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How to Wire a Three-Phase Plug

Updated April 17, 2017

A normal household current is an alternating current (AC). Alternating current means that the voltage in the wiring changes 50 to 60 times a minute. Since the voltage is not a constant, the load that is attached to the power supply has to be able to deal with an alternating current. Three-phase power allows for smoother and higher performance by attaching the load to three currents out of phase of one another to allow the load to see one relatively nonfluctuating current.

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  1. Open up the three-phase plug using a screwdriver. When you have the plug open, look for any inscriptions in the socket. There should be five slots inside the plug corresponding to the five wires you will be attaching. These slots should be labelled "1," "2," "3" and "0," with one exhibiting a picture of a line on top of a T shape.

  2. Strip the wires you will be placing in the plug. Stripping involves using the knifelike portion of a pair of electrical pliers to lightly clamp down on the wire about 1/4 inch from the end of the wire. Clamp down until the pliers have cut through the insulation, or the plastic portion covering the metal centre, and twist the pliers making sure not to press too hard so as to cut the metal centre of the wire. After you have cut the insulation, pull it off by using the pliers to clamp down on the freed insulation. Pull it free from the wire.

  3. Insert the stripped wires into the sockets in the plug as follows: black in 1, or L1; red in 2, or L2; blue in 2, or L2; white in 0; and green in the picture with the line and T symbol. Note that these colours may only apply in the US.

  4. Tighten the wires into the sockets using a screwdriver and the screws located on top of the sockets. Close the plug using the same screws that you used to open the plug. Before you use the plug, make sure that there are no loose wires sticking out and that the whole plug is tightly held in place.

  5. Warning

    Electricity can be lethal. Make sure that no loose wires are exposed before plugging any electrical device.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Three-phase plug
  • Electrical pliers

About the Author

Hannah Ardeb has been writing and editing since 2008. She has written and ghostwritten content for online platforms including company blogs, marketing blogs and copy for health products and e-commerce websites. Ardeb studies English literature at Bar Ilan University.

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