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Has anyone had experience with push-in wire connectors and do you recommend them over wire nuts ? Brands ? The immediate need would be for a replacement of a section of nm-b-12 in an attic, but this would be for other projects also.
 

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Push in connectors use a different clamping means than backstabs on devices. They are easy to ensure the connection is secure for a DIY. Some also like the Wago Lever connectors.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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I used to use Ideal (brand) push in connectors until I found WAGO lever nuts.
 

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Remodel and New Build GC
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I love them......Want a good price on a tool box full of wirenuts....gimme a call.?
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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I love them......Want a good price on a tool box full of wirenuts....gimme a call.?
Don't go crazy. WAGOs have their place but you still need wire nuts. WAGOs are good for #12 and smaller wires but you need other connectors for larger wires. Yes I know they make a WAGO for number #10 but I (as a personal preference) do not use WAGOs on high amperage circuits.
 
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Don't go crazy. WAGOs have their place but you still need wire nuts. WAGOs are good for #12 and smaller wires but you need other connectors for larger wires. Yes I know they make a WAGO for number #10 but I (as a personal preference) do not use WAGOs on high amperage circuits.
Oh RJ I agree....

I've wondered how much surface contact is within those wago and ideals....but I assumed if they were ul approved, they must be good for a full 15 or 20 amp load...No?????

I've also wondered the differenc beween back stab and wago/ideal "clamps: Next time I have a beer and near my electrical tool boxes, I think I'll smash some up and see.

(I landed out at my son's place helping without my electrical bags...and we went to wiring up devices with his wirenut supply. I did not have my screw driver with the wirenut grip for twisting.....and wow was my had/fingers sore afte rseveral hours. (I've gotten older.....which overall, excluding tight spaces, wirenuts, and 80 lb concrete, in general is a good thing I guess.)

Actually never noticed that they make a #10.
 

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Are the push in connectors with no lever also better than wire nuts? Better than backstab connections on receptacles, etc.?
 

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The push in has much more contact area than a backstab.
 

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One of the major advantages of the Wago over backstab is a much more consistent pressure on the wire which is what the mechanical connectors are all about.
 

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Some videos of Wago tests by DIYers that might be of interest. (Right up quatsch's alley!)

Resistance measurements of Wago vs wire nuts (see data summary at 13:30)

Thermal imaging under heavy overload:

Heat and flammability tests:
 

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Oh RJ I agree....

I've wondered how much surface contact is within those wago and ideals....but I assumed if they were ul approved, they must be good for a full 15 or 20 amp load...No?????

I've also wondered the differenc beween back stab and wago/ideal "clamps: Next time I have a beer and near my electrical tool boxes, I think I'll smash some up and see.

(I landed out at my son's place helping without my electrical bags...and we went to wiring up devices with his wirenut supply. I did not have my screw driver with the wirenut grip for twisting.....and wow was my had/fingers sore afte rseveral hours. (I've gotten older.....which overall, excluding tight spaces, wirenuts, and 80 lb concrete, in general is a good thing I guess.)

Actually never noticed that they make a #10.
Let's reason our way through this for a minute. We have a round conductor, right? So if we put that conductor under a screw, for instance, we make a pretty small, but adequate connection for that wire. By small I mean the only contact area is 2 sides of that round conductor against 2 flat surfaces: the flat side of the screw and the flat surface the screw tightens against. And unless you really over torque that screw to the point of deforming the conductor, you will never increase the surface area of that connection. Yet that connection is deemed to be sufficient.

Now lets look at a lever nut. Although the contact area is in a straight line (similar to a device with a screw plate) the contact surface area is still the same as that with the conductor under a screw. Still the same round wire in contact with a flat surface on two sides. The tension on a lever nut has been deemed sufficient, just as proper torque on a screw is.

So why should you doubt the lever nut?

Yes, the wirenut surrounds the joint. But somewhere else in that same circuit is a termination with a round conductor between 2 flat surfaces. And we don't lose sleep over those.
 

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The backstab has an edge of spring like material pressing against the round conductor. The push in has 2 flat surfaces in contact with the conductor along the stripped length.
 

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Don't go crazy. WAGOs have their place but you still need wire nuts. WAGOs are good for #12 and smaller wires but you need other connectors for larger wires. Yes I know they make a WAGO for number #10 but I (as a personal preference) do not use WAGOs on high amperage circuits.
You seem to be saying that, in your experience, the initial or long-term contact resistance of WAGOs is high.

The resistance depends on area & pressure.
If I ever get a WAGO I'll add it to my list of measured values.

For reference, here's some numbers, best to worst. Lower is better. All solid, no stranded conductors.

Main Panel connections, 23 uOhms
outlet screws, 165 uOhms
Wirenut, 440 uOhms
backstab, 720 uOhms
plug/socket, 5 mOhms
 

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Between what points were those measurements taken? How were variables like torque eliminated? How was contact area calculated? Contact area will be different depending on wire sizes and combinations and wire connector sizes.
 

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I have some Wagos that I use especially when there are multiple wire connections in the box and it's not a simple circuit. They take less space than wire nuts and can sometimes eliminate the use of an extra wire nut if you need to pigtail something. They are very expensive though (relative to wire nuts) and wire nuts are really easy to use for simple circuits, so I save the Wagos for difficult circumstances. I also use this style of connector when aluminum gets mixed in.

 

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To clarify:

For reference, here's some numbers, best to worst. Lower is better. All solid, no stranded conductors.
Resistance depends on pressure & mating surface area

Main Panel connections, 23 uOhms,
so high pressure & high area is the
meaning I pull out of this number.

outlet screws, 165 uOhms
high pressure & high area

Wirenut, 440 uOhms
med press? & medium area?

backstab, 720 uOhms
low pressure & low area

plug/socket, 5 mOhms
low pressure & unknown area

I don’t know how these values
hold up over time except for backstabs,
which don’t seem to hold up well.
 

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With so many variables and unknowns what do those number actually mean?
I think his point was just that all else being equal, backstab have a measurably higher resistance (impedence) which indirectly helps explain why they're less reliable (i.e. low pressure and low area). And that's assuming the backstab mechanism works perfectly, which it doesn't. How well the wire nut and outlet screws work is more a function of how well the installer uses it, whereas with backstabbing, you can be an expert backstabber but the mechanism just sucks, which is out of your control.
 
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