I'm here to say that the conventional wisdom that one gets here--that
"backstabbed" wiring is bad, evil, and always leads to failure--may not
[To the perplexed, "backstabbed" means that instead of using screw
terminals to connect wires to devices such as outlets and switches, the
stripped (solid) wire is pushed into a connector that grabs the wire
inside the device. Very commonly used "in the field".]
The opinion one reads here most often is that this is an inferior wiring
method that must always be suspected when there are electrical problems,
that it should be avoided and that it should be corrected if found.
I'm not sure that's correct.
First of all, it is an approved, UL/CSA tested, and, most importantly,
code-approved (US building code) wiring method. If it was as all-fired
bad as folks here claim, why would it still be allowed? After all, the
building codes tend to err on the side of caution.
My own experience, as limited as it might be, has not shown backstabbed
connections to be the source of any trouble. I recently worked on a
house built in the 1960s in which all devices were backstabbed. I was
called to add a circuit, not to correct any problems. There was no
current problem with any device that I could see, nor was there any
history of any such problems.
I'd like to see some more evidence for the badness of backstabbed
connections. Everything I read here is either based on anecdotal
evidence, or just speculation and personal preference.
I will say that I personally don't like backstabbed connections; as
tempting as they are (a lot faster than
stripping/bending/screwing/crimping using screw connections), I prefer
the "old-school" method. But I do think they've gotten an unfairly bad
rap. Furthermore, I refrain from automatically correcting them
(replacing backstabbed connections with screwed ones) when I see them,
on the theory of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and I suggest this
to others. Especially newbies and DIYers; I think it's bad advice to
automatically suspect backstabbed connections as the source of a fault,
and to imply that they should all be ripped out and redone.
Let the brawling commence.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism