National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Question:

Good Day Code Lads, here is a question that has bothered me for quite some time. Does the Code prohibit back wiring of switches and receptacles in a wiring system. I was always told that you can’t back wire devices and that the wires have to be wrapped around the screws on the device. I appreciate the response or opinion you have.

Charles Timmons

A

Answer:

Hello Charles, thanks for your question. The NEC does not restrict devices such as switches and receptacles from being back-wired. Many of these products are listed (certified) and evaluated for terminating the conductors this way. Some devices provide both options, back wiring and screw terminals. The key here is to follow the manufacturer's requirements in the installation instructions as required in Section 110.3(B). As an aside, Section 110.14 of the NEC generally addresses these types of connections.

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