Replace a Damaged Power Tool Cord
Usually when your favorite drill, saw, or other power tool breaks it ends up being cheaper to just buy a new tool but with some manufacturers they just don’t make them like they used too.
David at ereplacementparts.com has provided a great how-to for replacing a damaged power tool cord. Read on…
How to replace a damaged power tool cord:
Power tool cords take a lot of abuse, and often need to be replaced. The constant twisting, rubbing, dragging, pinching and pulling take their toll and eventually crack or wear away the outer lining of the cord. This can damage the wires inside, and expose the tool operator to severe danger.
The good news is that the repair work for a power tool cord is not difficult with the right tools and the right knowledge. This tool repair advice section is dedicated to the replacement of power tool electrical cords.
The entire replacement process should take less that one hour.
The tools that are needed:
The materials that are needed:
The correct replacement power cord
Always unplug the tool before you begin any work
Start with a clean, uncluttered work bench area (When working on the inside of power tools, you do not want to get dirt or any other foreign objects into the inside of the tool)
Step By Step Procedure
Uncover the wire terminals: The cord for most power tools connects directly to the tool switch through a wire terminal.
Most switches are located in the handle of the tool. First remove the plate to the tool to expose the inside of the tool.
You may have to remove more than one plate (for example on many tools, you may also have to remove the handle)
Disconnect the wires from the terminals: Loosen the wire terminal screws with a small screwdriver and pull the wires out of the terminal. At this point, it is very important to note the route that the wires follow out of the terminal to connect to the plug. You need to route the new wires back in the same way or you may pinch the wires when you replace the handle.
Once the wire terminals are loose, mark each wire with masking tape to ensure that the correct wires will be connected with the new cord.
Cords with three pronged plugs usually have three wires and cords with two prongs usually have two wires. *Note that if you are also replacing the tool switch, many new switches require a different wiring pattern from the old one. See the manufacturers wiring diagrams for help with this.
Taking out the old cord: Most tools have a retaining bracket that keeps the power cord secure and fastened in place. Remove the retaining bracket (most need to be unscrewed) and remove the old cord.
The old cord will have the wires market with masking tape, so keep it nearby to help with positioning the new wires.
Installing the new cord: Power cords are different for many types of tools, based on the amperage and the voltage (even the length of the cord is important). Make sure to buy the right replacement cord for the right tool.
If the new cord already has the wires stripped, you are ready to install it in directly. (Go on to step 6)
Stripping the Wires: If not you must strip the wires first. First, take a knife and cut the power cord jacket six inches, but be careful not to cut or damage the wires inside the jacket. Measure the new cord against the old one to make sure that the wire length is the same for the new cord. Use a pair of wire strippers to strip ½ inch of the insulation away from the wire. Twist the wires carefully with lineman’s pliers to make the best connection to the wire terminals.
Put in the New Replacement Cord: Check the masking tape labels on the old cord, to make sure that the wires are connected correctly. Place the wires in the correct path to avoid pinching the wires when the tool case in put back in place. Secure the power cord back in place with the retaining bracket.
Check the Tool for Safety: The last step is to make sure that the tool is safe to use. A bad electrical connection can pass electrical current through the metal housing of the tool – this is a serious danger for operation. A multitester is the best way to ensure that the tool is safe. (A multitester measures the resistance and current in electrical circuits. With the multitester set to RX1 put one end to the plug and the other end to the outside housing of the tool. There should be no connection between the two.
Proper tool maintenance may not seem that important when tools are new. Today’s power tools are built tougher than ever before, and it seems that they are almost even designed for abuse. However, no matter how tough a tool is, regular wear and tear will take its toll. If you learn simple maintenance steps, you can save time and money.