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Back wired receptacles


vtfireman85
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I didnt want to dredge up the WAGO thread again, but some may remember my frequent rants about back-wired devices in any electrical thread. This is why i hate them. In this case it was in a bathroom that the lady uses a hair dryer. Remember, each connection along the way carries the full load of everything plugged in downstream of it. 

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20 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

I didnt want to dredge up the WAGO thread again, but some may remember my frequent rants about back-wired devices in any electrical thread. This is why i hate them. In this case it was in a bathroom that the lady uses a hair dryer. Remember, each connection along the way carries the full load of everything plugged in downstream of it. 

 

i presume you are meaning the lil spring/spades in there dont carry a heavy load like the surface/contact of a screw/wire ? 

 

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17 minutes ago, searcyfarms said:

i presume you are meaning the lil spring/spades in there dont carry a heavy load like the surface/contact of a screw/wire ? 

 

Correct, you get one little spring loaded contact point, then shove it into the box, those who use them almost NEVER do a tidy job anyway, and you end up with the wire working like a crowbar against the spring, it gets a little warm, the spring gets weaker, the connection gets worse, it gets hotter, the connection gets worse, until you have this. 

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23 minutes ago, 12_Guy said:

Pretty typical failure for back wired device. Really common this time of year when people try to use portable electric heaters for supplemental heat. I've probably repaired hundreds of them over the years. 

Mobile homes are the worst, those suitcase style devices are asking for trouble. No box, bad connections, usually 15a circuits so #14 wire, half a dozen window AC units...ugh. 
mobile homes only have to meet HUD regulations, which might as well not even exist, anything more sturdy and well appointed  than a refrigerator box gets a stamp of approval. Whatever bleeding heart that dreamed that up ought to be shot. 

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And I bet it was sparking and smoking for about three months before it finally failed and then she had to have it fixed right now. 
 

like the oil light on the dash of the car, 

“ Honey , the cars been making a weird noise for the last few months “ 

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1 minute ago, stronger800 said:

Receptacle? That looks like a junction box to me!  So they has how many wires running through  there? Looks like they were using the screws andtne push ins. 

Switches, receptacles, luminaries: all are devices. Which technically all go in an Outlet. Those things you plug your lamp into are receptacles, it had 3 cables, perfectly reasonable, but it should have suitable, listed connectors and a tail for each receptacle. 

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39 minutes ago, Ihfan4life said:

I’m assuming you’re talking about pushing the wire into the hole in back instead of using the screws on the side. Why do the manufacturers even do that if they’re known to cause this? 
Can you salvage enough wire to get it fixed?

Most , if anyone troubled themselves to read, are only rated for #14 anyway. 

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That really was cooking from the looks of the box.

Looks a lot like the 10 cent light switch in my sheep barn that melted down.  It was in a metal box and grounded out tripping the breaker.  

 

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21 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Most , if anyone troubled themselves to read, are only rated for #14 anyway. 

Whoever wired most of the houses in one of the subdivisions here in my town pushed 12 gauge wire in to the 14 gauge connector holes, which eventually splits the switch or recep open.  I've replaced quite a few of them.

All done by a licensed contractor or an employee of one.

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Amen brother. If I've been to one of them I've been to 100. NORMALLY, the people luck out and the ckt quits working like yours and usually without all the burnt up recep.  I take a plug in tester that shows polarity and walk around wiggling the outlet until everything comes in in the room. Then I pigtail the wiring like they should of done in the first place. I then get the homeowner and explain the issue, I'll show them how to fix one, and give them the option to let me go through and fix more or let them do it on their own. Most probably dont. older receptacles accepted 12 gauge wires. Newer ones only take 14 gauge which is still a problem. I know VT knows this but I say it for the ones who dont. Now on commercial jobs where I use stranded wire I always use the BR 20amp leviton receptacles with saddle clamps. They have holes in the back as well however you have to physically tighten the clamps and I've never had one fail. Just so everyone knows there is a difference...

Thats what I think of wago's and god himself wont change my mind. 

