Machinery Wiring

Ever Felt Like a Bit of a Loose Wire?

Ever Felt Like a Bit of a Loose Wire?

A loose wire in a plug or a socket can leave you perplexed; that bloody machine was working absolutely fine, and suddenly the damned thing’s died a death for no apparent reason! It may not be instantly obvious, if a wire in the plug is loose or has come adrift, but the problem may be intermittent which might look suspiciously like a failing motor. The most likely suspect is the plug.

Prevention is always better than cure. The most common causes of wires coming adrift inside a plug are uncoupling a plug from a socket by pulling on the cable or alternatively stretching the cable using the appliance right at the end of the cable’s limit. To uncouple a plug, remember to grasp the plug, rather than yanking on the cable. Rather than stretch a cable, use additional cables but no more than 42 metres for 110-volt cables or 60 metres for 3-phasae cables. Bear in mind that too many cables will result in a power drop and the motor burning out. Better still, unplug and replug into a socket nearer to where you’re working.

If a plug has a wire come loose, VERY IMPORTANTLY, unplug the cable from the power source and unscrew the plug checking that no wires have become detached from their fixing. Each fixing should have a letter denoting which wire in the cable should connect to which fixing. On 110-volt plugs, L is brown (live), N is blue (neutral) and E is for the green and yellow wire (earth). Make sure that the wires are securely screwed into the correct fixing.

On 3-phase plugs, there’s 4 cables. Brown goes into L1, black into L2, grey into L3 and blue into N. Check and re-check you’ve got the wiring correct and reaffix the outer casing.

Then you’re back up and running.

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