OT - decent brand of house switches and 120v outlets? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Take this opportunity to completely identify each device in your breaker index. It will turn out to be a big time saver later on. The original panel label says "upstairs bedroom" for breaker 9.

    The document next to the panel says:

    Master Bedroom Bath Lights
    Master Bedroom Bath Counter Receptacle
    Master Bedroom Closet
    Master Bedroom Receptacle Between Bath and Closet
    Master Bedroom East Wall North Receptacle
    Master Bedroom North Wall West of Bath Receptacle
    Master Bedroom Bath Fan
    Middle Bedroom Closet Light
    Middle Bedroom North Wall Receptacle
    Middle Bedroom East Wall Receptacle
    Upstairs Hall Light
    Basement Stair Light

    Also, use a wireless tester before you go into your boxes. I got bit one time with a multiwire branch circuit that passed through the box with the receptacle that was turned off at the breaker box and tested.

    I have an earlier version of these that I really like. In addition to the wire stripper for 12&14, they have strippers for the jacket of 12/2 and 14/2 NM. Very handy.

    Gardner Bender GST-224M Circuit Alert Voltage Sensing Stainless Wire Stripper, 12/2 & 14/2 NM Cable, 7 1/2 in.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    I installed Leviton light switches and both 120V and 240 V sockets on both floors of my Barn Shop in 1979. I'm still waiting for one of them to fail. It's only been close to 40 years. You just never know. It could happen, but I still wish I'd used some really good ones so that I wouldn't worry about them.


    I
    I think the time frame might be a factor. To be fair, I have had good and bad experiences with both Leviton and Hubbell. Just more issues with Leviton in the last 10 years or so. And none of it was related to the 120V stuff.

    40 years ago- I think they were all well made products if you got some kind of commercial grade. Today there is so much crap out there that even when you pay more, you may not get more.

    With a 120V outlet, I want it to have a very tight grip on the plug. It should take some effort to plug it in and unplug it. As long as it does that, I don't care that much about who made it. Imo, the grade is more important than the brand.

    This thread reminds me I've got some saggy ones in the shop I need to replace...

  3. #23
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    The best receptacles are back wired but they have side screws that clamp the wires down. Not anything like the spring loaded stab lock type. And no need to fish a loop of wire under a screw.
    Bill D.

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    The thing is....if an outlet were to fail, so what? It takes 10 minutes to replace it. Sure, it could start a fire but I am pretty sure the odds are higher that a plane will crash through your roof and kill you first.

    I like a loose outlet. Well, not so loose that the cord falls out but loose enough that I can yank the plug out by pulling on the cord from 25 feet away. lol. Actually, a tight receptacle is probably more damaging than any other, If something pulls the cord on accident, instead of the plug just popping out it yanks the prongs right off. Then you have a damaged cord and might just get zapped when you go to pull the prongs out with a pair of pliers....

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheels17 View Post
    Take this opportunity to completely identify each device in your breaker index. It will turn out to be a big time saver later on. . .
    Interesting - I have identified and labelled all the breakers, of course, but haven't felt the need for that level of detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    The best receptacles are back wired but they have side screws that clamp the wires down. Not anything like the spring loaded stab lock type. And no need to fish a loop of wire under a screw.
    I wondered about these - haven't used them before, but saw them recently. Anybody else have a comment on how this connection compares to wire-loop and screw?

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    ...................................
    I wondered about these - haven't used them before, but saw them recently. Anybody else have a comment on how this connection compares to wire-loop and screw?
    I re-wired my house using this type of plug. If I recall, made by Cooper Wiring Devices. Fourteen years later, doing fine. Also wall switches were the same. Also used these plugs in my small shop, too.
    Spend the extra and get good receptacles. I also use the industrial style plugs and connectors for extension cords I make myself using real SO or SJO cord.. None of this plastic crap the big box stores sell. Just My Opinion.

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    I think the time frame might be a factor. To be fair, I have had good and bad experiences with both Leviton and Hubbell. Just more issues with Leviton in the last 10 years or so. And none of it was related to the 120V stuff.

    40 years ago- I think they were all well made products if you got some kind of commercial grade. Today there is so much crap out there that even when you pay more, you may not get more.

    With a 120V outlet, I want it to have a very tight grip on the plug. It should take some effort to plug it in and unplug it. As long as it does that, I don't care that much about who made it. Imo, the grade is more important than the brand.

    This thread reminds me I've got some saggy ones in the shop I need to replace...
    Well if anything, Leviton products, like many other formerly great brands, are probably now made in China. I really don't know for sure, but that could have something to do with a drop in quality. It's hard to count on brand names much anymore.

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    I wondered about these - haven't used them before, but saw them recently. Anybody else have a comment on how this connection compares to wire-loop and screw?[/QUOTE]

    AFAIK This is how all the high amp receptacles (30+ amps)are made. I assume there is a reason makers prefer this method with a 50 amp welder rather then a twisted wire loop. They are also much easier to wire

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    My house was originally wired with spring backstabs. The screw ones are really nice when replacing the old ones as the configuration of the wires doesn't change. The best of both worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    Well if anything, Leviton products, like many other formerly great brands, are probably now made in China. I really don't know for sure, but that could have something to do with a drop in quality. It's hard to count on brand names much anymore.
    Leviton, I believe is made in Mexico now. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Ken

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    depends on the product, lots of Leviton still made in USA I think, in any case,I'll take North American product (yes, Mexico is part of North America) over China any day.

    Black & White

    Made in USA. its absolutely VITAL we support the manufacturers trying their best to do it right!!! THATS how to support American manufacturing. F***K HUBBELL!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    Interesting - I have identified and labelled all the breakers, of course, but haven't felt the need for that level of detail.
    There's another way. Put the loadcenter letter and breaker number on the OUTLET. A16, B4, etc.

