You install a new plug on an electrical lead for different reasons. For example, you have visible wires coming out of the plug or the plug pin insulation is damaged. Or it was not damaged, but you cut the lead because you want to feed the cable through a small hole.
Who can install a new plug or socket on a lead?
Only licensed electricians or competent persons can change a plug. A competent person is someone who is trained, assessed and found qualified to fit plugs and sockets. While testing and tagging, we come across a lot of wrongly installed plugs. Reversed polarity, not connected according to the manufacturer instructions and a wrong current rating are the most common fails.
What are the dangers of a wrongly installed plug or socket?
There is a reversed polarity when the active and the neutral wire are swapped. This means the appliance is still charged, even when switched off.
A plug that is not installed according to the manufacturers instructions can be potentially very dangerous. Wires can became lose or exposed and can cause an electrical shock.
Different ratings on plugs have different pins. A 15A plug will have a larger earth pin. This way, it will not fit into a 10A socket. The main reason for this is to protect the internal wiring. There are adapters on the market that allow you to use a 15A appliance on a 10A socket. Those adapters have a built-in protection mechanism avoiding higher than 10A currents. It’s Illegal to change a 15A plug into a 10A or mechanically change the earth pin so it will fit a 10A socket.