Electrical Switch Question

Hello all,
I have a question about a single pole single throw switch. On a "normal" Leviton 15 amp switch there are "secondary" attachments for power on the back via a "push in port" (for lack of a better term). So the line side has both screw terminals and this additional port (I presume to do what I want to do - bring one power line feed into a box to power 3 separately switched circuits). The problem is that the push in port only accepts 14 gauge wire and I have 12 gauge wire as this is a 20 amp circuit. Ok so I buy a 20 amp switch - no "secondary" power attachment. Why is this? Is this standard or are their 20 amp switches that mimic their 15 amp cousins so that I can run non switched power between multiple 20 amp switches in a box?
TIA
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wrote:

thats a backstap switch its really bad news, they tend to make poor contact and go bad often,,,,,,,,,
really junk cheap quality .........
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wrote:

The push in type connections on the back of switches or outlets are not a very reliable method of connection. They rely on a tension grip holding the wire. Over time, it's not unusual for them to come loose and be a source of things losing power or acting intermittent. If you follow the newsgroup, you will see most people recommend not using them.
To do what you want, use pig tail leads within the box. For example, if you have one feed coming in and want to connect it to 2 switches, you use a wire nut to attach 2 short wires to the incoming one. Those wires then go to the switches.
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Couple of NEC code cycles ago, they outlawed back stabs in 12 gauge. You'd be better off looping one continuous wire around the screw terminals of each switch or pigtailing under a wire nut

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If you have a metal box, which is grounded by an equipment grounding conductor, (ground wire in Romex) the screws of the wall switches are grounding them. Receptacles must have ground wires attached to them or approved self grounding receptacles must be used.

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Ok - that makes sense with what I'm seeing. thanks.
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I concur and would add the new "back-wire" push-ins into that category as well. As part of my kitchen reno, I did considerable rewiring. I initially used the back-wire outlets and found that the connection worked itself loose when I shoved everything into the box -- often creating abit of exposed wire in the back. And it was pointless on 12g/20A wire for the counter outlets. Those back-wire outlets don't have regular screws on the side. I ended up trashing a bunch and just going with the standard screw outlets.
--Jeff
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wrote:

I concur and would add the new "back-wire" push-ins into that category as well. As part of my kitchen reno, I did considerable rewiring. I initially used the back-wire outlets and found that the connection worked itself loose when I shoved everything into the box -- often creating abit of exposed wire in the back. And it was pointless on 12g/20A wire for the counter outlets. Those back-wire outlets don't have regular screws on the side. I ended up trashing a bunch and just going with the standard screw outlets.
--Jeff
You are mistaking back stabs for back clamps. No screws are used with back stabs. I agree with you, I hate back clamps too
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Time out! When you put 4 12 ga feeders to a power black, I'm assuming a total of 5 12 ga wires. How in the world do you get a wire nut screwed onto 5 wires. I'm having hell getting 3 of them tight and in fact the only way I'm having any luck is twisting them together first.
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JC wrote:

Its not clear to me from the OP's post how many switces he is trying to drive. It might be 4, it might be 3, it might be 5. I can't tell.
If its 4 or 5 switches, you just set up two clusters of pigtails. No big deal.
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Use larger wire nuts
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I remember seeing some big gray wire nuts (at a hardware store that's now gone, after Lowe's opened). Maybe use some of those.
BTW, there were marked with "99", "EAGLE", and "8-14".
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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Right. The red ones from HD easily put 4 together. Yellow is rated for 3. In any case you can make "multiple" connections in the box and just wire those together. As long as you stay within the NEC % rules for "crowding" in the box.
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I'm using the red ones and they're are anything from easy. Unless you twist the wires first.
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Hummm, I'm using the red ones with 4 12-2 and have no problems unless I get to the grounds (one extra for the box) - I had to twist the 5. IF I ever needed more than 5 under one cap I'd either split them out or use a bigger nut. On several of the "older" boxes I've worked on in my house they had a nut that was a two part nut. One metal coupler retains the wire by way of a set screw type setup and then a cap screws onto that.
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I've just switched to deeper boxes and more pigtails. It's the bare wire grounds that I'm having the trouble with but I've solved the problem.
Thanks,
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Just a thought; they make box extenders ( the ones with no back in them) that make life easier in an over stuffed condition.
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