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Thread: What to do with wires when installing light switches/plugs

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member Hammerlane's Avatar
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    Push in connector not good?
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    Last edited by Hammerlane; 09-16-2013 at 09:58 AM.

  2. #17
    DIY Senior Member Hammerlane's Avatar
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    SCrew and Clamp is better
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  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member Hammerlane's Avatar
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    Side wired is best?
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  4. #19
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerlane View Post
    Side wired is best?
    That is exactly how I wired an outdoor cut-off switch for a pump, only I was using #12 stranded THHN, which was a pain to get secured beneath the screw heads, which is why I was wondering about binding-head screws.

  5. #20
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    That is exactly how I wired an outdoor cut-off switch for a pump, only I was using #12 stranded THHN, which was a pain to get secured beneath the screw heads, which is why I was wondering about binding-head screws.
    After stripping off the insulation take another 1/4 inch bite of the insulation but leave it at the very end of the conductor and guess what, yea it goes under the screw easily.

  6. #21
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I do not use the push in type if I can avoid it. Even if code says it is safe, I do not think so, if the outlet gets overloaded. Most users will test that theory.

    And if you use the wrong type or size of wire, Then you should not be playing with electricity.


    Have Fun.
    Last edited by DonL; 09-16-2013 at 11:18 AM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  7. #22
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    After stripping off the insulation take another 1/4 inch bite of the insulation but leave it at the very end of the conductor and guess what, yea it goes under the screw easily.
    Oooh, nice tip! Nowadays, I might be looking for a switch with the clamp plate, everything else being equal. Being it was a horsepower-rated DPST switch, there might not be so many choices available.

  8. #23
    Electrical Contractor jbfan74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Let me start this post by saying that if I have sounded rude at any point in this thread it was not my intention. It was pointed out to me that some of my post could have been taken as rude but after some discussion with a group it was determined that I was only trying to make a point although a couple of the fine folks in the discussion said I sounded rude.

    If anyone has taken anything posted by me as being rude I apologize.

    The reason they test receptacles in hospitals is for receptacle failure. The failure occurs at the blades instead of the termination points.

    The moral of this exercise is, receptacles that are overloaded will fail. Even the best products on the market will fail if not used in the manner for which they were designed.
    My feelings were hurt!!!!
    Yes I am A Pirate-Jimmy Buffett

  9. #24
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerlane View Post
    Push in connector not good?
    Why do you say, "not good"?

  10. #25
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbfan74 View Post
    My feelings were hurt!!!!

    Sounds like JW needs 40 lashes with a wet noodle.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  11. #26
    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    If JW and HJ started a company together, they could advertise "with over 130 years of experience and the grumpiness to prove it".

    On a serious note, I greatly appreciate both of them (and Terry) taking the time to share knowledge and experience out of kindness. If someone wants to nit pick grammar, not listen, and/or argue back, it's their loss.

  12. #27
    DIY Senior Member Hammerlane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Why do you say, "not good"?
    I've replaced backstabbed receptacles where the conductor was blackened at the backstab entry. Also some where the body of the receptacle was compromised and the wire was not held in place.
    Last edited by Hammerlane; 09-19-2013 at 04:17 AM.

  13. #28
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerlane View Post
    I've replaced backstabbed receptacles where the conductor was blackened at the backstab entry. Also some where the body of the receptacle was compromised and the wire was not held in place.
    So what you are saying is you have replaced some bad receptacles that were either overloaded or improperly installed but you are blaming the wiring method for the problem?

    There is a fact that cannot be disputed. UL test the method and puts their mark on the method. This means there is nothing wrong with the method unless someone thinks that their experience is far superior to the vast knowledge of the testing lab.
    Someone finding a device that has failed because of misuse or improper installation does not mean the method being used is not good it only means that the person making the repair lacks the education to know the facts and lacks the ability to discern the problem.

    In my years of electrical work I have found wires on the terminals of panels that were blackened and the screws welded to the point of not turning so I suppose that a screw terminal is an inferior method of terminating a conductor in a panel. Just maybe these failures were due to improper installation or even overload.

    In my years of electrical work I have found receptacles that had less than one ounce of tension on the slot blades so I suppose that these receptacles were inferior because they wouldn’t hold a cord cap in place. Most of the receptacles I found in this shape were in medical establishments. Maybe it was the fact that the electrician was a hack, who knows? I do! It was due to the device being overloaded not a failure is the method of installation.

    When it comes to failures in these receptacles in a dwelling unit, and this is where you will find the stab-loc method of installation, the failure is sometimes due to an improper installation but in most cases it is due to an overload on the device by appliances such as portable electric heaters, vacuum cleaners, blow dryers and the like not the method of installation.

    The method of terminating the conductor does not change the fact that any 15 amp receptacle is only tested to 12 amps continuous current for a period of three hours. This device is listed for a load of only 12 amps and the method of terminating the conductors does not change this rating.

    Once electricians have the number of years of experience that I have and if they continue to study current flow as I have by attending the many seminars that I attend each year and listen and learn by those who have the responsibility of testing these devices they learn to find the cause of the failure not just blindly running around pointing to some method and calling the person who made the installation a hack.

    Over the years I have found just as many failures on receptacles that had either the conductor wrapped around the screw of a pressure plate that secured the conductor as I have using the stab-loc method maybe even more. Of course I have worked in many different levels of electrical and I am not limited to just slinging rope through 2 by 4s. I have many more years of industrial and commercial than residential and these receptacles don’t use the stab-loc like residential ones does. I think maybe that through this experience that it was something different than the stab-loc that caused the failure, maybe it was the load imposed on the device that caused the failure or improper installation methods.

    My granddaddy once told me to look before I jumped into the water unless I was certain of the depth of the water I was jumping into. Using this theory I would say it would be wise for a young electrician to look at the reason of the failure before just pointing to the method being used.

  14. #29
    DIY Senior Member Hammerlane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    So what you are saying is you have replaced some bad receptacles that were either overloaded or improperly installed but you are blaming the wiring method for the problem?
    That could be a conclusion one could make.

    In my opinion the conductor termination at the left is more secure. If you want to have your guys secure the termination like on the right go with it. It does save a few minutes.
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  15. #30
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I have seen that when the wire release is used, then the tension on the connector will not hold the wire properly. It is a 1 use release for the most part.

    I do have switches that use the easy way for lighting, But I do not use them on my AC outlets.


    The saving of time is not worth the problems. And I do not trust them when I overload the outlet with a space heater, that is also UL listed.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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