How to Wire a 3-Pin Plug

The 3-pin plug is the standard way to provide power to a device in North American.

A typical plug delivers a maximum of 120 volts at 15 amps. Each pin has a specific task. The bottom/round plug is the ground. This is the safety system that provides a safe path for the electricity to go to the earth if it gets somewhere it shouldn't. The larger flat terminal is the neutral connection which provides a path back to the distribution panel. The smaller flat slot is the "hot" connection which delivers the power to the device.

Strip 1/4 of insulation off the end of each of the three wires with wire strippers.

Loosen the terminal screws on the male 15-amp grounded connector. Wrap the black wire around the hot (+) terminal and tighten it down with a screwdriver.

Wrap the white wire around the terminal for the neutral (-) connection and tighten down the terminal screw with a screw driver.

Wrap the green or bare wire around the terminal screw for the ground connection and tighten down with a screwdriver

Things You Will Need

  • Male 15-amp grounded connector
  • 16/3-gauge stranded copper wire
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire strippers

Tip

  • Never work around wires which are live. Turn the power off at the source and confirm it is off before beginning work.

Warning

  • Even a small amount of electricity can stop the human heart. Be extremely careful when working with electricity.

About the Author

Bob White began his writing career in 2006. Working in sales, he was a technical writer tasked with responding to requests for proposal. White has a Bachelor of Arts in computer science and a diploma in home inspection. He has also worked in construction, landscaping and the pool industry for more than 15 years.