Back Stabbed Connections

Old 11-14-20, 05:01 AM
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Back Stabbed Connections

As a long term reader of this forum and beneficiary of the generous expert advice, I know that the response given for nearly every troubleshooting thread involving intermittent power is to move the backstabbed connections to the screws. I have two questions regarding this - if this is a known common failure why hasnít the NEC codified this change? And second is it considered good practice by an electrician on install to attach the wires to screws as opposed to backstabbing. I ask this because my nearly built home does have all backstabbed connections.

Old 11-14-20, 06:06 AM
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Back-stabbed connections are faster to install. Saves time for the electrician. But not the best method.
Old 11-14-20, 06:33 AM
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Hi, that depends on the integrity of the electrician, and I suppose of the builder as well, it does save time, but certainly not that much,I havenít done that in years.
Good question on the NEC , it is however minimum standards.
Old 11-14-20, 09:10 AM
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They've made changes to the back stabs. They will only accept #14 wiring now.

I work in a complex where every device was back stabbed and after 10+ years..... it has become a problem for many owners.

The problem with back stabs is that many are used to carry a circuit. Power in.... thru the receptacle... power out. The heat from carrying high power loads thru the receptacle causes the stabs to weaken causing a loose/intermittent connection. It's not so bad to make splices in the box so that the wires are spliced thru and just that receptacle uses the stabs.

Old 11-14-20, 01:30 PM
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My 30 year old home uses back stab receptacles. All the ones I've replaced have been in perfect condition. But 12awg wire and no heavy loads...
Old 11-14-20, 02:24 PM
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Remember the NEC is sets minimum standards, and UL proves that the devices work as they are designed. Unfortunately neither body is necessarily focused on 10-20 years down the road.

It's the same thing about spending $0.99 on a receptacle or $2.99. I know most of us would choose the better quality receptacle as we're installing 10, or 100 of them. But some builders/electricians who are installing 1,000 or 10,000 receptacles, the cost makes a difference.

Not where I'd cut costs in my mind, but to each their own.
Old 11-15-20, 02:38 AM
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Before I learned the pitfalls of backstabs I thought they were the way to go. I have experienced two failures, one at my house and one at my sister in law's - I no longer use backstabs.
Old 11-15-20, 05:05 AM
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This is one of those situations that are clearly bad practice. But it still is allowed while many other safe but not necessarily to code are not allowed. So who finances the NEC? Who uses the NEC? Draw your own conclusions.
Old 11-15-20, 05:11 AM
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We can only hope that the Wago and Ideal push and hope connectors wonít have electricians roaming the attics in a few decades looking for hot spots. 🤯

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