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molo
06-30-2007, 06:57 AM
Hello All,

Is one method better than the other? Backstab seems like it would be quicker, but is it better? I am replacing the receptacles in a couple of rooms. I bought 15amp receptacles with ground. The receptacles that are there are 2-hole. The boxes are metal and the ground wire is attached to the box.


TIA,
Molo

leejosepho
06-30-2007, 08:13 AM
I have always heard it is better to use the screw connections. The clips in the others can become weak and leave loose connections ... such as when my window air conditioner quit last year. The spring tab had allowed the wire to somehow actually come all the way out of place, and that surely could have been a fire in the making.

MRBILL
06-30-2007, 08:50 AM
I used the backstab in my parents cabin and was hit by lighting and blasted all of the wires right out of the sockets do not use them at all. Just like Lee said it is a fire just waiting to happen.

jimbo
06-30-2007, 09:06 AM
The so called back stab devices are UL approved, for 14 guage wire only. They do have a history that over time, the fairly flimsy mechanical spring connection to the wire can get loose, causing problems. I do not use them around my house. You will typically find that building contractors use them the time because they are much less costly and much faster to put in.

I always prefer the type where a wire inserts straight into an opening on the back, and when you tighten the screw, it clamps the wire. Very fast and very secure.

frenchie
06-30-2007, 11:44 AM
ROTGLMAO... Every electrical forum needs a "backstab vs. screw" debate thread!

If you want to know why I'm laughing: Mike (JWelectric) is a new member here; and we just went through this on another board. It got so lively I wound up calling him names...

http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36942

continued (!) here:

http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37266


The short version is: this is an issue that gets hotly debated, without resolution most of the time.

Speedy Petey
06-30-2007, 11:53 AM
ROTGLMAO... Every electrical forum needs a "backstab vs. screw" debate thread!No......no it doesn't.

ked
06-30-2007, 12:33 PM
The resolution is to use the screws only.

Cass
06-30-2007, 02:24 PM
The End

See that wasn't so hard.

molo
06-30-2007, 05:22 PM
Based on reading the EXTENSIVE threads that the links lead to, It appears that it is a matter of correct procedure regardless of the method. I will go with the screws, I do wonder if these should be applied with a torque wrench?

Molo

jimbo
06-30-2007, 06:21 PM
Well, I have read here and lots of other forums on the internet the disdain of electricians for backstab, and yet they continue to be the device-of-choice in new construction. See it all the time.

I just have one more comment.....PUTTY OR SILICONE?

Speedy Petey
06-30-2007, 07:40 PM
and yet they continue to be the device-of-choice in new construction. See it all the time.
I ONLY see it in tract homes and mods. If a real electrician has to cut this very short corner to make ends meet he needs to find other ways to save money.

leejosepho
07-01-2007, 04:12 AM
I will go with the screws, I do wonder if these should be applied with a torque wrench?

Mabe that is one reason for the backstab connections in the first place, so absent-minded or careless folks do not leave them loose.

Cass
07-01-2007, 04:45 AM
The very worse combination I have come across is outlets back stabbed with aluminum wire.

jwelectric
07-01-2007, 07:09 AM
This makes me wonder if these things are any good

http://www.idealindustries.com/IDEAL...ElemFormat=jpg

frenchie
07-01-2007, 10:08 AM
That link's not working, Mike.


Unable to process request

Http status 404
File not found or unable to run file

jwelectric
07-01-2007, 10:47 AM
Try this one (http://www.idealindustries.com/wt/IdcPushin.nsf)

Alectrician
07-01-2007, 11:42 PM
The receptacles that are there are 2-hole. The boxes are metal and the ground wire is attached to the box.


TIA,
Molo


Come on SLACKERS!!!


The more important issue is???? Are those metal boxes grounded? If not, that ground wire aint doin much.

If you are going from 2 prong to 3 prong with no ground available you must use GFCI protection.

The theory is that someone will assume they are grounded (by looking at the 3 prong configuation) and get hurt (by means of a faulty tool etc.) as a result.

Cass
07-02-2007, 03:50 AM
Alectrician....your not doing your home work.....read the first post that has all pertinent info of the question.

frenchie
07-02-2007, 06:32 AM
Cass - he clearly read the original post, he even quoted it - but the "ground wire" could mean "ground wire between the receptacle and the box" - it's not clear in the OP.

And even if Molo meant the ground wire coming from the panel; if it's old work, he should check to make sure it's actually grounded. Wouldn't be the first time a green wire didn't actually connect to anything.

There was, however, no reason to call everyone slackers... :)

molo
07-02-2007, 06:58 AM
The ground is coming from the box. I would like to make sure it is grounded, how can I do this? Also, my original thought is that replacing the 12 outlets with new ones was a job I could do myself. I see that there are concerns when doing a project like this, and that is why I originally posted. Do you pros think this is a project I should DIY?

TIA,
Molo

Cass
07-02-2007, 07:15 AM
Cass - he clearly read the original post, he even quoted it - but the "ground wire" could mean "ground wire between the receptacle and the box" - it's not clear in the OP.

And even if Molo meant the ground wire coming from the panel; if it's old work, he should check to make sure it's actually grounded. Wouldn't be the first time a green wire didn't actually connect to anything.

