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Thread: Modern electrical outlets - side wiring with 12 gauge

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    What kind of projects are those?

    You should be tug-testing _all_ of them. :^)
    Primarily pumping systems; the electrician tests 100%, I am just doing random QC re-check.

  2. #32
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    I used stab outlets in my old shop to wire lights. When I ripped out that wiring to sell the house, a bunch of those wires were loose. I vowed never to use them again. Those were 20 years old.

    I just discovered that the electrician that wired my house used stab receptacles. Have stab receptacles gotten better? Should I go through the house and replace them?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    RE: stab outlets Should I go through the house and replace them?
    I would only do so with outlets that exhibit intermittent failures.

    If the circuit breaker holds (doesn't often trip and can be reset) I would leave well enough alone.

    (I'm a hack, but I handle simple repairs at home.)

  4. #34
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    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.
    For the modern outlets, etc., that have the side clamping mechanism, there's no more chance of contact with the side of the box than with traditional "around the screw" setup. In fact, there is slightly less because the screws will project less when they are used to secure the wire clamping mechanism than when there's a piece of wire around them.

    That said, it's my own personal standard practice to do a wrap of tape around them no matter how they are wired...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    I just discovered that the electrician that wired my house used stab receptacles. Have stab receptacles gotten better? Should I go through the house and replace them?
    If it was my house, I'd fix them all. You probably don't have to replace the receptacles because they usually have side wired terminals as well. I've seen those back stab connections completely destroy a receptacle.

  6. #36
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    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.
    Taping the outlets is not a bad thing, except for the added labor. Unless the box has been bent in, the side wired terminals will not touch the box. Even marginally neat work habits will keep that from happening. If somehow the terminals do touch the box, there is no shock hazard. The breaker will just trip.

    To say that taping devices is usual, or standard practice is a huge stretch.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roehl View Post
    A lot of commercial/industrial wiring is done in conduit, with stranded wire. It’s 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.
    Ever used the Pass & Seymore Plugtail system? The receptacles come with a pigtail harness consisting of stranded wire leads that terminate in a plug that connects to the receptacle. the tails are connected to the wires after pulling them in & then at finishing stage, the receptacles are plugged into the tails.

    The advantages being easy device replacement without shutting the power off and a circuit can be energized without having all the receptacles installed. Pricey though, but they are spec grade.

  8. #38
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    Hi Malcolm M,

    I agree that all splices can only be in accessible boxes, not in conduit/wireways.

    I'm not an electrician but have been using wire nuts for more than forty years.
    Please school me in why they are only acceptable for lighting circuits.

    Thanks and good health, Weogo

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weogo Reed View Post
    Hi Malcolm M,

    I agree that all splices can only be in accessible boxes, not in conduit/wireways.

    I'm not an electrician but have been using wire nuts for more than forty years.
    Please school me in why they are only acceptable for lighting circuits.

    Thanks and good health, Weogo
    Wire nuts are perfectly acceptable and reliable for power connections. There are some critical installations where engineers may specify crimp or other type connection. I am an electrician & have been using wire nuts for over 45 years.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    I just discovered that the electrician that wired my house used stab receptacles.
    In what year was the house wired?

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Weogo Reed View Post
    Hi Malcolm M,

    I agree that all splices can only be in accessible boxes, not in conduit/wireways.

    I'm not an electrician but have been using wire nuts for more than forty years.
    Please school me in why they are only acceptable for lighting circuits.

    Thanks and good health, Weogo
    I deal with industrial automation & control systems. If a faulty connection causes a life safety related transmitter to re-boot, it could E-Stop the entire facility, and it can cost millions to get it back online. Same potential with a pump, for example - connection comes loose, pump doesn't start, tank level goes HIHI, facility E-Stop.

    I diverge from this thread's context, but we deal with 4160V/3P medium voltage or 480V/3P low voltage for power, and 24VDC instrumentation primarily. Power gets crimp-on bolt lugs (or split-bolts for the small stuff(<15hp)). Instruments and actuators get crimp on ferrules - then everything gets secured w/ 'thread' - either a nut/bolt or terminal block screw.

    There are only 2 duplex receptacles on most of 'my' sites, both in a pre-fab containerized MCC building, powered from a lighting panel bucket in the MCC: 1 for the network switch gear; 1 convenience outlet for a programmer. Direct wired; no wire nuts - tho' again, I was proof texting above, and for this specific 120V application I wouldn't put the run on someone. (I would question why they need wire nut on a 15ft wire run!?!)

    ...we now return control of your SMC monitor to you. We hope you've enjoyed this brief excursion to ... the Industrial Zone.
    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 03-03-2021 at 2:02 PM. Reason: clarity

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    In what year was the house wired?
    Lowball electrical contractors have been using back stabs from when the came out (40 - 50 years ago?) to this day. I emphasize lowball, with all its negative connotations.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    Ever used the Pass & Seymore Plugtail system? The receptacles come with a pigtail harness consisting of stranded wire leads that terminate in a plug that connects to the receptacle. the tails are connected to the wires after pulling them in & then at finishing stage, the receptacles are plugged into the tails.

    The advantages being easy device replacement without shutting the power off and a circuit can be energized without having all the receptacles installed. Pricey though, but they are spec grade.
    Interesting. Iíll certainly check it out, though I doubt it would be worthwhile for usówe donít replace that many receptacles. I doubt Iíll be there long enough to replace a given recep more than once (even at about 20-25 years to go...).
    Jason

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


  14. #44
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    I saw those for sale on ebay. Almost bought several until I realized you can not use them without the pigtail. the pigtail costs 5-6$ each. Buy a ten dollar outlet instead and it will outlast the pigtail life cycle.
    What I mean is in 20-30 years you will not be able to buy a pigtail that fits. Same idea as a replacement rechargaeable battery tool in 30 years. I no longer have a VHS player but I do have few tapes.
    Bil lD

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    To be clear, there are 3 types of connections:
    1) backstabbers, where the wire is inserted into a hole in the back of the receptacle, and is held in place by spring action; you canít even physically use this for 12ga anymore; they are removed by snipping off the wire at the receptacle, because the wire is damaged and canít be reused anyway.
    2) side wiring, where the wire is inserted into a hole or semi-circular depression in the back corner of the receptacle and tightened down/clamped to a conductive plate using one of the side screws; this is okay.
    3) loop wiring, where the wire is made u-shaped and looped around the screw clockwise and tightened down. This is also good, but is more prone to loosening than 2 if youíre not careful and lock/tighten the loop around the screw. In either case proper tightness must be observed (a torque wrench is useful, but most sparkies just do it by feel when the inspector isnít looking. :^)

    Julie is referring to mode 1 (one).
    While I have had several "1"s fail, I have never had a "3" fail, and have never used a torque wrench. I just can't see why "3" would would be more likely to fail than "2".

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