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Broken Ground Prong on Extension Cord

July 1, 2006

Q: The ground (third prong) broke off of my heavy duty extension cord I use for power equipment.  If I plug this cord into, say, a surge protector that does have a grounding prong and I plug that into the wall, will the extension cord be grounded?

A: No it will not. Your ground stops where the ground prong is broken off. You need to cut off the cord end and get a new one. You can get these at Home Depot, Lowes or your local hardware store for approximately $10.00.

There are different grades of cord ends. I recommend a 15 amp, 125 volt commercial grade cord end. The end will come with instructions on how to replace it.

Your new cord end will be in two pieces. Slip the strain relief end over the cord first. Then strip off approximately 1 1/4″ of sheathing exposing your black, white and green wires. Strip off approximately 1/2″ of the insulation exposing the bare copper conductors. Stranded wire can sometimes be a challenge when trying to insert into a hole. I usually twist each individual conductor together first. The black wire terminates to the brass colored screw on the plug end. The white wire terminates to the silver colored screw and the green wire terminates to the green colored screw. Then tighten the two pieces together.

Now be careful when tightening the strain relief end around the cord. If you tighten it too much, it will pinch your cord and possibly sever a conductor. In my opinion, this has been a bad design with cord ends for years. You want to tighten the end down so that it is snug on the cord and the cord will not easily pull out of the cord end.


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One Response to “Broken Ground Prong on Extension Cord”

  1. carlos on December 2nd, 2008 5:06 am

    The electrical plug on my new Christmas sign has two parallel conductor slot of the same size. All the extentsion cords I can find have a large spade and small spade, can I file the large spade down to fit the plug slots both small, without causing any damage or injury?