For the electricians here:
As you know there are three ways to wire a wall outlet/receptacle.
#1. Pressure plate - known as backstab in which the stripped conductor
is simply inserted into the back of the receptacle and is held in place
#2. Side-Wire - self explanatory.
#3. Back-wire - conductor goes in back but is held in place by
tightening side-screws. Supposedly preferred for use only with stranded
conductor - but how many homes of any vintage are run with STRANDED
wire? ? ? !
My theory is based upon some work I did regarding a very large branch
in my home last year. This branch covers all the receptacles in the
living-dining area, the bedroom, and (for some reason) the range hood
over the kitchen stove. Only the fridge, stove, and some counter
outlets and the bathroom are on different breakers.
Built in 1969, this place was completely back-stabbed with 14gauge
copper. I converted most of the aforementioned branch to side-wire.
However, I had to replace one outlet behind the couch as I cracked it
while chipping away literally 1/8" of layers of paint to get the
friggin' thing out the wall!! The receptacle I replaced it with was
commercial spec, which I wired according to #3, remembering to tighten
I believe that my re-wiring had an effect on the CONSUMPTION data on my
electric bills for May - November of 2006 vs. the same period of 2005.
That is, the avg. daily kWh used. The actual bill was not much
different - only a buck or 2 less than 2005, because the local utility
had increased rates by 25% last April. Needless to say, the avg. kWH
used was down significantly compared for each of the same months in
My theory - which got me banned from the doityourself.com forums - is
that I improved the electrical conductivity of this circuit enough that
items running off it actually ran more efficiently. I also believe
that my electronics both look and sound better after converting most of
this branch from back-stab to side wire or back wire.
Did I increase the contact area on those receptacles that much to make