Have to replace a light switch.
Are the switches with the push-in wire connections option as good and as
as using the conventional screw terminals ?
What's the history on re reliability, danger due to arcing, etc. ?
This would be for a simple on-off for a kitchen light.
Perhaps 300 watts or so.
I wouldn't use the push-in connections on switches/recepticles. I don't
think they're even allowed by code anymore? They rely on a spring contact
which could theoretically weaken over time, allowing overheating, arcing,
In any case, the screw terminals will provide a stronger, more reliable
connection. Just remember to wind the wire around the screw in the
direction the screw turns.
My favorite switches/recepticles are the ones that use a clamping plate
under the screw. You simply strip the wire, insert it under the plate, and
tighten down the screw. The ease of the push in connectors, with the solid
connection of a screw terminal. Best of both worlds. But, they do tend to
cost slightly more. No biggy for one device, another matter when you have
dozens to install... :)
I don't think the clamps are nearly as good as screw terminals; it is simply
much easier for them to pull out.
That said, I use them all the time. They are great with #10 wire, or when
you are a bit short on wire as they require less wire; and there is less
wire to bend up and shove in the box.
True, but there usually isn't any "pulling" force inside an electrical box.
And even with #14 wire, they clamp down rather tight.
In any case, I usually use the standard screw terminal devices just because
of the cost.
I have had several push in connections fail in my house. This how the house
was constructed. The vacuum cleaner caused most of them. Of not in the
plug it was plugged into, but further "upstream" which took some detective
work to find.
They are perfectly acceptable to UL and other fire/electrical safety
I've never had trouble with any push-in connections; but I still prefer a
screw type terminal because it puts more metal surfaces in contact with each
The National Fire Protection Association (they write the National Electrical
Code) has a project underway to see what happens as house wiring ages.
It's got some years to go, but the results will help answer questions like
Gee with these answers, I wonder how the manufactures get a UL listing with
the push in connection?
I use the push in for light loads, like the one you described. I do not use
them for outlets. I can and do plug some heavy loads into outlets
occasionally. Pushin connections are not used with AL wire and you need a
special device rated for AL wire. (just in case)
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