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Hello all, had a question regarding the use of insulated Ring terminals. When wiring an electrical outlet, I found that the push in connectors on the back don't do a great job holding the wire in. The other option I have read about is making the wire into a J and tie that to the side screw.

Assuming that the ring terminal is rated for the correct wire and amps, could one be used in place of the J wire on the side screw? Is that a no no for any reason?

For my house and I have it working currently using the back push in connectors that I have ungodly tightened with a screw driver. Was wondering this this could have been an option.
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That receptacle pictured is the type you push a straight ended wire behind the plate under the screw and tighten or clamp down. This is what rjniles referred to.
This ↑↑↑
I did not notice the pressure plate. Best option.
OP..Ring terminals are not listed for solid wire. And the screws on the receptacle are not designed to be removed even though they can be removed.
If you have the receptacle like the one pictured you need nothing. Loosen plate slide wire underneath and tighten down over the wire. Best termination you can ask for in a device.
 

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Sounds like you have experience with electronics you're trying to misapply to AC electrical. That's worse than no knowledge. Lots of things you learn in low voltage electronics are completely wrong in AC power. Either the science doesn't match up or the practices don't. This is the latter.

I found that the push in connectors on the back don't do a great job holding the wire in.
Well, there are two kinds of back-wiring. Backstabs hold just fine, they just fail-in-place and you can't inspect them, which is why we all hate them.

GFCIs and spec-grade devices have "Screw-and-clamp" back-wiring, where you torque the screw to spec to clamp the wires. However, not respecting NEC 110.14 will lead to problems, because the specification torque is considerably higher than the "feels tight to me" torque.

I like 1/4" drive beam-type torque wrenches with a bit holder, because they have the right range, never need calibration, and they're cheap. If the screw looks like a "funny Philips" it's probably a combo Philips-Robertson. Robertson is much easier to work with.

As far as ring terminals, not gonna happen. On receptacles, the side screws have stops. With high torque you can force the screw past the stop (they're only brass) but now the receptacle is trash because now the threads are blown out. Most particularly with screw-and-clamp, the clamp plate has now fallen off inside the receptacle.

You need to use all devices according to their instructions, NEC 110.3(B). Which implies "read them". So as rjniles says, solid wire is contrary to terminal instructions, and removing screws is contrary to receptacle instructions.
 

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My Unsolicited, Old-Guy Suggestions:

Always:
Always inspect any solid conductor after stripping. Sometimes the conductor gets nicked.

Terminals:
Solid THHN was the norm for decades in conduit. There are ring & fork terminals rated for solid, but you have to use the matching tool & die. Also, most device boxes are not deep enough to allow the proper conductor bend radius once a terminal is applied. Never bend the terminal- only the conductor.

SW Dweller mentioned forks. That's the best if you use terminals. Try to get the ones where the ends of the legs are upturned. Or, you could cut rings into forks. SW Dweller's right about the screws not going back in well. Cross-threading is a real possibility. In my case, they are dropped never to be found again. I think they go where socks lost in the dryer live.

Clamp Back:
J V & DC Wired mentioned pressure plates. They're very fast to install. If you have trouble finding them at a store, look at the receptacle boxes marked "Specification Grade" & sometimes "Commercial Grade". Other grades have them too. Don't put two conductors under the plate unless it's marked as allowed.

Push-In Backs:
They scare me.
My 48+ year's in the trade has been industrial, high voltage & limited commercial. Never residential, so I haven't used push-ins. My only experience is "government freebies" for family & friends. I have encountered several where the device got hot at the push-in and the wire burned off.

Looped Conductor:
That's easier than it looks. Many strippers have a little hole for forming loops. (Photo of one of mine attached) Needle point pliers work, too. With practice, you can use one of the holes in the receptacle outlet or switch's plaster ears to make perfect loops.

Go 240-degrees (2/3 of the way) clockwise around the screw. One bonus of loops is that the wire will usually break off if you accidentally nicked it when stripping. After tightening, go back in a minute or two & re-snug.
Hint: If you loop stranded, a trick is to leave about 3/8"of insulation at the end if the striped wire. It keeps the strands in place when tightening the screw.

