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Old 04-20-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


For the last 18 months or so I have used nothing but Ideal push-in connectors for wiring connections in J-boxes. They are much easier to install than wire nuts, and, IMO, better for a DIY project in that they are easy to inspect to make sure the wire is installed solidly. I have read up on them, and they use a different connection system than the infamous 'back-stabbed' receptacles. From what I have read, there have been no reports of problems with Ideal connectors. If there is such a report, please post a link because I couldn't find it.

Anyway, one concern that has been raised is that they 'may' not be up to high amp loads. This winter, I ran a 1500W space heater in the basement pretty much 12 hours a day. The circuit was one I ran and connected with Ideals. After the circuit had run for many hours, I opened the J-Box and put a ammeter clamp on the hot wire and got a reading of 14 amps on the circuit. The connectors were cool to the touch and looked exactly the same as the day I had put them in, six months before.

As far as I can tell, these things work as advertised. I know they are rated and approved for connections and are routinely used in new construction residential projects. Please post your opinions on these connectors. Thanks.

Here is a box in my basement with them used for the connections. I used connectors with extra slots so I could add a circuit later.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


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Originally Posted by Bigplanz View Post
For the last 18 months or so I have used nothing but Ideal push-in connectors for wiring connections in J-boxes. They are much easier to install than wire nuts, and, IMO, better for a DIY project in that they are easy to inspect to make sure the wire is installed solidly. I have read up on them, and they use a different connection system than the infamous 'back-stabbed' receptacles. From what I have read, there have been no reports of problems with Ideal connectors. If there is such a report, please post a link because I couldn't find it.

Anyway, one concern that has been raised is that they 'may' not be up to high amp loads. This winter, I ran a 1500W space heater in the basement pretty much 12 hours a day. The circuit was one I ran and connected with Ideals. After the circuit had run for many hours, I opened the J-Box and put a ammeter clamp on the hot wire and got a reading of 14 amps on the circuit. The connectors were cool to the touch and looked exactly the same as the day I had put them in, six months before.

As far as I can tell, these things work as advertised. I know they are rated and approved for connections and are routinely used in new construction residential projects. Please post your opinions on these connectors. Thanks.

Here is a box in my basement with them used for the connections. I used connectors with extra slots so I could add a circuit later.
Looks cool but I will never trust any push-in connector. I live and die by wire nuts. Good luck with them. I will keep my good ole tan wire nuts.

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Old 04-20-2009, 08:14 PM   #3
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


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Looks cool but I will never trust any push-in connector. I live and die by wire nuts. Good luck with them. I will keep my good ole tan wire nuts.
I understand. I would not presume to give advice to a professional on this matter. However, I do know that our inspectors pass installations made with these because they are 'listed for the use' by UL For a DIY project (non-professional) I believe they are a better choice, in that to ensure the connection is solid, all you have to do is make sure you can see the copper wire in the clear area at the end of the connector. Our inspectors like them too, as they are easy to inspect.

For what it's worth, a Master Electrician I know feels the same way as you, and will used only wire nuts.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


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I understand. I would not presume to give advice to a professional on this matter. However, I do know that our inspectors pass installations made with these because they are 'listed for the use' by UL For a DIY project (non-professional) I believe they are a better choice, in that to ensure the connection is solid, all you have to do is make sure you can see the copper wire in the clear area at the end of the connector. Our inspectors like them too, as they are easy to inspect.

For what it's worth, a Master Electrician I know feels the same way as you, and will used only wire nuts.
Yeah I agree with you. My thing is with the newbie electricians who do not know how to push the wire all the way in. But with the nuts it is pretty easy to get the connection secure. I wasn't trying to berate you or anything. If done right it is a very secure connection. Sorry if I came off ill. I can get like that sometimes.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


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Yeah I agree with you. My thing is with the newbie electricians who do not know how to push the wire all the way in. But with the nuts it is pretty easy to get the connection secure. I wasn't trying to berate you or anything. If done right it is a very secure connection. Sorry if I came off ill. I can get like that sometimes.
Your post was fine. I didn't think you were rude at all. I understand your opinion completely. As I said, I would never presume to question the judgment of a professional concerning how they would do their work. Wire nuts are tried and true. Ideals are relatively new, and the back stabbed receptacles gave everyone a bad taste in their mouth about any sort of push in connection. I use Ideals because they work and I can't find any evidence that there has ever been a problem with them in the 'real world.' That's why I am sincere when I say I would like to see a link to a problem, because if I thought there was one i would be down in the basement replacing them ASAP with wire nuts.

