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When swapping out a closet light fixture this morning, I found that they had attached it by stripping a small section of each of the black and white wires and bending them around the appropriate screw. The wires then continued another 2-3 inches to the wire nut for connecting to other circuits.

Now, I've removed this mostly because the way the screws were on my new fixture made it a serious PITA to do it again, but I'm wondering if it was ever OK or not.

I removed it by cutting the wire at the strip point, adding that to the bundle in the wire nut, and adding a 2-inch piece of wire appropriately stripped from the wire nut to the fixture. And I did twist the wire bundle before screwing on the wire nut.

The house was built around 1967 or so, if that helps, and wire is copper.

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my house has this all over the place too - seems pretty common back then, not sure if its to code by todays standards.. –  Steven Nov 25 '12 at 21:07
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Well done on making the right call. It's probably not to code anywhere anymore, and wire nuts are a better option all around. –  GdD Nov 26 '12 at 11:11

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I believe at one time this was an accepted practice. I found it in my house which was built in 1960. I know I have been in the elctrical field for 25 years and have never seen anyone do it, so I would say its not being used anymore. I don't think it is a hazard, but if you come across it while performing upgrades I would replace it with a standard wire nut connection like you did.

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Is there anything in the NEC you can reference? –  Steven Nov 26 '12 at 21:09
    
Not exactly. It does show the proper way to bind the wire to a screw terminal. If you simply looped the wire, it's impossible to achieve the same surface area of contact. So it is not an approved method because it is not referenced is the way I see it. Still probably better than using those poke in connectors at the back of some devices IMO. –  bcworkz Nov 26 '12 at 23:38

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