What to do with wires when installing light switches/plugs

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by amateurplumber1, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    I do not use the push in type if I can avoid it. Even if code says it is safe, I do not think so, if the outlet gets overloaded. Most users will test that theory.

    And if you use the wrong type or size of wire, Then you should not be playing with electricity.


    Have Fun.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

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    Oooh, nice tip! Nowadays, I might be looking for a switch with the clamp plate, everything else being equal. Being it was a horsepower-rated DPST switch, there might not be so many choices available.
  3. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

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    My feelings were hurt!!!!
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Why do you say, "not good"?
  5. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Sounds like JW needs 40 lashes with a wet noodle.
  6. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

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    If JW and HJ started a company together, they could advertise "with over 130 years of experience and the grumpiness to prove it".

    On a serious note, I greatly appreciate both of them (and Terry) taking the time to share knowledge and experience out of kindness. If someone wants to nit pick grammar, not listen, and/or argue back, it's their loss.
  7. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane New Member

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    Ohio
    I've replaced backstabbed receptacles where the conductor was blackened at the backstab entry. Also some where the body of the receptacle was compromised and the wire was not held in place.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    So what you are saying is you have replaced some bad receptacles that were either overloaded or improperly installed but you are blaming the wiring method for the problem?

    There is a fact that cannot be disputed. UL test the method and puts their mark on the method. This means there is nothing wrong with the method unless someone thinks that their experience is far superior to the vast knowledge of the testing lab.
    Someone finding a device that has failed because of misuse or improper installation does not mean the method being used is not good it only means that the person making the repair lacks the education to know the facts and lacks the ability to discern the problem.

    In my years of electrical work I have found wires on the terminals of panels that were blackened and the screws welded to the point of not turning so I suppose that a screw terminal is an inferior method of terminating a conductor in a panel. Just maybe these failures were due to improper installation or even overload.

    In my years of electrical work I have found receptacles that had less than one ounce of tension on the slot blades so I suppose that these receptacles were inferior because they wouldn’t hold a cord cap in place. Most of the receptacles I found in this shape were in medical establishments. Maybe it was the fact that the electrician was a hack, who knows? I do! It was due to the device being overloaded not a failure is the method of installation.

    When it comes to failures in these receptacles in a dwelling unit, and this is where you will find the stab-loc method of installation, the failure is sometimes due to an improper installation but in most cases it is due to an overload on the device by appliances such as portable electric heaters, vacuum cleaners, blow dryers and the like not the method of installation.

    The method of terminating the conductor does not change the fact that any 15 amp receptacle is only tested to 12 amps continuous current for a period of three hours. This device is listed for a load of only 12 amps and the method of terminating the conductors does not change this rating.

    Once electricians have the number of years of experience that I have and if they continue to study current flow as I have by attending the many seminars that I attend each year and listen and learn by those who have the responsibility of testing these devices they learn to find the cause of the failure not just blindly running around pointing to some method and calling the person who made the installation a hack.

    Over the years I have found just as many failures on receptacles that had either the conductor wrapped around the screw of a pressure plate that secured the conductor as I have using the stab-loc method maybe even more. Of course I have worked in many different levels of electrical and I am not limited to just slinging rope through 2 by 4s. I have many more years of industrial and commercial than residential and these receptacles don’t use the stab-loc like residential ones does. I think maybe that through this experience that it was something different than the stab-loc that caused the failure, maybe it was the load imposed on the device that caused the failure or improper installation methods.

    My granddaddy once told me to look before I jumped into the water unless I was certain of the depth of the water I was jumping into. Using this theory I would say it would be wise for a young electrician to look at the reason of the failure before just pointing to the method being used.
  9. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane New Member

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    252
    Location:
    Ohio
    That could be a conclusion one could make.

    In my opinion the conductor termination at the left is more secure. If you want to have your guys secure the termination like on the right go with it. It does save a few minutes.

    Attached Files:

  10. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    I have seen that when the wire release is used, then the tension on the connector will not hold the wire properly. It is a 1 use release for the most part.

    I do have switches that use the easy way for lighting, But I do not use them on my AC outlets.


