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How to: Electricity basics

By Maha

Updated: October 22nd, 2021

Want some simple electrical know-how? Check out our guide to the basics.

Sure, electrical work can seem really intimidating from the outside. And we’re not denying that there are many situations when you should turn to professional electricians in London. But it can be possible to learn the basics if you really want to…. and it’s another handy string to add to your DIY bow.

Read on to learn some essential electrical skills that will serve you well over the years:

How to wire a plug

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Wiring a plug is more straightforward than you might think. You’ll need a small screwdriver and scissors or a sharp knife for the steps below:

  • Start by unscrewing the plug clover. You can do this by loosening the screws using your screwdriver.
  • Next, remove the fuse. You can pry this out with a screwdriver if you need to, and loosen any screws.
  • So far, so good? Move on to positioning flex in plug and cutting the wires so they reach about half an inch beyond each terminal.
  • Strip the insulation carefully so that at least a quarter-inch of wire is exposed. Careful not to snip off any strands of wire at this stage. You can twist the wire strands together.
  • Fasten the cable camp by fitting each wire into the right terminal hole (see below) and tightening the screws. Check for any stray wires.
  • The colours of inner wires and their correct terminals are as follows:
    blue – neutral
    brown – live
    green and yellow stripes – earth
  • Wrap the wire clockwise around the pillar and tighten all screws.
  • To finish, check that all wires are connected to the appropriate terminals as mentioned above, and there are no stray wires sticking out. Check that all screws are tightened as well.
If your plug is faulty or damaged in any way, don’t attempt to fix it. You need to cut it off and dispose properly.

How to change a fuse

Appliance stop working? The fuse may be blown. Don’t despair, you can fix this. Follow these steps:

  • Switch off the appliance (at the mains as well). This is important!
  • Check that the fuse is the issue by doing this small test. Unscrew the top of the plug and take it out. Take the bottom lid off a metal torch. Place one end of the fuse on the bottom of the torch’s battery and the other end on its casing. If it doesn’t light up when switched on, the fuse isn’t working.
  • To replace the fuse, simply prise the fuse holder out (of your switched off, unplugged appliance) using a screwdriver. Replace and refit.
If you’re unsure at any stage, stop! There are many skilled electricians in London that can help.

When to call in an electrician

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We’re all for a bit of DIY, but there are some things that should be left to the professionals. Get electrician help for any of the below:

  • Appliance not working but fuse working just fine? Check whether there are any disconnected wires. If everything seems in working order, hire an electrician to look into it.
  • If the same fuse keeps blowing again and again, you need to call in a professional to investigate.
  • Sockets or switches feeling warm? Is an appliance emitting an odd sound? It could potentially be something dangerous. Unplug and get electrician help.

Nothing should stop you from learning simple electrical jobs such as replacing light switches and fittings. But by law, more complicated  work needs to be carried out by a qualified electrician. Remember, improper work will cost you more in the long run and could be harmful.

Need a little extra help? Find trusted and local electricians with Airtasker



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