Wow, I never knew this, is it just me

Many of us wind up changing outlets at some point. I've swapped likely close to 100 between my home and helping family & friends.

Anyway here's the magic:


Man I love that. So many things right in front of you just never know that are there.


He left out the fact that there is a little measuring guide on the side of the receipticle that shows you how much to strip.


Yeah but that measurement guide is only for the back stab connections and any electrical worth his salt never use the backstabs.

I’m going to be a little negative here. If I had an electrician using a switch or a plug as a wire stripper, he would be out the door pretty quick.

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Bah. Back stabs are largely fine - that's why they put them on there for pete's sake. It is largely just old fashioned electricians that are stuck in their ways that "never" use them.

Are they "as good" as looped wire and a a screw, no they aren't. Are they "good/safe enough" yes they are.

But each to their own.


I have a house built in the mid 90’s. If you are ok with the lights blinking every time you turn on the vacuum or a hair dryer, etc then we will agree to disagree.

Any spring retention will reduce over time and oxidation does creep in making matters worse.

I have rewired ever box in my house and WAF improved. Of course this was back in the day where every power tool I owned had to be plugged in.


Most quality outlets don't have stab connections. Although the better ones do have holes for the wires, they are clamped with the terminal screws.

I won't use stab connections on switches either except for the one that is on a low voltage signal line.

Look at Wago (Wego?) connections instead of wire nuts. Better in most cases.

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Well now we're splitting hairs on definitions.

Would you say clamp down backstab connections are okay, but spring loaded ones are not?

I would probably agree with that. All of the backstab style I use are screw down clamp style, not spring loaded.

So I will cry "uncle" at this point and bail out of this. I admit I wasn't even thinking of the spring loaded ones, as I never would use those even when they were common (had too many wires pull out of them the times I did try them).

Sorry if I derailed things / was quite unclear on what specifically I was referring to as "ok" in my opinion, thus stirring things up unintentionally.


It seems that neither Hubbell nor Leviton got the memo.


I'm thinking this guy is a shill for Eaton, which I've not heard of.

I have an assortment of these Wago connectors. They are great when there is little wire to work with. I would not use them on a high current device like a microwave. The old loop and screw are the best.
In the ‘90s, Ford alternators used a large friction terminal at the alternator B+ . Every amp that went out of the alternator went through this terminal. Saw a few catch fire. When they get warm, the terminal loses its tension, increasing resistance and heat.


Fords catching on fire isn't a new thing. The headlight switch recalls, the cruise control switch on the master cylinder recall, the diesel regen fire issues, and more I can't even remember now are fairly common. At one time Ford was saying on a few of their cars "don't park in the garage or near your house whatever you do!!!" due to fire issues.

I have :man_shrugging:.


Eaton is a long-time major player in the electrical industry, though they are most commonly associated with load distribution products like panels and breakers.


All of my dimmers and switches and many of my duplex outlets are Eaton. They are definitely a major manufacturer of electrical distribution equipment and devices.

Many of the manufacturers produce wiring devices at multiple price points. The lowest priced devices will often have backstab connections.

@JasonJoel the connection type you were referring to is actually called a back wired termination. It is a subtle but important distinction of terminology. A back wired termination uses a screw to clamp the wire between two plates. the joint has a similar contact surface area to a loop on screw termination.

BTW, I agree with you. back wiring or loop on screw terminals in the way to go. I have been steadily removing the backstab connected devices from my home.


Thanks for correcting me. I still call them back stabs. Old habits die hard I guess.

So yeah, I made a mess of this whole discussion, and probably should have just kept my mouth shut. My apologies.

In the end I will say that I don't like spring loaded back stabs at all. Regardless of connection area issues, they're just a pain in the ■■■.

When my daughters were small( 10 & 6), they were in my wife's Ford Taurus, which my wife went to Caldor to pickup the credit card left at the store. Within 5 minutes where my wife walked in the store to retrieve her credit card, with the girls in the car reading books, someone came in the store screaming "a car's on fire! " it was my wife's car. The Taurus trans fluid line was routed directly in line with the top of the Catalytic converter, the line started leaking/dripping on the cat and the fluid caught on fire. Some guy pulled the kids out of the car within seconds, thank God.
And before you flame me, it was very common to leave kids in the car back then, mid 90's. We live in a very safe town. Today- I wouldn't even let them play in the yard without adult supervision. Although our town is still very safe, you can't be too careful nowadays.


@JasonJoel don’t berate yourself. I think you started a very good discussion of the details of wiring device termination types. Since most of us in the community do our own wiring device replacements, we should take these opportunities to help educate the newbies to basic electrical installation tools and techniques.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed electrician, just an arrogant engineer who thinks, like most engineers, “I can do that.” I have have also worked in commercial and industrial construction a very long time. :man_white_haired:t2:

Seriously, the advice from community members is typically very good and sound advice. You are still responsible for doing your own research to be sure you are making changes consistent with the laws, ordinances and codes that are applicable in your locale.


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