South Africa’s mains electricity supply is about 220V. That can be deadly if it’s not used properly. To keep yourself and your family safe from electric shock, you’ll need to know how to correctly wire a three-pin plug… and how to spot wiring that’s been done incorrectly.

 

Here’s your step-by-step guide to doing it right.

 

1. UNSCREW THE PLUG COVER

You’ll need a screwdriver for the job: either a flat head or a Phillips head, depending on the screws used. If you open the cover and you find a fuse, either remove the fuse safely or – if you’re unsure what to do – call in an expert!

 

2. INSERT THE WIRES

Household electrical cables have three wires inside:

Green/yellow, which links to the earth terminal (E)

Blue, which links to the neutral terminal (N)

Brown, which links to the live terminal (L).

Looking from the top, E is in the middle, while N is on the left and L is on the right. Check the markings on the plug to make sure, though.

 

3. STRIP THE ENDS OF THE WIRES

Here you’ll need a wire-cutter or – if you’re feeling like a proper handyman – a utility tool like a Leatherman or a Gerber tool. Carefully strip the plastic insulation away, exposing about 5mm of naked wire for screw-hole terminals, or 15mm for clamp terminals. On each wire, twist the loose strands of copper together to keep things tidy.

 

4. CLAMP THE WIRES IN PLACE

If you’re working with screw-in terminals, then fit each wire into its appropriate terminal hole and tighten each screw. Again, you’ll need a screwdriver for this – so make sure you have a selection of them in your toolbox!

For clamp terminals, wind each wire around the pillar and tighten the screw.

 

5. FINALLY… CHECK YOUR WORK!

Make sure that the wires are connected to the right terminals (see Step 2), and that your work is neat and tidy, with no stray bits of wire hanging loose. When you’re satisfied, refit the plug cover and screw it shut.

 

 

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Now that you know how to wire that plug, swipe your RCS Card at South Africa’s leading hardware stores, and get the equipment you need for the job! Browse the RCS shopping network for more information.