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Old 05-12-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
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removing push in connections


This may sound silly but I cannot figure out how to easily remove the 12/2 wires from the old builder receptacles. I don't know where to pry or poke and always end up destroying half the receptables. I am not trying to re-use them so that's OK but can you give me some tips? Do you use an Awl, screw driver etc.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:22 PM   #2
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I just replaced 5 outlets and had the same problem.. mine had no visable areas to stick a screwdriver into to release the wire. So I broke the first one open and gave it a look.. I was correct the wires were jammed into the holes with no way of getting it out.. I had to break all of them open to release the wires..
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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IMO, It's good practice to cut off the last 3/4" and redo. You don't always have this option.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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Seems like the decora outlets i could find requires a loop.. ? So that requires every bit of wire preserved.

except for the GFCI where you just place the wire straight and tighten the screw.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:07 PM   #5
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Not all decora require looping around a screw. I think Lowe's sells non-gfci backwire outlets (clamp tightens on the wire).
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:04 PM   #6
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Pushins have/had bad press. The contact resistance over time got too high.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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If you can't get the wires out and feel they will be too short if you cut them off, then smash the receptacles. Your not going to use them again.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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A lot of the times I come across this situation and the wires pull out pretty easily but sometimes you can hold the wire with your pliers and twist the receptacle back and forth and it will come out! Most receptacles nowadays have releases but I never have to use them. Do yourself a favor and don't put it back that way on the new devices. Instead splice you wires with a pigtail and then wrap the screw.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:28 PM   #9
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All outlets with push in terminals have had a small slot below the wire hole. I have a very small straight-slot screwdriver that fits in the slot and releases the wire no problem.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:15 PM   #10
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What sparks1up said - if you can't find a small slot to fit a tiny screwdriver just try twisting the conductor in alternating directions while pulling on it. You might be able to even do it without pliers.

And as far as I know, the stab-in style terminations on receptacles are, and have been for a few years at least, only designed for 14 ga wire.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:39 PM   #11
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If these are fairly new receptacles, but on #12 wire, then you may actually be dealing with clamp style backwire receptacles. Try loosening the terminal screws on the sides. Modern receptacle push-in terminals won't accept #12 wire.

If they are in fact just plain old, smash 'em & replace with new.
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