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#57688 - 10/18/05 09:11 PM Back Stabbing...
Attic Rat Offline
Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... When is UL gonna lift the listing on "back-stabbing" as a method for device wiring terminations?? I just came from a trouble call(4 hours)at a residence where they lost power to the entire 2nd floor,..due to an old back-stabbed receptacle hidden in a closet... It's really a poor means of termination,and under load the poor connections overheat and can cause serious damage.. I issued a mandate to my guys stating that anyone caught terminating in this fashion WILL in turn be terminated..on the other hand, keeps us on our toes
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
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#57689 - 10/18/05 09:14 PM Re: Back Stabbing...
DougW Offline
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
But how do you feel about the "modified back stab" - ie the holes in the back of the receptacles that allow you to insert stripped wire, and then tighten the side screw to tighten the "crimp plate" (for lack of a better term) on the inside?

I've seen these on GFCI's for several years now... also on a few receptacles. They seem more secure than the old "knife edge brass" versions ...
#57690 - 10/18/05 09:23 PM Re: Back Stabbing...
Attic Rat Offline
Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Now, those I like !!
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
#57691 - 10/18/05 10:31 PM Re: Back Stabbing...
SolarPowered Offline
Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
One might observe that those are two completely different, unrelated, termination techologies that are similar only in the characteristic that the termination mechanism is accessed through a hole in the back of the device.
#57692 - 10/19/05 02:56 AM Re: Back Stabbing...
C-H Offline

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I've seen a series of pictures from Wago to show three different methods of terminating a wire: A hole with a little spring, a simple screw in a hole to hold the wire and finally the "crimp plate" type. (The type where you place the wire under the head of the screw wasn't among the pictures). The "crimp plate" has the largest area in contact with the wire and a high enough surface pressure to make a good connection without damaging the wire very much.

It is also the most expensive way...
#57693 - 10/19/05 06:35 AM Re: Back Stabbing...
macmikeman Offline
Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 718
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
I have used the captive screw tighten back stab devices and find them pretty good. But the same method is employed on most gfi outlets out there today. With gfi's the captive plate is so thin and cheap it sometimes does not hold the wire in place so well even if I super tighten the screw down. As far as back stabbing goes - whoever you are out there that does it- thanks for the many many service calls I have gotten which I fix in record time and get my 1 hour minimimum, and service charge. In the future could you guys not do it on the receptacles behind the heavy dressers? Your making my back sore.
#57694 - 10/19/05 02:14 PM Re: Back Stabbing...
ShockMe77 Offline
Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
I agree with you, Russ, and I certainly don't need a boss to tell me not to use the stab-locks. Knowing not to use them comes with experience in the field. I had a kid that used to work with me who swore he would not use the stab-locks but always did. Now he knows what section the classfieds are in.
#57695 - 10/19/05 02:23 PM Re: Back Stabbing...
George Offline
Registered: 02/23/02
Posts: 380
The back-stab recepts were UL listed. All of the ones I installed worked well.

I examined some that were abused for 20 years - 13 amps of current for 2 hours 3 times a week. 15amp recpts on 20amp circuits. There was no sign of damage to the recept or the wire.

I expect problems were more due to the installer rather than the product.
#57696 - 10/19/05 04:28 PM Re: Back Stabbing...
lamplighter Offline
Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 101
Loc: Clawson,Michigan,USA
I was under the impression that back-stabbing was already outlawed unless it had the crew type tensioner.
No one else has heard of this?
#57697 - 10/19/05 05:09 PM Re: Back Stabbing...
harold endean Offline
Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
A while ago, ( Not sure which code cycle) back stabbing of # 12 wires in a device was removed from the code. I am not sure if it was from the maufacture or UL or the NEC itself. You can still back stab ( as far as I know) # 14 wire in most of the house, but you can not backstab a # 12 wire any more.

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