    I needed to split mine up and re-run it more sanely in any case. 1970's home. 1980's annex added, service entrance was moved. The dumbest way possible. And then he f**k up "dumb". BADLY fell short of "dumb". Aluminium wire spliced in out of sight with Copper at both ends to HIDE that s**t?



    After redo, a panel can have entries simple as LGF EAST , KIT NORTH, GF LIGHTS, UGF NORTH UGF LIGHTS, and so on. Box covers enroute, sharpied, same nomenclature, panel & CB number.

    I even sharpied or flag tie-wrapped it onto the wire as I went. HAD to. Otherwise I confused MYSELF!

    Mind I've redone about 1/3 to 1/2 of the drywall, the rest in the plan for my "second go" at it just started. I had "access" to put in new and larger boxes, replace runs in the walls, move baseboard heaters, yadda, yadda.

    There are PLENTY of good reasons to rip the drywall OUT, BTW.

    Fix thermal insulation, inspect for water and insect damage, correct a WHOLE LOT of stuff besides just marginal electricals. And put in better drywall of course. Firecode where it had not been, PROPER joints, even firecode + green-glue or quiet-rock, rock-on for baths where they had not even used green rock, etc.

    I wondered about these - haven't used them before, but saw them recently. Anybody else have a comment on how this connection compares to wire-loop and screw?
    I don't want a rear-exit in any case. Too much concentrated bending stress on the wire when seating it back into some boxes.

    See also use of "pigtails" - or not - and we can probably get a REAL storm brewed up.

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    ...Or you could make a DRAWING, and assign the coding of each outlet on IT.

    Then laminate a copy and stick next to the panel, no ambiguity as to abbreviated names. And the next owner has NO problems either.

    A brother label maker, using the smallest size could make discrete labels
    cleanly, and neatly for each outlet/switch.

    To double ensure accuracy.

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    My dad put hospital grade receptacles in the kitchen when my parents remodeled. My mom made him take them out because she couldn’t unplug the dang toaster! Hospital grade recepticals are designed to hang onto the heart lung machine plug in case somebody trips over the cord! In any event, Spec Grade is the way to go. They cost 5-10 times as much as 49-cent Home Despot specials, but are much safer and last longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    ...Or you could make a DRAWING, and assign the coding of each outlet on IT.

    Then laminate a copy and stick next to the panel, no ambiguity as to abbreviated names. And the next owner has NO problems either.

    A brother label maker, using the smallest size could make discrete labels
    cleanly, and neatly for each outlet/switch.

    To double ensure accuracy.
    The drawing comes FIRST, gets changed to reflect as-built for what always comes up.
    My long ago Day Job, still part of your one, yah?

    But yah don't buy a machine and MAKE letter/number labels.

    Yah buy 'em in sheets or on a roll and just wrap-around or stick on.

    If "Brother" is involved yah can lay out the sheet for the box-cover on the Pee Cee and "Brother" laser print it for lamination.



    Keep a copy or two NOT in/at the panels, too. Might save stumbling about in poor light to the wrong panel if yah check that one first when sumthin' trips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    But yah don't buy a machine an MAKE letter/number labels.

    Yah buy 'em in sheets or on a roll and just wrap-around or stick on.
    Those Brady labels:
    1. Are only 1 color (hard to cam-o-flague them). IIRC Brother tape can be bought
    as clear, so only the characters are black/white, or whatever.
    2. Are very hard (tedious) to apply all the letters/numbers straight.
    I don't have that kind of time either....squirrel !
    3. Are not as small as could be had with a $30 brother label maker.
    4. Look like crap.

    With the label maker, it goes much faster, as you type the first one,
    print it out, edit the next number, and print it out.
    No re-typing the whole string.

  18. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Those:
    1. Are only 1 color (hard to cam-o-flague them).
    2. Are very hard (tedious) to apply all the letters/numbers straight.
    3. Are not as small as could be with a $30 brother label maker.
    4. Look like crap.
    Yah gotta be s**ting me?

    Too much variety to track, marking industry.

    Hard part isn't finding tons of options. It be making a choice!

    Identification products, labeling services - Marking Services Inc - MSI

    But a Big Box, electrical supply, Staples or Office Depot - if not the "Dollar-Wotever" store - probably has all you really need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    For 120V outlets, I buy only industrial or hospital grade outlets. The springs are much stronger- it takes some actual effort to plug and unplug a cord, and they hold the plug tight.

    Nothing more annoying than a plug hanging halfway out of the socket under it's own weight. Hospital grade is best- the cheapo outlets are junk and will burn your house down.
    I agree with you,BUT,the lowlife builders barely attach the flimsy outlet boxes.If your outlet grips the plug too good,you end up pulling the whole outlet box loose.Edwin Dirnbeck

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    Quote Originally Posted by edwin dirnbeck View Post
    I agree with you,BUT,the lowlife builders barely attach the flimsy outlet boxes.If your outlet grips the plug too good,you end up pulling the whole outlet box loose.Edwin Dirnbeck
    Loose, yes, "out" only sometimes. Many were intentionaly flex/float attached so the cover plate aligned them with shoddy drywall as came later, slam-bam-thank-you-m'am-next-victim-please builders

    Better all around the ones with a dovetail clip and a built-in "leadscrew". Those can be as solid, and as precisely aligned with the new sheet rock - or the gypsum PATCH you've made around a dig-out - as YOU care to make them.

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    I suggest you use pigtails, and put the safety ground on vertical duplex receptacles on top.

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