What is the purpose of this wiring connector?

This is a more general wiring question, as I've seen these kinds of connectors in other devices as well:

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Three questions:

1. What is its purpose? On one side it's connected to the AC-in power cord, while the other side goes to the rest of the machine.

2. This connector seems to have had too much juice running through it -- one side burned and melted the plastic for some reason. Does it pose a fire hazard in its current state?

3. Would it be a bad idea if I just bypassed the burnt side entirely, and connected the wires together?

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Deck the Halls
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Miroslav Djuric, I have seen these being used extensively on European equipment. Possible a TUV requirement for approval. Those are simple electrical wire screw terminal connector, but allow a variety of cable sizes and higher amperage to be connected. Yes, you can connect your wires by other means, i.e. soldering. Just keep the amperage in mind and stay away from automotive connectors like spade connectors etc. I do wonder why your washer pulled so many amps to actually overheat your connector:-) Hope this helps, good luck

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Thank you sir! I thought this to be the case, but I wanted to confirm with someone else before I do something silly.

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Sometimes in a connector, if the screws holding the wires in are loose this can result in the connector heating up, then damaging the connector or surrounding components. The damage in this photo may be the result of this situation. The good thing about this style of electrical connector is that it is well insulated, and is often fixed in place to avoid the wiring loom moving about during use with the potential to cause other issues. Heat shrink or electrician's plastic tape over a solder joint will provide the electrical insulation needed, but the wires will still be free to migrate around inside the casing. Hope these comments help.

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