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But the resistance of a backstab changes based on how many times and the amount of heat cycling involved. Backstabs can and have performed for years, often without issue. If they are so problematic why does the standard still allow them or why hasn't the standard and design changed? Backstabs remove the variable of correct torque applied to screw connections.

I have probably seen an equal number of melted wire nut but the information posted above says they are superior to a backstab.
 
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I can tell you, I've never seen a melted wago in a box. I've definitely seen wirenuts fail.
You're kind of comparing apples to oranges there - "fail" vs. "melt". Have you seen a wire nut melt? I've never seen that, but I have seen wire nuts "fail" in the sense that they didn't hold the wires securely (i.e. the threads didn't take hold of all wires.) I've never seen a Wago fail, but then I've never seen a Wago anywhere except in my own hands :)
 

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But the resistance of a backstab changes based on how many times and the amount of heat cycling involved. Backstabs can and have performed for years, often without issue. If they are so problematic why does the standard still allow them or why hasn't the standard and design changed? Backstabs remove the variable of correct torque applied to screw connections.
I would say a good screw connection is better than a good backstab connection, but you have a good point about removing the variable from the user's hands.

As to why hasn't the standards changed, well standards do change all the time. Like if we were having this discussion in 1970 and you said "If GFCI are so good at protecting against current leaks, then why aren't they required by code?" And I'd say "I don't know, maybe someday they will be."

I don't know why the standard hasn't changed. All I can tell you is that I've taken out numerous (more than 10) backstabbed outlets that were the source of problems, or when I removed the outlet from the box the backstab mechanism just broke apart. It is probably the single most common failure I've seen in outlets, with the next ones being broken/old GFCI devices and corroded outlets in exterior settings. But you are a real electrician and I'm sure you've seen more than I have.
 

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But the resistance of a backstab changes based on how many times and the amount of heat cycling involved. Backstabs can and have performed for years, often without issue. If they are so problematic why does the standard still allow them or why hasn't the standard and design changed? Backstabs remove the variable of correct torque applied to screw connections.

I have probably seen an equal number of melted wire nut but the information posted above says they are superior to a backstab.
Excellent point that many forget. There are millions of back stab connections. The only ones to gain notoriety are the comparatively few that fail.
 

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Excellent point that many forget. There are millions of back stab connections. The only ones to gain notoriety are the comparatively few that fail.
Comparatively few relative to all in existence, sure. But that's not what people are talking about - it's the relatively high number relative to screw connections that is the issue. This isn't like the airplane-vs.-car travel debate where airplanes are safer but get most of the publicity.
 

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But if 20 times more backstabs are in use over screw connections there will be more failures even if the failure rate rate is the same. Not hard to see that more would be affected.
 
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But if 20 times more backstabs are in use over screw connections there will be more failures even if the failure rate rate is the same. Not hard to see that more would be affected.
That's true. Have you actually seen fewer problems with backstabs? Based on my own experience, and what I've read on this forum, there are certainly not 20 times more backstabs, it's probably more like 50/50 or close, and I've just seen more backstab issues myself.
 

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I don't have figures of one vs the other, but would guess that every production home is wired with backstabs and screws are only used on high end custom and commercial work.
 
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You seem to be saying that, in your experience, the initial or long-term contact resistance of WAGOs is high.
I don't see it that way at all. No mention was made about resistance. It was that different methods can be better than others in some situations. If the Wago cannot accept larger conductors another method needs to be used.
 
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If you get too fat a wire into a connection the stiffness of the wire can cause the metal to metal contact inside to become poorer or even cause a flimsy connection port to break apart. I have seen backstab connections labeled for 14 gauge wire only while the screws next to them were rated for 12 or 14 gauge.
 

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Yeah, and that right there is why they continue to allow backstabs. Banning them would be too disruptive to the house construction industry.
 

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If you get too fat a wire into a connection the stiffness of the wire can cause the metal to metal contact inside to become poorer or even cause a flimsy connection port to break apart. I have seen backstab connections labeled for 14 gauge wire only while the screws next to them were rated for 12 or 14 gauge.
Are not they all ??.......Do you remember a real short period of time when the same backstabs on a recep would take 14 AND 12.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Keep in mind that none of them are allowed for open-air splices. Any use of any of these must occur inside a junction box, with the usual rules applying - cable clamp, 1/4" of sheath coming into the box, 6" of free wire beyond the sheath.
Any recommended box size : 1 gang octagon or 2 gang square or ? I have seen octagon jct boxes mounted to the side of the rafter. I will also use insulated cable staples.
 

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Any recommended box size : 1 gang octagon or 2 gang square or ? I have seen octagon jct boxes mounted to the side of the rafter. I will also use insulated cable staples.
A single gang nail on with a blank cover is fine for 1 or 2 cables.

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