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Old 03-04-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


Hi;
I had to change an outdoor receptacle today. When I was installing the new one, a Leviton BR15, I managed to strip the screw or the threads in the terminal nut for the back-wiring.
I was just using a standard screwdriver, nothing really big. It didn't feel like I was putting too much torque on the screw, but I guess I was.

After that, I just side-wired using the same receptacle, using the other screw (nice that there are two hots and neutrals<g>).

Now, I've always had trouble knowing how tight to make things like this. Since I was a teenager, I found that I seem to have a lot of torque in my arms/wrists.

Is there a such tool as a torque screwdriver that I could buy, and if so, how much torque should these screws get?

I really don't like the back wiring anyway, since you can't see the actual connection, and I have had issues with wires pulling out of some of the Leviton GFCI receptacles.
I am going to side-wire all of them from now on.

Thanks for your advice.

FW
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


Here is one from Sears, but others make them.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...orque+Wrenches
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:54 PM   #3
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Here is one from Sears, but others make them.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...orque+Wrenches
Wow that is pricey $$$.

Considering a regular "automotive" type of torque wrench is less than $20.
Jamie
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:47 AM   #4
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


Sure is. I thought the $80 for a general purpose torque wrench was high.
Well, to be sure, I'm not going to spend $150 on the tool just to spare the occasional inconvenience of stripping out small screws/nuts.
I think I'm just going to have to stop eating so much spinach

The receptacle I was installing was the commercial/residential model. I doubt that I would have had the same problem with the industrial.
In any case, I could not find a torqing spec for it. I've read here about proper torque on large lugs, like the main breaker, but never for a receptacle.

FW
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:43 AM   #5
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


Here is a Leviton hospital grade outlet which says "Designed torque capability of +20 inch pounds."

(Page 4)
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibcGe...BE&appName=IBE


And I would assume 12 inch pounds = 1 foot pound?
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:27 PM   #6
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


Maybe it comes with practice but I have never really had an issue with it before.

My favorite way to do plugs, especially if i have alot to do is to set the clutch on my drill around 3 and 4. Then i just give it on the trigger and when the clutch kicks in the screw is plenty tight.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


http://www.engineersedge.com/torque_table_sae.htm
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:29 PM   #8
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


The correct torque is about 1/4 turn past where the screw contacts the wire against the back plate. As far as I'm concerned, there really is no reason to have a torque screwdriver for devices. Breakers maybe... but not devices.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #9
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


I've always thought it silly to have a torque value for outlet screws, however since reading this topic, I do see a use for it and that is "King Kong men" (one of which I work with sometimes) who tighten things TOO tight to the point the screw strips or breaks.

I was doing some axle work with this guy recently and handed him a torque wrench set to 90 ft. lbs. I said tighten until it clicks. It clicked right away and he looked bewildered - said "Shouldn't it be tighter than that?"
I said "NO!"
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #10
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Sure is. I thought the $80 for a general purpose torque wrench was high.
Well, to be sure, I'm not going to spend $150 on the tool just to spare the occasional inconvenience of stripping out small screws/nuts.
I think I'm just going to have to stop eating so much spinach

The receptacle I was installing was the commercial/residential model. I doubt that I would have had the same problem with the industrial.
In any case, I could not find a torqing spec for it. I've read here about proper torque on large lugs, like the main breaker, but never for a receptacle.

FW
I use a regular #1 square drive to tighten outlet and have never broke one or had the wires feel loose. But I always but the "expensive" outlets.

Jamie
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
Wow that is pricey $$$.

Considering a regular "automotive" type of torque wrench is less than $20.
Jamie

Wow a $20 torque wrench, I wouldn't trust that, considering my regular automotive type torque wrench cost over $400, could have even been $500, I try not to think about it
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:28 PM   #12
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
I use a regular #1 square drive to tighten outlet and have never broke one or had the wires feel loose. But I always but the "expensive" outlets.

Jamie
That's what I was using. Problem is I could not see the wiring clamp inside the receptacle.
I'm just going to side-wire from now on. Never had a problem with them.

FW
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:59 PM   #13
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
That's what I was using. Problem is I could not see the wiring clamp inside the receptacle.
I'm just going to side-wire from now on. Never had a problem with them.

FW
So it was one of the hidden type of clamps like you see on many of the GFCI outlets?

The P&S outlets that I really like the clamps on are exposed on the side, just like a regular side wire screw, but it has a clamp on it. Unlike the clamps on many GFCI's which I would sometimes rate as having an "average" hold on the wire, these really "clamp-down" the way a breaker does.

Hard to beat using the regular side wire outlets for a secure hold(just more work), I use my small long nose Kliens to wrap the wire tight around the screw, then if it is a smidgen long, I snip the end of it off after it is warped around the screw, with a sharp snips.

Jamie
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:35 PM   #14
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Torque on a receptacle screw?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
So it was one of the hidden type of clamps like you see on many of the GFCI outlets?

The P&S outlets that I really like the clamps on are exposed on the side, just like a regular side wire screw, but it has a clamp on it. Unlike the clamps on many GFCI's which I would sometimes rate as having an "average" hold on the wire, these really "clamp-down" the way a breaker does.

Hard to beat using the regular side wire outlets for a secure hold(just more work), I use my small long nose Kliens to wrap the wire tight around the screw, then if it is a smidgen long, I snip the end of it off after it is warped around the screw, with a sharp snips.

Jamie
That's what I like to do with side wired. I don't have the correct snips though. Mine are very dull, and do not have a small enough nose to get to the wire at the screw. They're on my next "Klein tool to buy" list<g>

FW
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