Can improper wiring actually cause a fire?

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On Thu, 04 Jan 2007 18:17:28 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

It's probably a good idea to differentiate between "backstab" and "backclamp" connections and receptacles. I think we're all in agreement that the "backstab" (stick the wire in the hole and walk away) method has proven to be horrid. While doing my remodel, I believe I've successfully replaced every single one that was originally installed in my house (and contractor grade, too--ugh).
Cooper (and probably Leviton, too) currently makes a model of receptacle that is "backclamp" which means there is a movable bar under the screws with access holes from the back. You can either put a loop under the screw, as is being discussed, or you can stick the wire in the hole behind the bar and tighten the screw which clamps the wire under the bar. Electrically AND mechanically, it's virtually identical to the loop-under-the-screw method.
Also, as to making loops, Klein has several models of their screwdrivers which have a little pin that protrudes about 3/8" from the handle, adjacent (by about 5/32") and parallel to the blade. Its function is to turn a loop on the end of a piece of wire. Much better than the pliers as one doesn't have to pick up and lay down a separate tool--you're going to use the screwdrive in the next step (although you probably used the pliers in the previous step, so it may be a wash).
Thanks, Doug, for the endorsement in your other post. I'm humbled. And I assert that you needn't be immodest--so far as I'm concerned you're about the most trustworthy electrical poster here.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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LRod wrote:
> It's probably a good idea to differentiate between "backstab" and > "backclamp" connections and receptacles. I think we're all in > agreement that the "backstab" (stick the wire in the hole and walk > away) method has proven to be horrid. While doing my remodel, I > believe I've successfully replaced every single one that was > originally installed in my house (and contractor grade, too--ugh).
Way back when I was involved with wiring devices, Leviton was the king of residential devices or as is was known the strip & stuff line.
Hubbell was king of the high end devices.
You want high end devices, look for 5262 with is an industrial device, 5252 which is a commercial grade or if money is no object 8300 which is hospital grade.
Probably won't find any of them at a DIY center.
Lew
Either are back/side wired
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).

The "spec grade" outlets are available at HD and their ilk. Cost is a couple bucks each versus the $0.50 for the cheap junk.
Some brands (Eagle IIRC), has the back clamp capability in the spec grade.
The nice thing is that the device manufactures have produced most of the styles in the spec grade so you don't have to stay with Hubble brown if you want a decent outlet.

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LRod wrote:

Yes, that describes exactly the Leviton GFCI outlet I put in. There are two holes for each screw so that two wires can be 'backclamped' to each, one on each side of the screw. The back has a guide for how far to strip the insulation.
I don't think Ive ever seen the 'backstab' type, I'll watch out and avoid them.
Thanks, I feel better about it now.
--

FF


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wrote:

Good point -- I was thinking, obviously, only of the backstab connections. The backclamp type are indeed quite solid, and I don't hesitate to use them.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Sorry - don't understand what you're trying to say with the above.

That's a problem with existing wiring. It's common to find old wiring that used shallower boxes and in fact those boxes do not meet code for upgrades to today's devices. Every box has a capacity rating and every element - the wire, the device have displacements. If you can't stuff the GFCI into the box you simply have the wrong box, not a problem with the size of the GFCI. It does become necessary to replace those old shallow boxes with proper sized boxes. So in short - you're right, it's a PIA, but the relief comes from a new box.

I'd suggest that more wiring gets inspected than you might think. Agreed that a lot of homeowner rework and add-on work does not get inspected, but more new work in existing structures does indeed get inspected than you'd guess.

#12 terminates on the screws just fine. Strip it back, pre-curl the bare wire, slide it around the screw and give it a squeeze with the needle nose and tighten the screw. It's done every day and it's no big deal. It's not even a little deal.
That said, a lot of GFCI outlets now come with a clamp on the back and screws on the side. You can wire to the screw as you would a standard outlet, or you can stab the wire into the back and tighten that same screw to clamp down the wire. This is not the same as the old, cheap back stabbers that have been discussed here. This is a real mechanical clamp that holds.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Doug Miller wrote:

I think you are observing the difference between good enough and really, really, good..
--

FF


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Here I look at a subject line to which the answer is, yes it can. But then again so can "to code wiring".
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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