Can this cord be repaired?
April 29, 2021 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Due to an unfortunate incident with an extension cord, the plug on my toaster oven has been destroyed. The cord is not detachable from the oven so I can't just order another one. Can this be fixed? What kind of place would fix it - small appliance repair? An electrician? What would be the ballpark cost?
posted by insectosaurus to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can do this yourself with a replacement plug from your local Home Depot / Lowe's / hardware store or Amazon.
posted by jon1270 at 2:49 PM on April 29, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: This is a simple repair. Hardware stores sell replacement plugs (example). You'd just need to cut off the damaged plug, use some wire strippers to pull back and expose 1/2-inch of each of the two wires, seat the exposed wires inside the replacement plug, and close up the plug with a screwdriver. If you took this to a small appliance repair shop, this should be a very quick and inexpensive task, at most $20 or so.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:53 PM on April 29, 2021 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Here is a walkthrough with pics, if you feel like DIYing it.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:03 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Although I consider this a DIY-able task, make sure you can distinguish the "hot" and "neutral" wires on the electric cord. If you mix them up, you can shock yourself when touching your toaster, which is not ideal. If you are not able to confidently identify the neutral wire, take the appliance to a small appliance repair shop. They will be able to identify it very quickly, and as stated earlier, replace the plug for a small/nominal fee.
posted by saeculorum at 3:25 PM on April 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Easy fix you can and should do all by yourself, it will be fun. Note that the plug is likely Polarized (where the hot and neutral wires are distinct), with one of the metal prongs being wider than the other. It's hard to tell from your picture, but I believe the remaining prong is of the wider variety. Compare it to some other plugs around the house and you'll be able to tell the difference.
If your remaining prong is not wide, then assume the missing prong was wide and act accordingly. (If it was or wasn't wide, it won't hurt anything by replacing it with a wide polarized plug)
Get a two-prong polarized replacement plug from your favorite store. Put the designated wide-prong'd wire on the wide-prong side of your replacement plug.
Make sure your screws are all tight and there's no stray wires poking about.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
posted by Diddly at 3:27 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yes, it can be repaired. It is an easy fix for someone who knows how to do it. Not you. Not me. I'm pretty handy but I don't fool with electrical stuff. If I get it wrong the building burns down. What I did in this exact situation is go to my local hardware store, buy the plug, and ask the most experienced employee to help me put the plug on. Took less than five minutes. (I brought the tools needed, a box cutter and wire stripper/cutter.) Then I tipped the fellow $10. He seemed happy to have taught me something, and happy to have the tip. I still wouldn't put a new plug on an appliance without supervision, though. Fire, electrocution, etc.

This won't work at Home Depot. If you don't have a local hardware store like mine, you may find a neighbor or friend who could show you how to replace this plug. The new plug costs $2 or $3 in my area.
posted by KayQuestions at 6:10 PM on April 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

The plug on my beloved $9 toaster died about a year ago, and I replaced it with one of the plugs being linked up thread. It wasn't quite as easy as I thought it should be (took close to 30 minutes, as I recall). I didn't have any specialized tools, and cutting the inner tubes of insulation without also cutting through most of the copper filaments proved difficult with the combination of scissors/kitchen knife I was using. In addition to being very careful about polarization, as people have already mentioned, you'll want to think carefully/look up how to mitigate mechanical stresses on the wires inside the plug. The plug will probably have two little posts in it, and you're supposed to wrap each half of the wire around each post in a certain way (I believe the opposite direction you wind the wires around the screws inside the plug) to make sure people/pets pulling on the cord can't loosen the wires where they make contact.
posted by array at 10:15 AM on April 30, 2021

Response by poster: Thank you so much, I had no idea this was diy-able! I bought a replacement plug, went very carefully and slowly and triple checked which wire was which, and it worked! The linked walkthrough was especially helpful for figureing out which wire was which.
posted by insectosaurus at 4:55 PM on April 30, 2021 [3 favorites]

Awesome! Glad you gave it a go.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:26 PM on April 30, 2021

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