My dog chewed through the plug end of a air purifier that I have in my house. I was wondering if it was possible to buy a plug by itself connect the end of this cord into the plug safely. Below is a picture of what the end of the cord now looks like.

EDIT: I am in the United States. Thank you all so much for all the thoughtful answers!

enter image description here

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    Are you in the US? – Wilson Sep 19 at 9:11
  • Do you no longer have the plug that was previously attached to the photographed end? – Will Sep 19 at 15:00
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    I am in the US and my dog completely destroyed the plug that was previously attached to the unit. – Justin Todd Sep 19 at 17:20
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    How is the dog? – A C Sep 20 at 2:14
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    @JustinTodd your dog is bored. He needs either chew toys or more exercise. – Criggie Sep 20 at 5:06
up vote 37 down vote accepted

Since the damage is at the end of the cord, you can just cut off the chewed part, replace the plug, and lose a few inches of cord length. There is an endless selection of replacement plug styles at any big hardware store. A few things to note:

  • This answer is focused on the plug style used in the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and some other countries. Plug designs vary in other countries. To the extent that there are other considerations that apply elsewhere, I encourage readers to comment or post other answers to better address requirements in other countries.
  • The cord in the picture is commonly called zip cord or lamp cord. It's used on low power, indoor appliances. Plugs are designed for different types of cord. Some cords have a round outer insulation jacket covering individually insulated wires. The replacement plugs designed for that type of cord, especially for higher-power appliances or outdoor use, are big and contain a clamp sized to grab a thick, round cable. You don't need a massive plug like that. There are light duty plugs designed for the type of cord on your air purifier.
  • It's a two-wire cord, so get a two prong plug. There are polarized and non-polarized plugs (the polarized plugs have one blade wider than the other). Match the style of the original plug.
  • If the original plug was polarized, the cord should have one side identified by ribbing or a white stripe. That side goes to the wider blade, which is the neutral connection. If the original plug was not polarized, it doesn't make any difference which wire goes to which non-polarized blade.
  • If the store has only polarized plugs and the original was not polarized, it won't hurt to use a polarized plug. But if the original was polarized, do not replace it with a non-polarized one.
  • The plugs come in two attachment styles. One requires you to strip some of the insulation and wrap the wire around a screw. The other is "insulation displacement"; you put the intact wire in a slot and closing the cover forces the wire onto contacts that cut through the insulation and grab each wire. Either style is fine. As FreeMan notes in a comment, some insulation displacement plugs may require you to separate the two wires for a short distance, with each wire going into a separate channel inside the plug (just follow the package instructions).

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  • Make sure there is a mechanism to secure the wire so that pulling on it can't pull it out. If there is not some type of built-in clamp (a situation more common in the screw-type, like the plug shown below), tie a knot in the cord inside the plug to keep the cord from being pulled out.

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  • There is a knot called the Underwriter's Knot designed for this purpose. The picture below (courtesy of this web site), shows it inside a lamp base:

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  • You can get right-angle replacement plugs. This can reduce the clearance required at the wall if the outlet is behind furniture.

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all pictures courtesy Home Depot

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    This is a US-centric answer, the OP does not specify a locale. In other regions the plug can be replaced with one meeting the local standards. In the UK for example, all plugs are 3-pin, do not use insulation displacement for connecting the wires, have a cable clamp (which really should be used) and a built in fuse which may need to be changed to one with an appropriate rating as the usual 13 Amp value is probably too big to protect the wiring to a low power device. – uɐɪ Sep 19 at 9:10
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    @ʎəʞouɐɪ I think it's on the contrary: this answer applies to pretty much whole world - except UK. UK is the strange kid here, not US. So unless the locale is specified as UK, this is fine. – Agent_L Sep 19 at 10:37
  • Excellent answer. One additional note. After clipping the cable to a clean end, it will be necessary to split the two pieces of wire insulation for about 1/2 - 1 inch (based on the plug purchased) to install them inside the replacement plug. Any sort of utility knife can be used to press on the "dent" between the two wires of the cable to split them. For the short distance needed, it's probably best to cut the full length instead of trying to pull them apart once the split has started - pulling will likely end up in too much cable being split. – FreeMan Sep 19 at 12:16
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    @ʎəʞouɐɪ that really doesn’t look like the sort of cable you get on UK appliances and air purifiers are far from common in the U.K. Also as a part of science lessons many U.K. schools teach you about wiring a plug. Finally in the U.K. it’s generally called a cable not a cord. So I think it’s safe to assume OP isn’t in the U.K. – Notts90 Sep 19 at 12:40
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    "the OP does not specify a locale". However they did post a picture of a cord with no outer jacket. Afaict such cords don't comply with European standards, so he probablly isn't in Europe (of course dubious imports or very old appliances are a possibility but they seem unlikely here). – Peter Green Sep 19 at 13:08

yes you can do that. any hardware store will have multiple options for replacement plugs. You should use a polarized plug and wire it correctly if the old one was polarized... is one prong larger than the other? If so, it is polarized and the polarized lead will most likely have some sort of indication on it.. a stripe or ribbing, etc. will indicate the neutral wire, which is to go to the wider prong.

  • Agree with aaron, I've done this multiple times. A YouTube search should find you some good instructional videos. – Marinaio Sep 18 at 19:45

Add-on (valid for most styles of plugs):

  • When connecting flexible wires to screw terminals (like you find inside a plug), it is always best practice (an at least by some electrical codes in the world, mandatory!) to crimp appropriate ferrules to the ends with an appropriate tool. Using solder to make the ends solid is deprecated (cold flow issues!). Do not use the wrong size ferrule or an unsuitable crimping tool.

  • Make absolutely sure you don't have any loose strands going besides a screw terminal

  • If connecting a three terminal plug with a protective earth connection, always make that wire the longest and having (when assembled) the most slack. This way, if the cable is ever partially ripped out of the plug, a situation where live wires remain connected while the protective earth is gone cannot happen.

Yes, you can certainly do that. This is a very common issue, well except for the dog part (maybe). I usually have to replace some on machinery monthly, and it doesn't hurt to have a few spare laying around. Replacing these is fairly simple and straight forward, for a simple item such as a heater, something common in a household, you really only need to focus normally on whether this is polarized or not, as previously mentioned. If it has a ground, then you need a plug with a ground. However, if you're using this replacement on something that requires more amps, you'll need to be a little more picky with what you're getting, to make sure you get the correct plug rated for the amount of amps required.

Looking at the picture you posted, you probably need something like this:

enter image description here

Link at amazon

You can view a brief explanation of the steps to take on this "guide" by the Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/c/five_steps_to_replace_a_plug_on_a_power_cord_in_25_minutes_HT_PG_EL

Although this does not show a polarized plug, you'll see how straight forward the process is: https://www.123rf.com/photo_27854322_inside-electrical-plug-isolated-on-white-background.html

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