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Thread: Modern electrical outlets - side wiring with 12 gauge

  1. #16
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Velasquez View Post
    Not sure of the brand outlet you are using, but in theory those side wired clamping connection were designed so when turning the screw clockwise to tighten you were not exerting force pushing the wire out.
    That's what I'm calling "back wiring" and I have no problem doing it. By "side wiring" I mean looping the wire around the screw - the way wiring was done years ago.

  2. #17
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    I am not sure if the wire loop thing is allowed with stranded wire or not. I have some #10 telephone wire and it is very flexible. Similar to an appliance cord, probably over 100 strands.
    Bil lD

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I am not sure if the wire loop thing is allowed with stranded wire or not.
    I not sure either, but I've never needed to use stranded wire on electrical outlets.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Western North Carolina, USA
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    20
    Hi Folks,

    In my opinion, scotchLoks and their ilk are only acceptable for
    non-important, temporary, low power use.
    That said, punch-down connections are used extensively for a wide variety of connections.
    Good quality punch blocks used with the proper tool and proper wire in
    an acceptable environment can hold up quite well.
    To minimize long-term corrosion No-Oxid is helpful:
    https://telephonetools.com/index.php...oduct_id=334bb
    This can also be helpful on any connection that sees moisture.

    Stranded wire can be used with standard electrical outlets - this is common in the event production world.
    Do not wrap stranded wire around a screw.
    The wire can be slipped under the clamping plate or a crimped spade or ring terminal can be used.

    I'm not a licensed electrician - always follow local code!

    Thanks and good health, Weogo

  5. #20
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    Jul 2005
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    Eastern Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    I not sure either, but I've never needed to use stranded wire on electrical outlets.
    Have rolls of both #12 and #10 stranded. I almost always use 4" boxes, but if I know I will be closing in on my max box fill, I'll use stranded. A lot easier to fold into a box. A lot easier to pull if I have a number of turns, also.

    For connections on the device using the side clamps, twist the strands tightly, insert and tighten.
    To use loops around the screws, remove an extra 1/2"-3/4" more insulation than you think you need, twist the strands tightly in a counter clockwise direction, wrap around the screw and tighten. Both the DC twist and the extra twisted wire will help keep the conductor remain tight to the screw. Trim the excess with a pair of side-cutters.
    To add pigtails use Wago lever nuts.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  6. #21
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    Apr 2018
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    Cambridge Vermont
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    You do realize that wire nuts are used everywhere and are just a spring inside of a piece of plastic that pushes two (or more) wires together, right? That being said I don't use the "stab" style connections on an outlet. I have seen the wire pop out because the flat piece of metal that locks the wire in failed. As far as those "suitcase" style connectors go, if it's not slicing through both sides of the insulation and making good contact with the wire inside you have the wrong size. I have seen them used on factory wired 4' florescent light fixtures. I would trust them over the "stab" style connections but I would use a wire nut before using one.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    ...wire nuts are used everywhere...
    Not everywhere. If I find a wire nut used on my projects on anything except a lighting circuit, I'll ask the foreman not to allow the offending electrician back on site. If I find a crimp-on butt splice in a conduit or wireway, the whole crew is escorted to the gate. Both are unacceptable risks in a production environment. We buy panels with oodles and gobs, even lots and lots, of screw terminal blocks for a reason.

    Yes, I'm proof texting. Yes, I'm extrapolating from the context of the thread. And yes, I'm even being hyperbolic (...maybe just a wee bit). But, the subject is that important to me - - and for what its worth, given only 2 choices, I'd much rather have the 'iffy' spring cage clamp at a terminal or device, rather than a wire nut in mid-run.

    Lagniappe: I learned to tug test 10% of the terminations in a panel; if I get a 10% failure rate on the tug (=1% of total), the electricians get to re-torque 100% of that panel. Once. Next time, another contractor gets to do it. (If you find an electrician that's really good inside a control panel, cherish them!)

    ...and now we return you to your regularly scheduled outlets.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    I was taught to avoid back wiring where significant vibration is present (Clothes dryers, Washing machines) and to employ pigtails for greater clearance when side connecting serial outlets on the same leg.

  9. #24
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    Mar 2019
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    Los Angeles, California
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    Any copper or steel on the side of the outlet can, if the outlet is not positioned perfectly, make contact with the steel box and either send a shock to you or trip a breaker. That is why those side wired switches and outlets are not favored, and if used, are usually covered with tape along the outside. Wiring to the back is much safer.

    If there is any exposed copper or steel on the side of the switch or outlet, I cover them with tape. That is standard practice.
    Regards,

    Tom

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McCurnin View Post
    Any copper or steel on the side of the outlet can, if the outlet is not positioned perfectly, make contact with the steel box and either send a shock to you or trip a breaker. That is why those side wired switches and outlets are not favored, and if used, are usually covered with tape along the outside. Wiring to the back is much safer.

    If there is any exposed copper or steel on the side of the switch or outlet, I cover them with tape. That is standard practice.
    You would have to be exceptionally sloppy to have the side wiring of a receptacle or switch come anywhere near close to shorting out against a metal box. Neatness rules the day. However, wrapping the device terminals w/electrical tape is always a good idea, for the reason that those pesky kids are good at prying off cover plates and sticking stuff in there (as well as people carelessly trying to pull out a receptacle without first verifying if itís live or not.)

    Crazy stuff can happen in a box under pressure, and I have personally seen Wago 221 connectors come loose in the fracas melee, so itís good to wrap those too if you anticipate such.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    I not sure either, but I've never needed to use stranded wire on electrical outlets.
    Wire inside a wall or junction box doesnít have to be flexible, so thereís no need for it to be stranded, and Iíve never seen anything like that.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    Not everywhere. If I find a wire nut used on my projects on anything except a lighting circuit, I'll ask the foreman not to allow the offending electrician back on site.
    What kind of projects are those?
    I learned to tug test 10% of the terminations in a panel; if I get a 10% failure rate on the tug (=1% of total), the electricians get to re-torque 100% of that panel.
    You should be tug-testing _all_ of them. :^)

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Wire inside a wall or junction box doesnít have to be flexible, so thereís no need for it to be stranded, and Iíve never seen anything like that.
    A lot of commercial/industrial wiring is done in conduit, with stranded wire. Itís easier to pull through the conduit. Wire companies now make some insulation that is super slick to make pulling it through conduit that much easier. At work, my building is all conduit, and if I install a new receptacle or replace one, I pigtail the stranded wire in the box with some short pieces of solid to make the connection with the receptacle, under the clamp or around the screw.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roehl View Post
    A lot of commercial/industrial wiring is done in conduit, with stranded wire. Itís easier to pull through the conduit. Wire companies now make some insulation that is super slick to make pulling it through conduit that much easier. At work, my building is all conduit, and if I install a new receptacle or replace one, I pigtail the stranded wire in the box with some short pieces of solid to make the connection with the receptacle, under the clamp or around the screw.
    My solution to that is GB Wire-Aide wire-pulling lubricant.

  15. #30
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    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roehl View Post
    ... if I install a new receptacle or replace one, I pigtail the stranded wire in the box with some short pieces of solid to make the connection with the receptacle, under the clamp or around the screw.
    That's how I was taught, too.

    We carried a box full of "preloaded" standard receptacles.
    The only wiring we did on site was GFI.

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