There was, however, no reason to call everyone slackers... :)

Your right on both counts......

Alectrician
07-02-2007, 04:50 PM
. Do you pros think this is a project I should DIY?

TIA,
Molo


NO!!!


Sincerely, Joe Tedesco








And...is "slackers" a cuss word or something?

It's time to unbunch the panties fellas.

cmlove
07-02-2007, 05:26 PM
Are others as amazed as I at the junk that passes UL testing these days. I so often find electrical components that have plastic components with the consistency of charcoal briquettes after a few years use. Unscrew a bulb, and the socket falls apart.

hj
07-02-2007, 05:34 PM
Joe! I take it you do not thing anyone should even change a light bulb if they are not licensed electricians.

Get a simple outlet tester and plug it into the outlet. The light configuration will tell you if there is a working ground or not, and if the wires are correctly polarized. And YES, it is a simple DIY project if you turn off the power first.

frenchie
07-02-2007, 06:09 PM
That wasn't Joe, it was Aelectrician.

Not "electrician", which is Joe's sockpuppet.

Aelectrician is known to me, he uses the same handle at JLC; I'll vouch for him.

He does like to poke fun at Joe with posts like the one above, it's the 2nd or 3rd one I've seen...

I could be wrong, but with the "unwad panties" comment... I think it was just a joking way of saying: "sure, you can DIY it; but I never told you that, okay? wink, wink."

...

Easiest way I can think of to check for ground, is replace them, and use a plug-in receptacle tester (http://www.eclipsetools.com/ProductPics/Latest%20.jpegs/400-029.JPG) to check them as you go.

CHH
07-02-2007, 07:31 PM
Ok, I found a few "good ones" this weekend. It's a bit hot out but cool in the basement so I decided to fix 4 recepticals that had bad grounds.

The first one was simple, just change out the receptical to a new style with ground lug and hook-up the ground wire.

The next two made me mutter. Whoever hooked'em up cut the ground wire back as far as they could. Guess they didn't want it in the way. Fortunately there was enough slack in the wall to pull wire out and get everything connected.

The fourth one took a little tracking down. This one had the ground wire "neglected" in a ceiling junction box. Argggh. I suppose someone could think that shiney copper wire was just for decoration. It does seem awful easy just to twist'em together though.

Anyway, I mostly used the side lugs but did one backstab just 'cause it was convienent. I did manage to let a few sparks out of the wire but evidently not all of'em and the majic smoke still seems to be present. Don't tell anyone about me letting some of the sparks go.

The real charmer is one receptical in the family room. No ground wire at all but it has a three prong plug. It's a shallow box too so I don't know if I can find a slim enough gfci. The wire is behind paneling and inside some sort of flex armour but the flex isn't anchored to the receptical box. If I force the armour against the box, I get a ground. Otherwise, no go.

Jus' wunnerful stuff.

hj
07-03-2007, 06:32 AM
if someone signs it "Sincerely, Joe Tedesco", then I would assume he is the one writing. If not then it is a subterfuge using an alias.

jimbo
07-03-2007, 06:48 AM
Note that the member name was not "Aelectrician" , it was "Alectrician"

Who's who in the zoo???

jadnashua
07-03-2007, 07:10 AM
If you can find the circuit breaker, know how to verify that ALL leads in the box are not live, and a little skill, then, unless your municipality restricts this to licensed electricians, you can do this yourself. When the box is used in a chain (daisy chain), I think it is better to use a wire nut to connect the wires and use a pigtail to connect to the outlet. While it doesn't happen too often, repeated heating and cooling of the connection can cause the screws to loosen slightly, thus giving you a flakey connection down the line that is very hard to find sometimes.

If you have any of those outlets that are served by multiple feeds, it is very important to watch what was done with the jumpers between the recepticles and the color of the wires attached. Break off only the jumpers as done in the original installation.

Wrap the wires clockwise around the screws.

Alectrician
07-03-2007, 10:57 AM
Whoever hooked'em up cut the ground wire back as far as they could.....

This one had the ground wire "neglected" in a ceiling junction box. Argggh. I suppose someone could think that shiney copper wire was just for decoration. It does seem awful easy just to twist'em together though.....



It's a shallow box too so I don't know if I can find a slim enough gfci. The wire is behind paneling and inside some sort of flex armour but the flex isn't anchored to the receptical box.
.


Heh heh ...welcome to my world.



You guy's never heard of "sincerely" posts? Stick around and you might learn something other than trade secrets.

frenchie
07-03-2007, 02:43 PM
Jimbo -

Oops - my bad - I meant to write "Alectrician". He's a regular (same handle) at JLC.


HJ - The sarcastic joke of pseudo-joe-tedesco posts is more obvious over there, where Alectrician's a regular & we know who he is....

That's why I wanted to explain - that it was a joke - about how Joe T thinks you should be licensed to change a light bulb, exactly! Also Joe T's tendency to post very terse answers, and use exclamation marks a lot...



...wow, jokes really die once they're explained, huh?




Molo -

with BX - armored cable - the sheathing is the ground. It should be connected to the metal box with one of these:

http://www.onlineelectricsupplies.com/media/subcategories/251l.jpg