Super Fast & Super Easy:
Pass & Seymour (Legrand) makes Pig Tail receptacles. They're really fast to install. You push your conductors into the supplied socket, which looks kind of like a Wyago Wall Nut connector, and plug that into the back of the receptacle outlet. Done & secure.

Hope This Helps!
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My Unsolicited, Old-Guy Suggestions:

Always:
Always inspect any solid conductor after stripping. Sometimes the conductor gets nicked.

Terminals:
Solid THHN was the norm for decades in conduit. There are ring & fork terminals rated for solid, but you have to use the matching tool & die. Also, most device boxes are not deep enough to allow the proper conductor bend radius once a terminal is applied. Never bend the terminal- only the conductor.

SW Dweller mentioned forks. That's the best if you use terminals. Try to get the ones where the ends of the legs are upturned. Or, you could cut rings into forks. SW Dweller's right about the screws not going back in well. Cross-threading is a real possibility. In my case, they are dropped never to be found again. I think they go where socks lost in the dryer live.

Clamp Back:
J V & DC Wired mentioned pressure plates. They're very fast to install. If you have trouble finding them at a store, look at the receptacle boxes marked "Specification Grade" & sometimes "Commercial Grade". Other grades have them too. Don't put two conductors under the plate unless it's marked as allowed.

Push-In Backs:
They scare me.
My 48+ year's in the trade has been industrial, high voltage & limited commercial. Never residential, so I haven't used push-ins. My only experience is "government freebies" for family & friends. I have encountered several where the device got hot at the push-in and the wire burned off.

Looped Conductor:
That's easier than it looks. Many strippers have a little hole for forming loops. (Photo of one of mine attached) Needle point pliers work, too. With practice, you can use one of the holes in the receptacle outlet or switch's plaster ears to make perfect loops.

Go 240-degrees (2/3 of the way) clockwise around the screw. One bonus of loops is that the wire will usually break off if you accidentally nicked it when stripping. After tightening, go back in a minute or two & re-snug.
Hint: If you loop stranded, a trick is to leave about 3/8"of insulation at the end if the striped wire. It keeps the strands in place when tightening the screw.

Super Fast & Super Easy:
Pass & Seymour (Legrand) makes Pig Tail receptacles. They're really fast to install. You push your conductors into the supplied socket, which looks kind of like a Wyago Wall Nut connector, and plug that into the back of the receptacle outlet. Done & secure.

Hope This Helps!
Paul
Thanks for the advice!
 

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If you have trouble making the loops, a lot of screwdrivers mad for the electrical trade have a little hole in the handle to help form the loops. I really like my Ideal screwdriver with the loop making hole and the wire nut wrench in the handle.
 

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As mentioned several times so far the type of receptacle in the picture is a back wire receptacle utilizing a pressure plate to secure the wire in place. This is different from a back-stabbed receptalce wiring.

Using the pressure plate to secure the wire instead of a "J" loop etc and wrap around the screw is just as allowable and safe.
 

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If you have trouble making the loops, a lot of screwdrivers mad for the electrical trade have a little hole in the handle to help form the loops. I really like my Ideal screwdriver with the loop making hole and the wire nut wrench in the handle.
All good wire strippers have the holes for making the hook. Actually they usually have 2 holes. One on each jaw. I have never seen a hook making hole on any screwdriver unless I just did not notice. I use Klein screwdrivers and they do not have the hole. But Ideal and Klein strippers both have 2 holes for making hooks. Only ones I have ever used.

As mentioned several times so far the type of receptacle in the picture is a back wire receptacle utilizing a pressure plate to secure the wire in place. This is different from a back-stabbed receptalce wiring.
Using the pressure plate to secure the wire instead of a "J" loop etc and wrap around the screw is just as allowable and safe.
IMO the pressure plate is superior to all terminating methods and it saves a lot of time.
 

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The screwdrivers have a small stud next to the main blade shaft coming out of the handle. The wire is bent be rolling the handle similar to using the strippers.
 
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