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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Changing mains plug

The SIEG C4 lathe that I bought from Axminster Tool Centre works on 230 VAC 50 Hz mains voltage, the same we have here in Finland. The only problem was that the power plug in the end of the cord was some British type and not the kind of we use. So I went to the local hardware store and bought a plug that is made of rubber, rated for 16A and has an insulation class IP44. The cost of the plug was 1.79 EUR, so it is cheap.

I don't know of other countries laws on electrical work, but here everybody has the right to change a power cord to a device. Technically I'm not changing the cord but in reality I'm doing the very same end result with the same connections so it doesn't count.

First thing to do was to cut the original British plug and toss it. At the same time I stripped the insulation down about 40 mm and clipped the neutral and live wire about 5-10 mm shorter than the grounding wire. This is made so that if you yank the cord and the wires get ripped off, the ground connection is the last one to rip off and in some cases it can save your life. In this plug it doesn't matter that much, but I have a habit of doing this always so I don't forget it.

I stripped the insulation off of the ends of the leads for about 5 mm and twisted the stranded wire together. Using a screwdriver I opened the new plug and screwed off the strain relief.

First I opened the screw for the grounding wire (green-yellow) and put it under the screw and tightened. After that I bent the live (brown) and neutral (blue) to their attachment points and screwed them tightly. This plug type is non-polarised, so it doesn't matter which way you attach the live and neutral. Last I screwed the strain relief tightly so it clamps on the black insulation of the cord.

Pulled the cover on and screwed it snug and this modification is done.

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