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I'm in Maryland, replacing the builder-grade outlets and switches originally installed in new construction in 1994. The builder used VERY cheap outlets/switches, and used the "quick-connect" in the back; I've had a number partially melt, due to failing connections (presumably arcing) at the "quick-connects".

Question: "To pig-tail, or not; that is the question!". This question generally applies to "daisy-chained" outlets, where the circuit does not terminate at the outlet-box. Location: Montgomery County Maryland.

When I had an electrician replace an outlet & switch, he "pig-tailed" the incoming and outgoing Romex, with a 3rd wire inside the wire-nut which ran to the outlet/switch. Generally this was done for only "hot" and "neutral"; in general, the ground was already pig-tailed.

Personally, given the hefty copper between the terminals on the outlet/switch (I use Leviton pro-grade, in general), I think it is more electrically sound to connect the incoming/outgoing Romex directly to the outlet/switch, but I don't know what "The Code(tm)" has to say about this. Of course, if the box is being used as a junction-box (not just a simple daisy-chain) pigtailing would be needed.
 

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Either way is compliant. The advantage to pig tailing is that if you have one receptacle go bad, the rest continue to work. If you daisy chain them and one goes bad the rest downstream will most likely go out too. Many electricians prefer to put three wires on a device instead of five. It's your choice.
 

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I think it is more electrically sound to connect the incoming/outgoing Romex directly to the outlet/switch, but I don't know what "The Code(tm)" has to say about this.
Actually, when you think about it, a pigtail is more electrically sound (for receptacle circuits) in that it doesn't depend on the connections to the outlet for a continuous circuit run. It is like a T connection off of a straight line. Both are entirely acceptable, often chosen by preference. I too rather pigtail as I can better manipulate a receptacle with 3 wires connected than 5 and I also choose to plant the pigtail deep in the box before putting the outlet back in place.
 

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As are Zinsco and FPE Stab-Lok breakers.
Yeah they only falsified their test results to get the UL listing.

I too prefer to pigtail on any and every outlet and I never use the back stabbed connections whether on a switch or outlet. And where a light box is also a junction box for other functions, I always pigtail longer lengths of wire to connect to the light fixture, whether or not it has its own wires attached; it just makes it a lot easier to connect a light fixture with one set of wires coming down out of the box than tieing into a bundle of 4 or 5 neutrals all tied together.
 

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My vote is pigtail.
I always avoid using "quick-connect back-stab" terminals. Has anyone ever seen a good quick-connect back-stab connection?

FW
No but I have seen very good "backfed" connections and prefer to use them- These are tightened by the screw on the side of the receptacle- no twisting wire around a screw necessary.
 

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No but I have seen very good "backfed" connections and prefer to use them- These are tightened by the screw on the side of the receptacle- no twisting wire around a screw necessary.
I will use the back-fed screw terminals if they are good. I have had problems with them on Leviton GFCI receptacles though. Just like anything else, there are good, and not so good.

FW
 

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No but I have seen very good "backfed" connections and prefer to use them- These are tightened by the screw on the side of the receptacle- no twisting wire around a screw necessary.
I was going to say that too, but then I realized I was comparing apples and oranges here. A good tightened screw plate pressing down on a wire is inherently more secure (and contact made better) than a quick back stab connection.
 

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Can't speak of Leviton's GFCI's but I like the Cooper product line- in my area Lowes carries that brand, HD carries Leviton.
 

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We have Lowe's and Home Depot in my area, and we also have Menard's, who carries Pass & Seymour.

After much DIY experimentation at my house and my dad's, I prefer the back-and-side wired, self grounding P&S "premium" receptacles. They are almost $2 each, but they're so much nicer than the 40 centers, and, I think, marginally nicer than the similarly priced "premium" receptacles from Leviton and Cooper.

Pass & Seymour GFCI outlets are also about 1/4 inch shallower than the Cooper and Leviton GFCIs. (But they are slightly wider; there's less room between the side terminals and the sides of the box before...oops!)
 

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both methods are approved, but pigtailing is really the right way to do it. Back-stabbing is faster, and when you're doing hundreds of them, than time makes a difference to a big contractor.

If you're just doing a few for yourself, at your own home, then hands down I believe you should just pigtail it. :thumbsup: but that's just my 2 cents...
 
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