Electrical Question


I have a small wiring job to complete and was wondering if it is better to use the screw terminals or the holes on the back to wire outlets and such?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The screw terminals, definitely. The "holes on the back" are notorious for loosening up over time and causing all manner of problems.
Do a Google Groups search on this newsgroup for back-stab outlets and you'll see what I mean.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Miller wrote:

What he said. A little extra time on installation saves a lot of problems down the road. Once you do the first couple you get the touch and forming the screw loops really is no big deal.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
thebigguy wrote:

Some devices have holes in the back and the screw tightens a wire clamp inside the hole, those types are fine. There is a lot of mistrust of the "back-stab" wiring devices that have a spring loaded clip that holds the stripped conductor when it is pushed into the hole. There have been a lot of problems with them and the back-stab wiring devices that will accommodate #12 solid wire are no longer produced. I still see those that will take #14 solid wire in the supply houses.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Daring Dufas wrote:

What he said. There are "back stab" receptacles (bad), and there are "back-wired" receptacles (good). The back-wired ones involve tightening a screw down on the straight bare wire to secure the connection. But the regular receptacles where you wrap the wire around the screw and tighten it are also good. Some people think these are the best overall.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jay-T wrote:

I use the commercial or hospital grade back wired devices whenever I do a wiring job with stranded wire. I did a beauty shop like that many years ago and there has never been a receptacle failure at the place. I'll install a hospital grade receptacle wherever items are going to be plugged/unplugged a lot.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/31/2009 12:36 AM, thebigguy wrote:

Fact is that screw terminal give greater surface contact with the wires where the back stabs only grab with the edge of a thin piece of metal. You don't see stab connectors on heave electric machinery for that reason. The contact points would get hot. Screw terminals are a better connection in my opinion; (if you remember to tighten them)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Agree with: "Fact is that screw terminal give greater surface contact with the wires..............." Including the ones where each screw tightens down a small metal plate onto the wire inserted below it.
Recently replaced several 30+ year old duplex outlets adjacent to work bench; making sure that replacements were good quality ones; definitely not 'Back Stabbers' or the 'Poke wire in a hole and hope for the best ............ ' style!
In last 40 years, touch wood, never had any duplex outlets problems due to care and prompt replacement with good quality items.
But every Christmas, New Year period there are home fires often attributed to an electrical problem, sometimes deaths or people burnt out of their homes.
PS. Remember to replace batteries in non AC operated smoke detectors etc. New Year good time to do it!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
terry wrote:

Before or after the new years party full of drunk smokers?
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What everybody else said - screws. Only reason I voted was to remind you to put the loop clockwise around the screw. End enters on left side and wraps around.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Red Green wrote:

Oh yeah, good point. And I was just explaining this to someone the other day and didn't even think to mention it when it came up here.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

It's funny how the things you do instinctively with your innate common sense, are the exact things many others get wrong. You wind up thinking, "I actually had to explain that?" *snicker*
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 30 Dec 2009 21:36:44 -0800 (PST), thebigguy

It is often stated that it is better to use the screw terminals, wrapping the wire 3/4 clockwise around the screw. I use electrical pliers to form a "J" and a regular screw driver to tighten it down. The backstabs are often used by electricians to reduce installation time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Phisherman wrote:

Can't prove it, but you don't see too many posts about people with a hot recep or dead downstream recep that trace it to a loose screw connection. I can't say the same for backstabs...
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Phisherman wrote:

I also use my long needle-nose pliers to close up the J into a tight loop before I snug up the screw. I don't install many outlets, so the extra few seconds per outlet is cheap insurance. I HATE having the old stiff wires walk off the screw as I am Z-folding everything back into the box. Be careful on how much insulation you strip off- it sucks when a hot lead shorts to the box. You should barely be able to see the bare copper under the screw, if you did it right.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I get the sockets that are made to take a straight wire and the screw tightens down on it. I this this type because the outlet is good quality and the wires make good connections and are still easy to put on. The only ones I could find like this are commercial grade. I think these are best for replacing existing back-stab outlets Also several years ago my wife took up the hobby of jewelery making. Mostly what she did was stringing beads and bending and twisting wire. I tried her wire bending pliers and discovered they are excellent for bending the wire into a loop to place on the screw. Her's were a little on the light weight side but I was able to find some more suitable.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JIMMIE wrote:

Most wire strippers meant for the electrical trades have holes in outer part of the blades meant for making a loop in solid wires. I use this model made by Kline. Look at the holes in the outer of the blade. You insert the wire and bend it into a J hook.
http://tinyurl.com/yfwlmbk
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Daring Dufas wrote:

Yeah, I have Kleins, and use that hole. But once the J-hook is around the screw, I still use the needle-nose to close the J to where the wild end touches or almost touches the stem, before I snug up the screw. Maximizes wire-screw contact area, and makes it close to impossible to accidently pull the wire off the screw. Some of the outlets I was replacing on this place, the wire was barely under the screw. Just working on my own stuff, I can take the time to be fussy and double-check everything.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aemeijers wrote:

Most people have no idea what those holes are for. I like that particular Klien tool because it has the plier nose that can be use to pinch the J bend closed around the screw. It's a good tool for repairing plastic and rubber insulated extensions cords because of the sharp cable cutter.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.