Backstabbing (push ins) or screw terminals?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by rgsgww, Jul 5, 2008.

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Backstabbing or Screw terminals?

  1. Backstabbing

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Screw terminals

    4 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ia
    Which do you like to use? Which one do you think is safer? I prefer screw terminals.
  2. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
  3. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I have never seen screw terminals end up looking like this backstab:

    Attached Files:

  4. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT

    I have, when the installer forgot to actually tighten the screw... :D the foam probably didn't help matters either.
  5. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I smell a troll.

    I refuse to get involved in this thread.
    This post made, the first post by a new member, with a totally obscure screen name, and NO profile information, on one of the most contentious electrical issues.

    What's next buddy, you gonna ask if we install receptacles ground up or down???
    How about asking if we pre-twist wires under a wire nut???


    Hey, if I am wrong I apologize. I'm in a crappy sarcastic mood this morning.
    If I am right; so there. :p
  6. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    Petey, I have a sister out law I always thought was really a troll, what does one smell like? Can you verify? She always smells like smoke. :D


    [​IMG]

    Or this one?

    [​IMG] Vote now: lol.

    One more smoking troll

    [​IMG]



    Also, never backstab they are sometimes too short and fall out, always screw.

    Where's the box there? Is it under the melted insulation?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2008
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    poll

    You say you prefer screw terminals. What is the purpose of the poll? If the majority prefer backstabbing are you going to change your preference. And what about "backstabbed" connections that use a screw clamp to secure the wires?
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Putty or silicone??

    This is one of those debates which have no right answer.

    As mentioned, the so-called back-stabbed connections ( not the same as "BACK WIRED") are UL listed ( 14 guage wire only ) devices and perfectly legal. Many of the electricians on the internet poo-poo their use, but a LOT of electricians all over the country continue to install these in new construction for the obvious reasons.

    Just like many plumbers on the internet poo-poo the Plumb_qwik stops with ingtegral corrugated supply.. But a LOT of plumbers around the country continue to install them in new construction for the obvious reasons.

    I think the one summary comment I could make, in both the electrical and plumbing examples, is that you probably will have a difference in life expectancy of the product. There is no code I know of that says everything you install in a new house should last for 25 years. That is a
    "quality of construction" issue which the builder, and buyer, get to weigh in on.
  9. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Well after looking around a bit I see the OP is just a novice and the question is likely valid. Thing is this has been gone over ad nauseam, just like the other topics I mentioned.

    Let's just say nobody who has been in the field long enough to know better would EVER use "quickwire", "backstab", or whatever you want to call it.

    We've ALL seen WAY too many failures due to this to even consider using them.

    In my own personal opinion I don't think they are reliable even if done correctly. I've seen failures in brand new never lived in homes (modulars) where the wires were perfectly straight and true.
  10. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ia
    The connections that use a clamp are good aswell.
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This is a true poll as it was opened for less than an hour.
  12. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
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    That was one short poll. :)
    Maybe it was the Trolls, I am sorry...I can't help it, I wake up sickening silly & playful.:p
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    poll

    Well, it was four to nothing, 100%, so that tells you something.
  14. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ia
    troll? sorry i dont know what that is exactly
  15. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina

    This is someone who opens a poll and then closes it as soon as someone else agrees with them.
  16. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ia
    well i never closed that poll im serious

    i diddnt even notice it was closed
  17. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
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    I have noticed that sometimes it looks closed then other times it does not. I wouldn't worry about it.
  18. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, right there is that wall that was spared.

    We had one circuit in our bedroom that "poofed" (including sparks) above the ceiling fan and tripped the breaker at about 3am one morning -- little sleep for the remainder of that night -- and I completely disconnected that wire at the panel after I could not find a bad spot anywhere!
  19. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ia
    woah...good I went through my basement receptacles screwing down those wires...if you want to keep the outlet...dont push the screwdriver in the outlet to release the backstab too hard...then you will need to get a new one....
  20. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    I've had experience with push-ins that did not stay pushed in or had problems with arcing.

    And I have had experience with screw terminals where the wire was not bent around the screw - can come loose when cramming the wires back into the box.

    And I think that is a big part of the problem, it can take quite a bit of force to "cram" everything into the box after making connections.

    So what I do is cut the wires to size and strip, and say they are entering the box from the top, I will bend them down to the bottom inside the box, then back up to the top, then half way back down, then bend the ends so they are sticking straight out.

    Now the wires are like an "accordion" and will easily stretch out and go back into the box. No need to "cram".

    Then I use needle nose pliers to make a curved bend on the stripped part of each wire, then place it around the screw with the end going the direction the screw turns, then I close the end with the needle nose so the wire circles the screw, and then tighten the screw.

    Bare wire goes around screw like in this picture...
    http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/elect/remodel1/lighting/track2ft/eltlb15r.jpg

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