Changing receptacle

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by tlong_66, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. tlong_66

    tlong_66 New Member

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    31
    I am changing one of the outlets in my kitchen. It is a kind i have never seen before where the wires push in from the back and are somehow locked in. Perhaps by a small metal tab on each side. Just wanted to check on proper way to remove so i don't damage anything.
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    You're on target. Near where the wire is pushed in, there will be a small slot with a brass spring visible down in the slot. That spring digs into the wire to make the "back-stab" connection. Usually there's a stamped marking of "Press to release" or "Press spring thru slot to release wire" or something like that. With a small screwdriver, do just that -- press the brass spring, to move it away from the wire and it will release. Sometimes it's easier if you first push the wire in a bit to allow the spring to "un-dig" itself from the wire.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    outlet

    If the wire will not release when the spring is depressed, just twist the outlet back and forth on the wire while pulling on it.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    1. Don't use that type again....they are notoriously unreliable , especially on a device which might have a toaster or coffe pot plugged in. Get the type where the wire goes straight in and is clamped when you tighten the screw.

    2. If you do get the wire out of the old one, make sure there is no nick in it, which might cause it to break. You can't go wrong by cutting the old bare section off, and restripping.
  5. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

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    Any proof of that or just opinions?
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    They are still legal for 15 amp circuits only. For many years, they have been required to exclude 12 gauge wire. I think that tells the story. Lots of folks use them because they are fast. In your own house, you get to choose.
  7. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

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    I dont backstab just for the record, but I dont hold it against people that do either...
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    It's so well documented that backstabbing is failure prone it's not funny.
    I am frankly surprised it is still legal.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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  10. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

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    Litchfield, CT

    Who did the documentation? and for what its worth Ive seen just as many bad splices as bad backstabbing, maybe we should not make splices legal either..
  11. sbrn33

    sbrn33 Electrical Contractor

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    Fremont, NE
    If you stick up for backstabbing you either just like to argue or have never done service work for more than a week.
    Just my opinion of course
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    This is kind of like the plumbing arguments over AAV's and Sharkbites. They are code approved in many area. Folks have personal opinions about them, often based on personal experiences.

    In all walks of life, professionals develop certain habits and preferences, and we will probably debate the issues forever. Putty or silicone??
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    My personal thoughts...

    When used with a high current device, the spring pressure able to be exerted on the back-stabbed device decreases as the junction heats and cools. Eventually, it doesn't have as much pressure as when new. Then things start to get interesting. If used to just power a lamp or something, you may never notice, when used with say a toaster, you might. Better to use a screwed down clamp in my unprofessional view.
  14. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Please understand that this is not directed to anyone person but instead to the market in general.

    Based on information that can be obtained from the CPSC and UL the installation of the stab-loc on 15 amp rated devices is as safe as any other type of installation.

    It has been my experiences of over 40 plus years in the field and 8 plus in the classroom that most people don’t understand the failure of the device in the event one fails.

    According to recorded statistics there are two reasons that the stab-loc fails. First and foremost is due to improper installations procedures and second is due to overload of the device. Failure due to overload will eventually end up with failure somewhere else in the device or circuit if not at the stab-loc.

    Then we have the electrician or installer that just doesn’t know any better that just blames the failure on the installation procedure instead of the real problem. This is due to the lack of knowledge and a need to blame something in order to affirm their knowledge when this knowledge is absent. This is when we hear things like, “this guy is nothing but a hack or I would never do anything like this.â€

    When I hear these types of statements I can’t help but wonder if the person making these statements thinks their knowledge and experience is far superior to those of Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories which approves the procedure.

    I also find that the electrician or installer that thinks that the stab-loc is a substandard installation are the same people that will spread the prongs of a male plug in order to get it to hold in a receptacle that is very loose. They don’t seem to understand that the receptacle that is loose is failing at the tension spring just as the stab-loc failed. They don’t understand that this loose receptacle is failing for the same reason that stab-loc fails. The loose receptacle is failing due to the device being overloaded.

    A close study of Table 210.21(B)(2) will reveal to the reader that any 15 receptacle is to be loaded to a maximum of 12 amps no matter if it is installed on a 15 or 20 amp circuit. To connect a 1500 watt electric heater to this device for an extended amount of time will cause the device to fail. This failure will occur either in the blade slot or the stab-loc if used. Did the device fail due to the installation procedure of due to being overloaded?

    Knowledge is power and power is the key to diagnosing a device failure. Without the proper knowledge one could simply make the statement that the electrician that made the installation was nothing but a money hungry hack and I am so much better than that hack.
    Myself I prefer to have the knowledge to properly access the failure and give the customer the correct reason for the failure instead of trying to make myself look better than someone else with false information.
  15. kd

    kd New Member

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    207
    The best device connection is the screw and plate method found on recent GFCI receptacles and hospital grade receptacles. The around the screw is next, but its durability depends on the skill level of the electrician(or handyman). The stab-in or quick slot is worst. Here is the Question; What is the recommended torque for a receptacle screw?
  16. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    I contend that if done propertly one is no better than the other.
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Leviton recommends 14-16 in-lb for their AC-215 and AC-220 duplex receptacles; hospital grade receptacles have a "designed torque capability" of 20 in-lb. Here's an abstract of a study intended to determine the effects of torque, contact area, and movement on the temperature of residential receptacles:

    Testing was performed using 120 volt, 15-amp receptacles and copper wire to determine the effect of torque and wire contact area on temperature elevation at receptacle screw terminals. Torque was varied on both the hot and neutral terminals from 0 to 12 in-Ibs, and the apparent wire contact at the screw terminal was varied by 1/8" and 5/8". There was no significant difference in temperature when changing apparent wire contact. Increased temperatures were observed with reduced torque, however, they were not significant enough to initiate a glowing connection, nor high enough to cause rapid oxidation. Further testing showed that movement of a loose connection was necessary to cause significantly high temperature changes, arcing and sparking, rapid oxidation, and in some cases, glowing connections.
  18. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Location:
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    And mine as well.
  19. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Can't disagree with anything you say. On the other hand, it seems that in the real world, J.Q. Public WILL find a way to tax a 15 amp receptacle beyond its means....with extension cords to multitply hair dryers and coffee pots.

    If your experience has been that you have not replaced a lot of receptacles where the back-stab connection failed, then that is the experience, and as I mentioned, we all expect professionals to learn from their experience and act accordingly.
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