    The saving of time is not worth the problems. And I do not trust them when I overload the outlet with a space heater, that is also UL listed.
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    It is the conclusion that those charged with the testing process has come up with and I feel that they are a lot more equipment to make that conclusion that any contractor. A decision to do different is not a conclusion.

    We all have a right to have an opinion but to make a statement based on opinion and not facts is an out of place statement.

    We are not discussing what either of us might do during an installation what we are discussing is the statement you made;
    This statement is based on opinion and not fact as the facts (third party listing) speaks that this is a perfectly good method.

    This is true they are a onetime use device.



    There are no problems when done correctly. The major issue if improper installation practices. Just as with any thing, not installing it properly means that it will not last very long.
    Go back and look at post 16 the second picture on the left from the top and see where the blade detention slot will fail from an overload. Be sure to examine just how the blade of the end cap inserts into the receptacle and tell me what the difference is between the blade detention and the wire detention parts of the receptacle.
  12. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane New Member

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    252
    Location:
    Ohio
    I didnt make a statement in my post #16. I asked a question. Hence the question mark at the end of the line.

    Either way back stabbled connections are not used as a wiring method by me. You live and learn.

    I understand your comment about a proper installation though.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  13. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    You make three post titled not good, better, best along with your comments of how you are able to retire on what you have earned replacing back stabbed receptacles and would never allowed it to be done by your company so what is one to think?

    If you don’t like one installation as compared to another I don’t have a problem but when someone starts trashing one method over the other and both are approved methods then they had better be ready to back their statements because I am coming. I will be holding in my arsinel the reports from the third party testing lab which will trump any and all war stories of how many anyone has ever replaced without finding out why it failed. Just saying that it failed is nothing more than saying I just don’t what caused the failure but it failed.

    (Him) Poor ole camel was standing there just fine when someone laid a straw on his back and then he collapsed.
    (Her) Pray tell us all, just what else was on that camel’s back.
    (Him) Oh I don’t know maybe all the straws he could carry!!!!
    (Her) So we are surprised that one more than he was able to carry broke the poor ole animal down?

    The stab-loc method is just as good, just as safe, and just as reliable as any other method when done properly. Neither method is good, safe, or reliable when the device is used outside its limits.

    It’s all just a personal preference.
  14. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

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    Are "spec grade" devices still produced? Don't they lack the back-wiring option?
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The commercial rated ones I've used recently did not have a stab-loc capability...they did have holes in the back but they were then clamped in place by the screw tension.
  16. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane New Member

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    252
    Location:
    Ohio
    No report is going to convince me that the backstab method is as secure as a side wired one.

    With all due respect, I will take field experience over an arsenal of reports written by a desk-jockey at 3rd party testing lab.

    I will provide the comparison one more time.


    ***IT'S HARD TO SOAR LIKE AN EAGLE WHEN YOU'RE FLYING WITH TURKEYS***

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  17. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    If every time I found one of this type of receptacle that was not tightened enough to hold the conductor I posted that this was an inferior method then it wouldn’t be long before everyone in this nation would be against these as bad as the stab-loc but alas no one is up to posting just how many failures they find on sloppy workmanship although most of the failed stab-loc is due to poor workmanship.
  18. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    This is one of the problems in the electrical trade today. Poor ole electricians have become smarter than those that have the responsibility of writhing the codes and testing the equipment that we use everyday.

    Yes this is what we all should do is rely on improper installations, short cut methods and the like over the trained professionals that test this stuff.

    Let me see if I understand your comparison. In your personal opinion one is better than the other so we are supposed to go along with your opinion.


    Do you know that Ben Franklin wanted the smartest bird in the world the turkey to be our national bird
  19. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

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    I think there is a lot of merit to that statement. However, how can I be sure I'm not doing it wrong too? I mean, like should I push slower or something?
    I'm not much of an electrician, but as an "engineer" I would like to point out that anyone who looks at results from only "field experience" or "lab tests" in isolation is missing out. You need to look at both and then figure out all the discrepancies.
    That said, I always assumed that the few stabbed failures I've seen (vs no screwed failures) are due to the "stabbers" using $.50 junk and the "screwers" using $2.00 quality parts. The key word here being "assume"!
  20. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Use the strip gauge.

    If you are not sure if you are doing it right, then you should not be doing it.


    Do what You know how, or get someone to show you.


    Have fun.
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