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1 hour ago, Missouri Mule said:

Amen brother. If I've been to one of them I've been to 100. NORMALLY, the people luck out and the ckt quits working like yours and usually without all the burnt up recep.  I take a plug in tester that shows polarity and walk around wiggling the outlet until everything comes in in the room. Then I pigtail the wiring like they should of done in the first place. I then get the homeowner and explain the issue, I'll show them how to fix one, and give them the option to let me go through and fix more or let them do it on their own. Most probably dont. older receptacles accepted 12 gauge wires. Newer ones only take 14 gauge which is still a problem. I know VT knows this but I say it for the ones who dont. Now on commercial jobs where I use stranded wire I always use the BR 20amp leviton receptacles with saddle clamps. They have holes in the back as well however you have to physically tighten the clamps and I've never had one fail. Just so everyone knows there is a difference...

Thats what I think of wago's and god himself wont change my mind. 

Ever pop the face off a 15 A spec grade receptacle? Same internals as a 20, different faceplate. 

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15 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Ever pop the face off a 15 A spec grade receptacle? Same internals as a 20, different faceplate. 

I have. Nobody could ever really tell me the difference so I busted in. Was thinking maybe a little better terminals or coatings on screws was about it. 

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2 minutes ago, Missouri Mule said:

I have. Nobody could ever really tell me the difference so I busted in. Was thinking maybe a little better terminals or coatings on screws was about it. 

Turns out idiot proofing is all it is about. 

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On 2/8/2021 at 7:25 PM, vtfireman85 said:

Remember, each connection along the way carries the full load of everything plugged in downstream of it. 

If  I am installing a outlet run I will center strip the wire, loop over the outlet screw and continue on to next outlet with uncut wire.  If it’s existing wire, still center strip,  2-3 inches in loop over outlet screw, then strip end and pigtail and wire nut on continuing wire,  Never expect and outlet to carry the load of the renaming outlets

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On 2/8/2021 at 8:25 PM, vtfireman85 said:

I didnt want to dredge up the WAGO thread again, but some may remember my frequent rants about back-wired devices in any electrical thread. This is why i hate them. In this case it was in a bathroom that the lady uses a hair dryer. Remember, each connection along the way carries the full load of everything plugged in downstream of it. 

90105996-84E4-4EB1-9210-1A5796A3FA4C.jpeg

6A77FABC-7A7E-4E23-AC6C-F8C30463FE1F.jpeg

7F754893-AA24-45A7-8EDA-C485536B7908.jpeg

45D615B1-C715-43B5-B301-7D7AB62C011B.jpeg

How DO you fix this without pulling new wire?

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24 minutes ago, yellowrosefarm said:

How DO you fix this without pulling new wire?

In this case there was a bunch wadded up in the wall, bad practice to do, but i wasn't complaining when i found it. Otherwise you would have to cut in a box lower and a box higher to splice. 

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7 hours ago, Edsfarms said:

If  I am installing a outlet run I will center strip the wire, loop over the outlet screw and continue on to next outlet with uncut wire.  If it’s existing wire, still center strip,  2-3 inches in loop over outlet screw, then strip end and pigtail and wire nut on continuing wire,  Never expect and outlet to carry the load of the renaming outlets

Any inspector that saw this would say go back and start over. The outer skin of wire carries the majority of the current. If you could measure current on the outside and current on the inside  (impossible) you would find the current at the center of the conductor almost negligible. By wrapping around a screw and continuing on you are damaging that conductor effectively mid stream. Also at play here is a violation of bending requirements. 5x the diameter of the conductor is as tight as it is supposed to be bent midstream, tighter than that damages the structure of the copper (aluminum is worse) and all of this creates a high resistance point and resistance =heat. 
is it 100x better than a back stab? Absolutely, but would never fly on an inspected job. Personally i like a good solid pigtailed connection, meaning i am not relying on the receptacle to carry load along down through circuit. In the average home this doesn’t happen in all places because it takes too long, and it is just my OCD, not a requirement. But kitchen and bathroom circuits get it in every case. 

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On my own stuff I pigtail everything even though it is a pain in the butt. I also only use the largest boxes that will fit the cavity to avoid the overstuffing that pigtails can cause.  The only time I used smaller boxes when I was renovating a bungalow my parents raised us in and found that the inner walls were only 2 in thick! What a pain that was to wire.  my current house, which my wife owned before we were married, is a manufactured home and I have had to replace several back wire receptacles.  When I finished up the second story I did it my way. Only 12 gauge or larger wire, no maxed out circuits, everything pigtailed, top half of the wall receptacle switched, double receptacles on all walls, only large boxes, etc.  I know you can't do that on a customer's job because of cost considerations, but I won't have it any other way in my house.

I enjoy your threads on electrical work, as they reinforce my belief in my own standards being higher than code.  I see code as a minimum only.

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