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WIRING UP A PLUG.
Whilst on the subject of checking plugs and so forth, wiring a plug up in the first place may sound a simple enough task, but you can do it well or badly so this is how it should be done for an English plug:
a. Cut the wires to the correct length so that the cable grip in the plug can grip on the outer covering of the wire, in other words do not strip too much of the outer covering off.

b. Leave the earth wire about 6 mm longer than needed to reach the earth pin securing screw.

c. With a pair of round-nosed pliers form a loop on the end of each of the bared wires for a plug that has a central screw which the wire is wrapped around then tightened. With the other type the wire goes straight into a hole drilled into the pin where it goes into the plug, a screw is then tightened down on to it. In both cases after removing the coloured plastic covering  from the wire, make sure the individual wires are properly twisted together then with a soldering iron apply a little solder to keep them together this is called tinning.

d. Connect the neutral and live wires to the correct pins, the wire going clock wise around the pin. The live going to the pin that is fused. Do them up tightly.
Make sure that there are no stray strands of wire about.

e. Connect up the earth lead in the same manner, you will notice that the earth lead is a little too long, that is because I asked you to cut it that way. With this extra length form a little loop and squeeze it down in to the body of the plug. The reason for doing this is so that if the lead is pulled very hard and the wires come off their terminals, then the earth wire, because it has that loop will be the last to come off, this gives you a little added safety.

f. Check that you have the wires on the correct terminals and that the insulation is not damaged.
Check that there are not  any bits of bare wire or lumps of solder in the plug before you put on the top.
The colours of wires and their positions in an A/C mains plug may vary depending upon where the equipment is made, and even how old it is.
I can only tell you the colours for European and American equipment, however you will probably find that many other countries will follow one or the other of the colour schemes.
If you are not sure or the wires do not conform to any of these then check very carefully before you wire anything up.
For those that are not sure here are the correct colours for the wires and their positions in a mains lead for different countries.

Europe/Britain
LIVE BROWN.
NEUTRAL BLUE.
EARTH GREEN and YELLOW.

OLD British
LIVE RED.
NEUTRAL BLACK.
EARTH GREEN.

AMERICAN
LIVE BLACK.
NEUTRAL WHITE.
EARTH GREEN.

The thing to note is that Old British NEUTRAL and American LIVE are the same colour, BLACK.
So be warned.

A correctly wired up UK plug.

mains_plug_11

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