Right… before I start this How-To, some of you will be thinking “What exactly is a fused spur and why would I want to wire one?”. I know some of you will be thinking this because that is just what I was thinking when Tim told me I needed to learn how to do it. But, bear with me on this one because it’s actually a very handy little how-to!
Wiring a fused spur allows you to keep a machine or appliance plugged in constantly with an on/off control on a separate switch plate. For this how-to, we were wiring in our washing machine in the kitchen and we can now control the main power through a switch above the cabinet. So, no feeling around behind the machine for the on/off switch every time you want to use it!
This was fairly easy to do as we already had a fused spur under the cabinet and a switch up above – if you don’t have that, I would suggest getting a sparky in to do this for you.
How-To: Wire A Switch Fused Spur
- Side cutters
- Electrical screw driver
- A torch (one of those head torches would be really handy here)
- Common sense (y’know just in case you needed reminding when dealing with electrics)
- Turn the power off at the mains before starting any electrical wiring – safety first folks!
- Cut off the plug from the appliance wire using side cutters (cut fairly close to the plug when you do this as you want enough wire to reach from the appliance to the fused spur on the wall)
- Strip back some of the plastic casing from the end of wire to expose the three coloured wires (brown = live, blue = neutral and green/yellow = earth)
- Then strip back some of the plastic casing from the end of each coloured wire to expose the copper
- Twist the copper strands round so they form a tight strand (a bit like when you twist your hair into a french twist!)
- Bend the copper strand back on itself (see photo above) but don’t let it touch the plastic casing
- Do this for all three coloured wires
- Unscrew the wall plate on the fused spur
- Check there is definitely no electricity coming through the fuse spur by popping an electrical screw driver against the screw for the live wire (the red one in the image above) if the screw driver lights up – you know there’s electricity flowing and you need to turn it off now! (Yes our screwdriver is lit up, but this is just to demonstrate what it looks like if there’s a current flowing) Again, if you’re not sure, please call an electrician as you won’t want to get an electric shock
- Unscrew the little grey cable retainer near the plate opening (have a saucer or something nearby to put the screws in)
- Feed the appliance wire through the hole (some plates will say feed in and feed out so you’ll know which way to do this if in doubt)
- Then feed the individual coloured wires to their corresponding holes and screw them in tight (the wiring in our home is old so live is red, neutral is black and earth is green/yellow)
- Pull on the coloured wires to make sure they’re secure
- Screw the little grey cable retainer on to secure the new wire into the plate
- Gently push the plate back into the wall and screw back to the wall (sometimes this can be fiddly as the thread doesn’t always catch, so do one screw a little, then the other a little and check the wiring is all safely tucked in but not touching, and screw in fully)
- Turn the electricity back on and switch the appliance on at the wall (the switch above your cabinet) and check it turns on
- Push the appliance back under the cabinet and use as normal! (After two weeks without a washing machine, I finally have some clean clothes!)