For what it's worth, I also like the plastic push in cable clamps. They work great!
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


Here's another pic of the Ideal 'In-Sure'
http://www.efc-solutions.com/pdf/wireconnectors.pdf

They have been around a while, at least four years

Might be a good idea to pick some up

One area is where you come across a box where some handyman has cut the wires super short.

The Ideal 'In-Sure' should make an easier, faster connection where you can visually verify the contact
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:20 PM   #7
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


I had no trouble pulling out a push-in connection in my dad's panel that was made with one of those things. It was about as easy as pulling out a push-in connection on, say, a 48 cent P&S single-pole toggle. Just to be safe, I threw it away and replaced it with a wire nut. When I see push-in connections, I think "lazy electrician."

I'm not an electrician, but I am a perfectionist. It annoys me when I see some of the shortcuts some hired professionals make.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:29 PM   #8
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


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I had no trouble pulling out a push-in connection in my dad's panel that was made with one of those things. It was about as easy as pulling out a push-in connection on, say, a 48 cent P&S single-pole toggle. Just to be safe, I threw it away and replaced it with a wire nut. When I see push-in connections, I think "lazy electrician."

I'm not an electrician, but I am a perfectionist. It annoys me when I see some of the shortcuts some hired professionals make.
Wire can be pulled out of the connection. They are designed to resist a 'straight pull' but if you hold the connector, then twist the wire with wire pliers and pull at the same time the wire comes out easily. Quite ingenious.

I understand the opinion that they are somehow 'less than.' This opinion is widely shared with those in the profession. What I would like to find out is proof that they are. In my experience (admittedly limited) they have performed quite well, with zero problems of any kind that I have observed.

For what it is worth, I work in Codes and Regulations (not in electrical) and we (Metro Louisville) have approved these for years with no documented failures in any circuit, ever.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #9
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


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Wire can be pulled out of the connection. They are designed to resist a 'straight pull' but if you hold the connector, then twist the wire with wire pliers and pull at the same time the wire comes out easily. Quite ingenious.
Yes, I had to twist it slightly. My impression was that it was a defect rather than something it was designed to do. It still doesn't make me want to like them more when I see them.

I suppose we'll see how they're still doing in another 20 years. Will they still be working as well as a 30 year old back-stabbed outlet or light switch?
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:34 PM   #10
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


Ive been seeing these wire connectors more prevalant in Halo and other recessed can lights as well. We just cut them off and hard wire all our can lights.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:00 AM   #11
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


First time I used them, I noticed that the wires would turn inside the connector as I pushed it into the box. Looking inside the connector, the wires are now leaning to the left or right, depending on the way the wire is being stressed from outside the connector. That's not a good feeling for me.

I use them for existing grounds that have been cut short, otherwise I use wirenuts.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:11 AM   #12
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


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I suppose we'll see how they're still doing in another 20 years. Will they still be working as well as a 30 year old back-stabbed outlet or light switch?
I had the same concern when I first considered using them. I did a google search and read a spec sheet on the Ideal website and a UL document I found somewhere. The clamping mechanism is evidently of a different design than back stabbed receptacles. Those receptacles have a little slot you push a small screw driver in to release the wire. As I understand it, the Ideal design doesn't have springs in it. The wire will turn in the hole if you twist it, but the internal connection remains solid. Whatever the case, I understand the hesitation about having a possible loose connection. From what I have read, however, this is normal.

One of the reasons I put an ammeter on a connection that fed a space heater was I wanted to see if the connection was warm. It wasn't. There was no evidence of heat, arcing or anything abnormal. If used properly, in a J-box, with strain relief on the cable I have no reservations about using them.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:38 AM   #13
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Opinions of Ideal push-in wire connectors


Remember, the ideal 65 twister was approved by the ul. Just because the ul says its ok, doesn't mean it is. I'm not trying to say these are not solid connections, but I love wire nuts and will stay with them.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:52 AM   #14
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i won't use 'backstabbed spring clip' outlets. found them loose too many times......
but i WILL use what i THOUGHT at first was 'spring clipped' until the wire fell back out and i realised that you had to screw the side screw tight to clamp the wire inside.
twist/wirenut/tape still seems to me to be the most secure for JBs though.

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Old 04-21-2009, 08:21 AM   #15
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Who needs to tape their wirenuts?

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