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Replacing A Plug On A Power Cord

Replacing A Plug On A Power Cord

When you get your arcade game home for the first time, you might notice that your power plug is in rough shape. Frayed wires, loose connections and missing ground prongs are just some of the issues you might encounter. In this post, we’ll discuss how to replace a plug on a power cord so that you can ensure the playability and safety of your arcade game.

Replacing A Plug On A Power Cord

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Let’s start off by determining if we should replace the power plug or not. Obviously if our plug is in good shape we don’t want to take valuable time to replace it. A couple of things to look for when making this assesment are exposed or frayed wires, missing or bent progs (including the ground prong) and loose connections. Please see the image below for some good replacement candidates.

Damaged Plugs

Once you have determined that your plug is damaged, we can now begin the process of replacing it. Let’s talk about what tools you will need. You will need a screwdriver (phillips or flat depending on your plug), a pair of wire cutters and a pair of wire strippers. We have also found it helpful to have a pocket knife or razor blade handy in case you have to cut the jacket (or outside cord wrapping). If you have any other questions about these tools please refer to our post on Your First Arcade Toolbox.

Now that we have assembled our tools, let’s move on to removing the original plug. Depending on the shape your current plug is in, you might be able to remove it without cutting the wires. We recommend removing your plug this way but there is no harm in just cutting it off either. With the plug removed from the wires, start to inspect the wires for any damage. You might have to cut your wires back further down the cord if they are currently damaged near the end. Once you are satisfied with your wires, remove the insulation and strip the wire ends. We have now successfully prepared our cord for our new plug.

When you have completed removing the original plug and preparing your wires, we can move on to installing our new plug. New plugs can be purchased from a variety of places. We typically purchase our plugs from Home Depot where they run around $5 a piece. Wiring up your new plug is pretty simple. Most of the power cords you are going to encounter have 3 color coded wires: a black wire (hot), a white wire (neutral) and a green wire (ground). The plug that you bought might tell you where to put each wire but if not it should be indicated by different color screws. A copper/bronze screw is typically for the black wire, a silver screw is typically for the white wire and the green screw is typically for the green wire. Insert the correct wires under each of the correct screws and screw each wire down using your screwdriver. Once you have done that, close up your plug enclosure and you are done.

Replacing an old, damaged plug with a new plug is an easy repair that can prevent damage to your arcade game in the long run. It also prevents electrical shocks to people plugging in the game and perhaps electrical fires from shorts in the wiring. Please feel free to leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.

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Comments
  1. Joe Brewer

    Guys,
    keep up the great work! I enjoy all the videos. I esp. appreciated your pinball repair video because I just obtained my first pinball and wanted to know how to properly clean it. You guys are a great asset for my personal arcade collection!

  2. beau alstatt

    quick question. im replacing plug on my power cord and its a black molded cord. when i cut plug off i found a green wire and two braided copper wires with no color sheath. how do i determine which one is neutral and which one is hot so i hook up the new plug correctly. thx. love ure videos by the way. beau

  3. Jonathan Leung

    Beau,

    You might try stripping the black sheathing down further to see if the wires are color coded further down. You can also try to do a continuity check with the wide pin on your plug and both of the wires. The wide pin on the power plug represents the AC neutral (or white) wire.

    We have also featured your question on episode 19 of our Q&A podcast. Please listen to it for more of our thoughts on your question. Thank you for your question and good luck with your repair.

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