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Power cord on DeWalt electric drill

My DeWalt electric drill started tripping a ground-fault interrupter outlet and eventually I traced the problem to the power cord. I removed the cord from the drill and found something I have never seen before on a cord, and neither has the local electric motor shop or the local DeWalt dealer. The three wires from the cord are green, white and black. The black and white wires go to the trigger switch for the drill motor. All three wires also "pigtail" to a common encapsulated or "potted" piece that I am guessing is the problem. The man at the electric motor shop said he'd just cut the potted piece out of the tool. I'm wondering what its purpose is. Any ideas, anyone?

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  • Tom Fitzsimmons
    Tom Fitzsimmons Jan 31, 2009

    Rowdy, the drill is a DeWalt DW130V 1/2-inch VSR Drill, Type 1.

    I took the cord to the local DeWalt distributor's service department and the man behind the counter said he'd been working with drills for 30 years and had never seen anything like the potted piece, but guessed it might have something to do with noise suppression.

    So, I came back home and broke the potting compound off and exposed the piece beneath. It was wrapped in fabric tape and under all that were three capacitors, each 0.1 microfarad rated at 250 volts. I think they are miniature electrolytic capacitators. I don't know if they are for reducing sparks at the motor brushes or for reducing radio interference.

    The neutral wire is attached to the (+) lead of one capacitator, with the (-) lead connected to the ground wire; the hot wire is attached to the (-) lead of the second capacitator with the (+) lead connected to the ground wire: the third capacitator is connected across the hot and the neutral wires, with the (+) lead of the capacitor connected to the neutral and the (-) lead connected to the hot wire.

  • Tom Fitzsimmons
    Tom Fitzsimmons Feb 01, 2009

    Thanks for looking into the question, Rowdy. The tool is 115 Volts AC. I unfastened the capacitors and it seems the capacitor from the hot wire to ground may be the problem. (Either that or it isn't!)

  • David Ford
    David Ford May 11, 2010

    Is this tool a 230V model, that is all I found on their site and most of the parts you have to contact Dewalt for. It sounds like it is for the interferrence also, but you have me stumped on this one, sorry I couldn't help further but if you get any more information let me know and I will try again

  • David Ford
    David Ford May 11, 2010

    What is the model number and brand and I will do some checking and get back to you


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Dbx is a family of noise reduction systems developed by the company of the same name. The most common implementations are dbx Type I and dbx Type II for analog tape recording and, less commonly, vinyl LPs. A separate implementation, known as dbx-TV, is part of the MTS system used to provide stereo sound to North American and certain other TV systems. The company – dbx, Inc. – was also involved with Dynamic Noise Reduction (DNR) systems.

My conclusion is that your answer was right on.... good work.

Posted on Mar 03, 2009

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