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Do you know how to correctly wire a 13 amp UK mains electrical plug?

You probably think they're easy to do and that you can do it.


But many people actually either don't know which way round the wires should go or don't know how to do it safely. 

At some point you would have seen the inside of a UK mains electrical plug that there's a

yellow/green wire, a Red/Brown wire and a Black/Blue wire. 

The sheaths that protect the copper core of the cables are colour coded to enable them to easily be identified as live, neutral or earth. 

What are these 3 wires and what do they do?

Firstly it's vital to understand that the colours used changes about 15 years ago, so you may see some old electrical appliances using the old system of colours and newer appliances will be using the new standard colours. 

The old system of coloured wires used in the UK in domestic appliances was:

Red - live 

Black- neutral 

Green - earth 

The new system of coloured wires used in the UK in domestic appliances is:

Brown - live 

Blue - neutral 

Green & yellow stripes - earth 

What do these wires do, the principal is the same

regardless of the colour of the protective sheath. 

Live is where electricity enters the appliance, the power running through this cable is likely to be of high current therefore the most dangerous. 

The neutral is where electricity exits the appliance, this will become live when he appliance is switched on. Known as ''switched live''

The earth should not normally be live unless there is a fault with the appliance. The earth connection is in-lace to safely guide electricity away form the appliance if a fault occurs. 

So how do these coloured wires translate into a UK 3 pin 13 amp mains plug?

All standard UK mains electrical plus will have 3 pins which correspond with the connections in the wall socket. It is therefore vital that the plug-top is wired in the correct order to make sure that they connect to the right parts of the buildings electrical circuit when they are plugged in. 

On a UK 3 pin plug you will find 3 pins connected in a triangle formation. 

The top pin is connected to Earth

As you look at the plug with the cover off

the pin on the right is Live via the fuse

The pin on the left is Neutral 


The green and yellow earth wire should form a nice neat loop around the centre of the plug to the top earth pin terminal block screw. 


The Live should form a straight line and connect to the bottom of the fuse connection terminal block screw. 


The blue neutral wire should form a nice loop towards the left and connect neatly to the neutral pin's terminal block screw

The wires should either be in straight lines or neat curves to avoid any sharp bends or kinks that could lead to the electrical current causing excess heat and potentially causing a fire. 



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