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Thread: Screw vs. Backstab Receptacles

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Default Screw vs. Backstab Receptacles

    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

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3

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    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.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    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/s...ad.php?t=36942

    continued (!) here:

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


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

  6. #6
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie
    ROTGLMAO... Every electrical forum needs a "backstab vs. screw" debate thread!
    No......no it doesn't.

  7. #7

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    The resolution is to use the screws only.

  8. #8
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    The End

    See that wasn't so hard.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    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

  10. #10
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    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?

  11. #11
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    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.

  12. #12
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molo
    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.

  13. #13
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    The very worse combination I have come across is outlets back stabbed with aluminum wire.

  14. #14
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    This makes me wonder if these things are any good

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

  15. #15
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    That link's not working, Mike.


    Unable to process request

    Http status 404
    File not found or unable to run file

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