Author Options:

What is the best connection method when wiring outlets? Answered

They've changed since I last bought outlets.  It looks like there are now three ways to connect the wires.... stab it in the holes, wrap it around the screws, and something I haven't seen before.  I  don't know what to call it, but it looks sort of like a screw down clamp.  So which method is the best practice?  


Josehf Murchison

Best Answer 2 years ago

More important which is the law where you live.

Some places all are legal, other places only one is legal.

Such as In Ontario; around the screw or in the clamp, but not in the hole.

So where do you live?

seandogueJosehf Murchison

Answer 2 years ago


When in doubt, check the National Electric Code applicable to your locale


Answer 2 years ago

Even municipalities have their own rules for electricians installing outlets...


2 years ago

Stabbing it in the hole is onle effective on 14 gauge or less, with solid wire, not stranded. The screws work well as well, but offer more contact surface and are less likely to develop melting arcs. I would suggest the screws as better, the tail of the loop should be coming around CW on the screw.

The clamp I am not familiar with.


2 years ago

My thanks to you all. The question is moot due to code and budget. Seattle code requires Tamper Resistant outlets in all new construction. So I'm stuck with the wrap around the screw type at $2.49 a pop as opposed to the clamp type at $4.99 each.


2 years ago

Not a matter of what is best but what is logically available to use...

The push in is really only feasible for 16 gauge lamp wiring and a poor spring edge outlet connection... The wrap around screws are good for 18, 16, 14, 12 and 10 gauge usually double bladed to allow stringing or with the break to separate duplex plug outlets...

While the C clamp screw are used in fuses or clamping heavier gauge wires and certain ones can mix Copper and Aluminum wire from overhead power lines..

Josehf Murchisoniceng

Answer 2 years ago

Your marettes remind me of wiring a house with the hydro inspector there watching me.

He asked why I did this and why I did that when he saw me use a marette.

I put the marette on 3 wires and wrapped it with electrical tape.

He Looked at it and asked, "Don't you trust your joints?"

I told him, "I don't trust my own mother and she's been dead for ten years."

The house passed the Inspection.

Jack A Lopez

2 years ago

I like the kind with screws in the side, and the method of bending a solid wire into a hook shape, and putting that wire under the screw and tightening it.

It is a method that makes a secure connection. It is visible. And it is easy to take at some later date, if desired.

In contrast, for the stick-it-in-a-hole connector, the actual connection is invisible, hidden inside the hole. Also it is harder to take apart later.

I have not seen the, what you call, "screw down clamp", but I would probably like it if the place where wire gets squished is visible, and if the wire can be released turning the screw the other way that would be, "Screwing the screw-down clamp up?", "Screwing up the screw-down clamp?"

Well, usually "screwing up" something is bad, but I think in this case it could be good, because reversibility is a feature I like.


2 years ago

I'm not sure there is a "best" way. If the outlet supports a connection type and you can attach it correctly then any method will be fine. It will depend on the gauge of your wire though, as thicker gauges gauges won't always work in the holes. It should say the max gauge near the hole somewhere.

Personally I'm a fan of the holes if they work for you because it's just less work, especially if you or someone else ever has to take the outlet off later.