When i tried replacing a receptacle, I first found the wires sticking out of the back holes, not completely insulated. As in, insulation was stripped 1 cm too much. So I did the same thinking its the way its supposed to be. Is it imperative I redo it and cut the wire to the proper length so the insulation can go into the hole?


When using back stabs it is important to use the strip gauge on the back of the outlet. When properly stripped the insulation is slightly supported by the device. If the copper is exposed the wires tend to break at the strip point even if the wire did not get nicked. If the wire was nicked when stripping it can break much sooner without support. With the power off there are usually small slots that another 14 gauge solid wire or a small screwdriver can be used to release the wire trim to the correct length and reinstall.

  • did not know about the strip gauge, so can i ask then, is it wrong to have a bit of insulation into the hole? and for the other receptacle with the bare wire exposed, i should redo it right away? – Altoban Aug 14 '16 at 16:04
  • I would fix for safety and longevity. The strip gauge is usually labeled and a small ridge or indent providing the correct length of striped wire then the insulation will be supported. – Ed Beal Aug 14 '16 at 16:11
  • Okay i know I have to fix the bare wire, but should I fix the other one as well? The one with insulation going inside the hole? As I did that one without measuring. – Altoban Aug 14 '16 at 16:13
  • Hi ended up with this yellow wire imgur.com/soIlPDT even though I used strip gauge I was a bit off as insulation didn't go in and the whole thing is bending. – Altoban Aug 14 '16 at 17:03
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    It looks like it is closer than your earlier description. I really do not like back stabb outlets. I usually use back & side connected outlets they are 2-3 times the cost but provide better connections. With this said if the wire is nicked when stripping the wire can break at this point with them. Just be aware if you loose power on that outlet in the future a broken wire or weak connection on the stabb can be the cause. (Your connection may last for 20 years). I just don't like them as I have found hundreds in my years that have failed. – Ed Beal Aug 14 '16 at 18:42

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