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Thread: Should I avoid Push-in Terminals on RRD-6CL Maestro Dimmers?

  1. #1

    Question Should I avoid Push-in Terminals on RRD-6CL Maestro Dimmers?

    I am planning on doing some DIY installation of the RRD-6CL RadioRA 2 Maestro Dimmers soon. The documentation states that this product can be wired using either the Push-in Terminals, or the Screw Terminals, but does not state as to which method is preferred.


    I've read that some people suggests avoiding Push-in Terminals on wall outlets, and to prefer Screw Terminals instead. Does the same suggestion apply to dimmers as well? I've also read that there is a difference between "QuickWire" push-in terminals which should be avoided, while "EZ-Wire" push-in terminals with side clamping are fine to use. Which style of push-in terminals does these dimmers use?



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    To understand this, we’ll have to get some terminology straight. There are 3 ways to attract wire to a wiring device.

    1. Screw terminals
    2. Back-stab connections
    3. Back-wire connections

    Screw terminals are capable of making a good connection, but make sure the wire loops back in a clockwise manner (so that the screw pulls the wire around the terminal)

    Back-stab or quickwire terminals do not need a screwdriver, as you push the wire in and a brass clip holds it in. They are UL listed, but I always avoid them because I’ve seen one too many melted switches and other failures.

    Back-wire connections involve the wire being pushed in the back and the screw tightened to make the connection. This form of connection is not too common on Lutron products (notable exception being GRAFIK Eye) but are common on 20 amp wiring devices. This is considered the ideal connection method as it is fast and very secure.

    Note to Lutron: a $200 dimmer should REALLY have backwire terminals as they are SO much easier than screw terminals.
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

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  4. #3
    "Push-in Terminals" is what the Lutron documentation used, so thanks for clearing up the terminology. If I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like RRD-6CL is Back-stab rather than Back-wire, so I should opt for the Screw Terminals then. Thanks.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member
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    I've been doing this a very, very long time. I have installed countless Lutron and non-Lutron devices. I almost exclusively use the push-in terminals. I have never had a failure of any kind related to the use of the push-in terminals. Zero failures.

    Some time ago there were reported issues with 12-gauge wire and push-in terminals. The terminals are now small enough so 12-gauge will not physically fit in the terminal.

    I do believe the devices should have clamp type terminals (like Grafik Eyes).
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  7. #5
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    I've been doing this a very, very long time. I have installed countless Lutron and non-Lutron devices. I almost exclusively use the push-in terminals. I have never had a failure of any kind related to the use of the push-in terminals. Zero failures.

    Some time ago there were reported issues with 12-gauge wire and push-in terminals. The terminals are now small enough so 12-gauge will not physically fit in the terminal.

    I do believe the devices should have clamp type terminals (like Grafik Eyes).
    Do not try to "push-in" #12. The only time I have had any issue with a stab in connector (assuming you are using #14 solid) is when the dimmer has been installed, pulled-out, re-installed and the grasping clamp is no longer applying as much force as it would have the first time. If you remove it correctly by using a slim metal blade to release the tension on the grasper you are probably OK to push wire in one more time, but if you abuse it don't expect it to be reliable.

    Moral of the story: just take your time and do it properly the first time and you'll be fine.

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