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How to Replace a Vacuum Electrical Plug
Many vacuum cleaners are made to last anywhere from eight to twenty years or longer. The older the vacuum, the more likely you will eventually have to replace a part. One of the most dubious tasks as a vacuum cleaner owner is to learn how to replace a vacuum electrical plug. Dealing with power and electrical "stuff" can be a bit disconcerting, but it is not necessarily hard. With the right tools and some direction, a broken or worn out plug can be replaced quickly.
Supplies You Will Need
To replace an old vacuum electrical plug, it will need to be removed. Wire cutters, a small screwdriver, pliers (preferably needle nose) and a utility knife or razor blade are required to accomplish the task and a new replacement plug must be purchased as well. Use the wire cutters to cut off the disabled plug about one inch back and take it with you when purchasing a new one. Choose a plug comparable to the old one to ensure the wiring in the cord will match it. For instance, a two prong plug should be replaced with another two prong plug or a three prong plug for another three prong plug.
Using a razor blade or the wire stripping part of the pliers, remove about two inches of the outer plastic insulated coating, taking great care not to cut the two or three insulated copper wires (depending on the number of prongs) housed within. Next, strip the plastic colored insulation from each wire so approximately one inch of copper is exposed. If you have just a two prong plug, the two wires will have black and white insulation while a three prong plug will have black, white and green insulation covering the three wires.
Open the casing of the replacement plug to expose the terminals inside, which essentially are a set of screws the copper wire will wrap around. Most replacement plugs have one or two simple screws easily removed to open the casing to pass the wires through to the terminals.
The terminal screws are typically different colors to help match the copper wires properly. The brass screw holds the "hot" black wire while the silver screw holds the white "neutral" wire. If you have a three prong plug, the green screw holds the green "grounding" copper wire. Using the screwdriver, loosen the terminal screws and bend the copper wires clockwise using the pliers. Wrap the wire ends around the designated screws before retightening the terminal screws. Bending the wires clockwise in the clockwise position ensures a tight, optimal electrical connection when the terminal screws are securely fastened. Once the wires are in place, reassemble the replacement plug casing.
To truly know if you learned how to replace a vacuum electrical plug correctly, there is only one thing to do – test your handiwork by plugging in the vacuum! If it operates as it should and there are no sparks or burning smells, pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.
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