Screw terminal or plate connection

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Old 11-10-06, 09:37 AM
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What would be your opinion on the more reliable connection-- the screw terminal or the plate connection?
 
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Old 11-10-06, 09:50 AM
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> the screw terminal or the plate connection

Without a doubt, the plate. If you look at any receptacle sold as "commericial grade", "industrial grade", etc; they all use the pressure plate connector often called a "back wire". Back wire receptacles make a good connection with either solid or stranded wire and are much faster to connect than side wire. Wrapping a wire around the screw is called "side wire".

To keep this on topic: side wire must only have one wire per screw; back wire usually allows two wires of the same gauge per screw. That means a backwire receptacle can accept 8 wires, whereas a sidewire can only accept 4. Clever use of backwire receptacles can avoid wirenut connections saving both time and box space.
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 11-10-06 at 12:39 PM. Reason: New thread created (split thread)
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Old 11-10-06, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeTheZombie
What would be your opinion on the more reliable connection-- the screw terminal or the plate connection?
I would consider them both equally reliable.
The plate has the advantage of being quicker and allow two wires.
 
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Old 11-10-06, 11:02 AM
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When you're cramming the receptacle or switch back into a tight box, back wire is pushed harder into the fixture, while side-wires have a tendancy to pop loose if not done just right.

Why are ground screws always side wire? I don't see why it couldn't be a pressure connection.

Edit: by "back wire", I mean back wire in the pressure connector which you make by tightening the side screw, not to be confused with back stab (when you just push in the wire) which is generally eschewed by the pros as unreliable.
 

Last edited by grover; 11-10-06 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 11-10-06, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by grover
Why are ground screws always side wire? I don't see why it couldn't be a pressure connection.
I've wondered the same thing. It doesn't matter how much you spend or how "ProGrade" the darn thing is, you still have to hook the ground and make sure they're all connected in the box so only one is landing on the device.
 
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Old 11-10-06, 05:49 PM
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Why are ground screws always side wire? I don't see why it couldn't be a pressure connection.[/QUOTE]

I presume a good solid splice, therfore the device and all others remain grounded, regardless of other failures.

Don't confuse "back wired" with "back stab".
Back stab is a friction connection, found on most residential/light duty recpts.

Back wire is fine. On solids make sure they're good-N- tight.
 
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