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How to make a 220-volt extension cord

2014-11-26   Views:14

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Producing your own 220-volt extension cord has many advantages. You choose the length you need, the current rating suitable for the load it will carry, and the type of cord suited to the environment in which it will be used. Constructing and using th

How to make a 220-volt extension cord

Producing your own 220-volt extension cord has many advantages. You choose the length you need, the current rating suitable for the load it will carry, and the type of cord suited to the environment in which it will be used. Constructing and using the right extension cord reduces the risks of shock, fire and property damage that exist when using an unsuitable cord. Creating an extension cord requires a basic understanding of electricity and the types of cord and plugs available.

Skill level:Easy

Things you need

Cord220-volt male plug220-volt female plugUtility knifeElectrician's screwdriverDigital multimeter or continuity meter

Instructions

1 Establish the requirements for your extension cord by considering where and how it will be used, the maximum current it will carry and the type of connectors needed at each end. For example, most appliances designed to be attached to a cord are equipped with polarised grounding type plugs. The National Electrical Code states they should be used only with polarised or grounding type extension cords.

2 Purchase a suitable length of cable that conforms to local and/or national regulations or Consumer Product Safety Commission safety suggestions for extension cords used under the conditions you have anticipated. For example: A 16-gauge cord 100 feet long is good for currents up to 10 amps; A 14-gauge cord 50 feet long is good for currents up to 15 amps; A 12-gauge cord up to 100 feet long will be good for a current up to15 amps and will safely power any power tool.

3 Slide the new female and male plugs onto the cord so that five or six inches of the cord pass through the housings of the new plugs. Pass sufficient cord through the plugs for you to hold it safely while preparing the inner three wires. For each plug, remove approximately two inches of the outer insulating sleeve, avoiding any damage to the insulation on the internal wires. Cut each of the wires to the length required to reach the plug terminals.

4 Bare the ends of the wires, using a knife or wire strippers, so all three end in a quarter of an inch of exposed metal. If the wire is braided, twist it firmly to bind the tiny wires into stiff bundles.

5 Insert the bare wires into the terminals. The grounding wire, which is usually bare metal but may have green insulation, must be connected to the GND, or green, terminal. The black "hot" wire connects to the brass terminal, and the white "neutral" wire goes to the silver-coloured terminal. Firmly tighten each terminal screw, then cut off any excess wire protruding beyond the terminals.

6 Check that the wires are connected to the correct terminals, then attach the cord clamp to the cord at the point where the full insulating cover remains. Check that the wires are not kinked, trapped or straining, then assemble the plug housing.

7 Set your digital multimeter to measure continuity. Attach the probes to the hot prongs of the male and female plugs. A "beep" or a zero reading on the scale indicates they are correctly linked together. Repeat between the two neutral prongs and then the two grounding prongs. If all three tests show the wires are correctly connected, the extension cord is ready for use.

How to make a 220-volt extension cord

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