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Old 07-13-2014, 11:44 PM   #1
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


It seems like bad design to have exposed energized metal, even inside a box, given that the box has a bare ground conductor inside. Good workmanship would keep the ground conductor at the back, of course, but it's still awfully close proximity.

Yet the pros seem to look down on the practice of taping them over.

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Old 07-14-2014, 06:07 AM   #2
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Don't tape the recepticals --it makes future work rather hazardous---

This is the reason pros hate to see a taped receptical or switch---

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Old 07-14-2014, 06:46 AM   #3
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


This is no reason to tape the screws, but you can if you so wish.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:37 AM   #4
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Typically a DIY'er would use cheap tape (though not always) and this makes for a gooey mess.

This is one of those personal preference things, and there is nothing wrong with it, but it has always been my opinion as a professional if I cannot install conductors and a receptacle in a box, I am most likely in the wrong profession.

Having said that there are times I might tape a receptacle such as in an old work box with Madison Straps.

Almost all the ones I have run across have the gooey mess or the tape was installed fairly tight and slips off over time.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:05 AM   #5
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Rex Cauldwell's "Wiring a House" suggests to tape receptacles when they are installed in a metal box.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:43 AM   #6
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Only time I do it is when it's a metal box.
Even then I leave a twisted tab of tape where it's cut off so the next person can remove it easily.
One time one of my workers installed a GFI in a small metal box and did not take the time to center the outlet and it shorted out against the metal box.
It made a simple 10 min. job a nightmare to repair.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:19 AM   #7
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Know A Little View Post
Almost all the ones I have run across have the gooey mess or the tape was installed fairly tight and slips off over time.
Same here. I calmed my fears by almost always using plastic boxes. In my current home, even all the wire nuts are taped. Gooey mess, and whenever I open up something I absolutely must go turn the breaker off and verify no power present at the outlet because I'm not sure what's underneath all the tape. Granted, you should do that every time, but I think we all know we take some shortcuts in the name of speed.

If you install outlets and receptacles properly, "close proximity" is not an issue. Just like if you strip back the insulation to code-approved length, you have no bare conductor exposed at the backside of the wire nut when you make your connections and therefore no risk.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:10 AM   #8
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Know A Little View Post
Typically a DIY'er would use cheap tape (though not always) and this makes for a gooey mess.

This is one of those personal preference things, and there is nothing wrong with it, but it has always been my opinion as a professional if I cannot install conductors and a receptacle in a box, I am most likely in the wrong profession.

Having said that there are times I might tape a receptacle such as in an old work box with Madison Straps.

Almost all the ones I have run across have the gooey mess or the tape was installed fairly tight and slips off over time.
That is actually a good time to get the tape out. If the outlet gets used on a regular basis for a vacuum it can work loose and make contact.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


The only time I tape is inside a metal box with a large receptacle such as GFCI or a dimmer. These come so close to the edge of the metal box that I'm not comfortable with it.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:56 PM   #10
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Don't tape the recepticals --it makes future work rather hazardous---

This is the reason pros hate to see a taped receptical or switch---
I'm very alert to making future work safe and easy.

What's the nature of the hazard?
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:17 PM   #11
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Since the device should be installed or removed with the power OFF there is no need for tape.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Tape not required
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:21 AM   #13
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Since the device should be installed or removed with the power OFF there is no need for tape.
There are a few times I have pushed an outlet into the box, screwed it tight, and got a ZZZAAAPPP when hitting the breaker.
That pesky little UNINSULATED ground wire...
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:27 AM   #14
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


The three best, IBEW trained commercial electricians I know all tape the screw terminals.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:11 AM   #15
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Do you tape over screw terminals on receptacles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti-wingnut View Post
The three best, IBEW trained commercial electricians I know all tape the screw terminals.
We all learn silly bad habits from our mentors....

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