What to do with wires when installing light switches/plugs

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Old 09-09-13, 01:14 PM
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What to do with wires when installing light switches/plugs

This seems pretty silly, but I've installed a few new light switches recently, and I am curious about how the right way to do it is. I've always been told (and read when researching) that you shouldn't install the switches straight into the holes in the back (which our houses builders did, lol). But what Im curious about is putting the wire under the screw. I've come across two kinds of set ups: one with a plate that is immovable in upward direction and a screw that comes up so you can loop the wire around it, and one that is almost exactly the same but the plate moves up.

My question is about the second kind (plate moves up and screw moves up, so there is a space under the plate and screw). Do I loops the wire around the screw and OVER the plate, or loop the wire around the screw UNDER the plate? I've done it under the plate when I've ran into this type of switch/plug and all of the switches/plugs have worked fine. It is kind of a pain to get it under there, though.

However, I'm pretty sure that the plate comes up so you can just jam the wire in there and just screw the screw down. The reason I think this is because for the kind of screw/plug where the plate does NOT move, you can jam the wire in the holes in the back and the plate pushes down on it when you screw the screw down. But I dont know, because in the type with the movable plate the plate doesnt do anything if you put the wire in the holes in the back (those are held in via a spring mechanism or something similar).

Hope this made sense lol. Thanks guys!
 
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Old 09-09-13, 02:13 PM
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You must use a box. No box is a safety/fire hazard. The wires should go under the pressure plate.
if you put the wire in the holes in the back (those are held in via a spring mechanism
We call them back stabs and advise never use them. Too much chance of failure.
 
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Old 09-09-13, 02:20 PM
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The other type where tightening the screw secures the wire in the hole is called back wired (not back stabbed) and they are just fine.
 
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