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Old 06-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #1
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


I'm helping my father-in-law install an under cabinet light. We're tapping into an existing outlet for the power source and the only available terminals are the push in type. There are no screw terminals whatsoever except for the ground. The outlet has 4 push in holes for the common and 4 for the hot. The house was built in 1995.

Should we replace the outlet or just push our new wire into the extra holes?

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Old 06-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


Replace it, one less thing to fail later on.

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Old 06-04-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


Are there smaller screws that activate clamping plates inside used to hold the wires in the holes they can be pushed into? This kind of receptacle or switch is just as good as the screw terminal kind.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


No screws anywhere other than the ground. 2 holes on left and 2 on the right for both the upper and lower sockets for a total of 8 holes and 1 ground screw.

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Old 06-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Is this a kitchen countertop recep?
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #6
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Is this a kitchen countertop recep?
Yes it is.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Yes it is.
Then you will be creating an NEC Code violation by using that power for a light.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


Quote:
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Is this a kitchen countertop recep?
Quote:
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Yes it is.
Are you in Canada? It's not likely that a 12 gauge circuit is connected to any back-stabbed outlet in the US ....
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #9
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Just for knowledge sake can you elaborate on why it's a violation? Where is a more suitable power source? That same circuit also supports a dinning room and back patio outlet.

The house is located in Washington.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


Back-stab holes in receptacles are only compatible with #14 gauge wire. If your counter-top outlets are back-stabbed, then the wire used is too small for the required 20 Amp circuit.

You may have an older receptacle device which has the larger holes for #12 wire, but those have been outlawed for many years now.

I'd replace the device in any case.

The other problem is you are not allowed to install any lighting on the small appliance circuits required to serve kitchen counter areas. There is a back-door loophole, but that requires an additional outlet to be installed, and a cord-and-plug connected light.

Stupid, but that's the way they wrote the Code.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #11
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


Quote:
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Just for knowledge sake can you elaborate on why it's a violation? Where is a more suitable power source? That same circuit also supports a dinning room and back patio outlet.

The house is located in Washington.
its not that its per se dangerous but the two kitchen small appliance circuits have enough demand on them without adding lighting. plus kitchen lights wired on the fridge, microwave etc dont perform well - dimming when something comes on.

these circuits can serve the dining room, breakfast room, pantry, etc but not a back patio under current code. might have been okay when the house was built.

better source is whatever circuit is running the kitchen or dining room lights
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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Outlets Have No Screw Terminals


Thanks guys... I'll pull from another source.

We want to hard wire these lights (which are LED's by the way, four 10.9 watt sticks) to on off switch.

Also I'm using 12 2 wire... No issues there right?
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #13
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Sounds good. Best of luck

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