how to wire a 220v plug with 4 wires

If you have an electrical appliance that requires a 220v plug, then you may need to buy a four-pronged plug to go into the socket. Obviously, this will depend on whether the socket accommodates four prongs.

Since 1996 most 220 v electrical appliances will require four wires. The four are two hot wires, a neutral, and a ground wire. It is worth noting that the neutral and ground wires aren’t the same. Once you have your four-pronged plug, it is time to connect it.

Five steps of wiring a 220v plug with 4 wires

how to wire a 220v plug with 4 wires

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to wire a 220v plug with four wires. 

Step One: Strip the wires

Strip the wires

The first thing to do is use wire cutters to strip the four wires you want to connect the plug with. Strip ¾ inch of insulation off the ends of the four wires. These four wires will be red, green, black, and white in color. The white wire is usually only present in 220 v appliances.

Step two: open the plug.

open the plug

The next step is to open the plug housing by loosening the screws holding it. Use a slotted screwdriver to do this. Then remove the back of the housing and then line the wires to the front of the housing. Then loosen the screws on the plug terminals.

Step three: Connecting to a three-pronged plug

Hold the plug upside down if you are connecting to a three-pronged plug. Slide the exposed end of the red wire to the top left terminal and tighten the terminal screw. Ensure all the wire strands are concealed under the screw head.

Then connect the black wire to the top right terminal and tighten the terminal screw. Lastly, connect the green wire to the bottom terminal. 

Step four: Connecting to a four-pronged plug

connecting to a four-pronged plug

If you connect a four-pronged plug, you will have to connect all the wires. Hold the plug upside down with the “L” shaped proged at the bottom. Connect the green wire to the bottom “L” shaped terminal.

Then connect the white wire to the top terminal. Lastly, connect the two red and black wires to the two terminals on either side. 

Step five: Close the plug

Close the plug housing and screw the back of the plug securely into place. You can test to see if the plug is working correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a 4-wire connection?

A four-wire connection uses four wires instead of the standard three wires. A 4 wire connection has an additional white wire called the neutral. 

What is 4-wire used for?

A 4-wire circuit is used to power 220v and 240v appliances from hairdryers, water heaters, and in most cases, industrial devices such as welding machines. 

What is the purpose of the neutral wire in a 4-wire circuit?

The neutral is used as a return path for the 110 volts and is needed by most modern electrical appliances.

What is the purpose of the ground wire?

The ground wire is usually located at the bottom and directs excess electrical charge to the ground, hence the name. 


Nowadays, most modern electrical appliances have a 220v plug that requires both neutral and ground wire. Thus it is essential to know how to connect such a plug with four wires.

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