from the ends of each wire. This will allow you to see which wires have a hot and which are neutral.
This is the same process for all wires, but some outlets may have a built-in guide that helps you strip off the insulation more easily. If so, check that guide by putting a wire in the slot and marking the end of the groove.
Ensure that the wires are in good condition and do not have any frayed or nicked ends. Otherwise, it could damage the plug or create an electrical fault.
To help ensure that the wires are in good condition, it’s also a good idea to tape them up with some self-fusing silicone tape (like Saran Wrap). This will stick to the wire and keep it tightly wound together. This is particularly useful if the wires have been twisted.
Tighten the Cables
Once you’ve wrapped the wires, it’s a good idea to use a strain relief to stop the wire from rubbing against the base of the socket. These come in a variety of forms, including collar and screw-top types. These have a set screw in them to anchor them to the wires and a hole for the strain relief to fit into.