US 3900238 A
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United States Patent [191 Anderson [4 1 Aug. 19, 1975 ADDITION OF ASTAB GROUND WIRE TO ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLES, LE. SWITCHES AND PLUGS  Inventor: Raymond G. Anderson, 206 N.
Sharmin, Ankeny, Iowa 50021  Filed: Apr. 15, 1974  Appl. No.: 460,769
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 290,080, Sept. 18,
 US. Cl 339/14 R; 339/95 R; 339/198 R  Int. Cl H0lr 3/06  Field of Search... 339/14 R, 14 L, 14 P, 14 RP,
339/95 R, 95 D, 198 R OTHER PUBLICATIONS Leviton, Quickwire, 9-1954.
Primary Examiner-Roy Lake Assistant Examiner-DeWalden W. Jones Attorney, Agent, or FirmZarley, McKee, Thomte & Voorhees 5 7 ABSTRACT Electrical equipment such as receptacles for light switches and plug receivers are hereby provided with stab ground wire connectors, also called quick, push, and/or pressure ground wire connections, whereby the ground wire, often having a green colored outer insulation, as generally required by electrical codes, has the insulation removed a predetermined gage length from its end, and thereafter the bare wire end is pushed into a circular opening of added portions of the housing of the electrical receptacle, and continue on to be gripped by added metal on the support bar, thereby creating a grounding contact throughout its interior. Preferably, all the other connections of the receptacle, i.e., that is to the power wires, are also quick, stab, and/or pressure wire connections, whereby the entire wiring hook up to the receptacle is quickly and securely undertaken. Moreover, all these added ground connections, once made, so remain, until an end of a release tool, often a screw driver, is inserted through an entry, slightly spaced from the ground wire entry hole, to momentarily deflect part of the added metal on the support bar, which is arranged as the inserted wire gripping ground conductor, to thereby create clearance for the withdrawal of the bare metal end of the ground wire.
4 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures ADDITION OF A STAB GROUND WIRE TO ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLES, LE. SWITCHES AND PLUGS CROSS REFERENCE This is a continuation in part application based on the copending application of the same inventor Raymond G. Anderson entitled Quick, Stab, Push, and/or Pressure Ground i 'ire Connection Electrical Equipment Such as Light Switches, and Receptacles, Ser. No. 290,080 filed 9-18-72, now abandoned and priority of this application is claimed.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Although quick, stab, push, and/or pressure bare end wire connections have been used previously for the ac tive or power circuit wires connected to electrical receptacles such as the light switches and plug outlets of homes, offices, other dwellings, and also industrial buildings, none of these receptacles have incorporated such stab wire connections for firmly, yet removably receiving the ever ready grounding wire. In the light switch and plug outlet embodiments illustrated and described herein, all the grounding wires may be installed by utilizing quick, stab, push, and/or pressure, bare end wire connections. In the light switch embodiment, the screw connection is also provided, for receiving a ground wire, giving the installer a choice, especially where the building codes still specify such an exterior screw connection for a ground wire.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION All types of electrical receptacles, such as light switches and plug outlets are hereby provided with interior ground conductor portions to receive uncovered ends at gage lengths of ground wires for their positive electrical attachment upon employing quick, stab, push, and/or pressure connection metal components and methods of their use. Although such ground wire receiving interior conductor portions may be the sole stab or quick wire receiving connections, preferably the entire electrical receptacle including power wire receiving connections, will be so constructed. When necessary, to comply with electrical building codes, or for other reasons, the stab or quick wire attachment conductor portions are extended or connected to other conductor portions, which are in turn positioned when codes so require, to receive ground wires at screw connections. Also as necessary, screw connections may be provided for active circuit wires. Ground connections made to the interior ground conductor portions of these electrical receptacles by using the quick, stab, push and/or pressure connection components and methods, are retained by a gripping action. The gripping action remains until released by using a tool, such as a screwdriver, when its tip is inserted into an opening located adjacent to the wire entry location in the housing and which guides the tip to deflect, a gripping segment of the ground conductor portion, a sufficient distance to release the grip and permit withdrawal of the ground wire.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a receptacle serving as a light switch, with ground and power wires secured, the ground wire being secured by using a quick, stab,
push and/or pressure connection to added metal ground conductor portions, and also showing the optional provision of a threaded screw connection to receive a ground wire to optionally comply with an electrical code, which still requires such a connection;
FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view of some related portions of this light switch receptacle to show the placement of added ground conductor portions, which provide the place where the ground wire is attached using the quick, stab, push, and/or pressure connection components;
FIG. 3 shows with shaded lines how the housing of previously available light switch receptacles are extended to provide a mounting place for the added ground conductor portions which receive the ground wire using the quick, stab, push and/or pressure connection components;
FIG. 4 shows in dotted lines how an upstanding portion of the immediate framing around the light switch lever of previously available light switches is removed to provide clearance for the added ground conductor portions, which receive the ground wire between quick, stab, push, and/or pressure connection components;
FIG. 5 illustrates how the ground conductor portions, which provide the place where the ground wire is attached using the quick, stab, push, and/or pressure con nection components are surrounded by the extended housing to hold them firmly in place;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a receptacle serving as a plug outlet, with ground and power wires secured, the ground wire being secured by using a quick, stab, push and/or pressure connection to added metal ground conductor portions;
FIG. 7 is a partial perspective view of some related metal portions of this plug outlet receptacle to show the placement of added ground conductor portions, which provide the place where the ground wire is attached using the quick, stab, push, and/or pressure connection components;
FIG. 8 is a partial rear view of some related metal portions, as shown in FIG. 7, of this plug outlet receptacle to show the placement of added ground conductor portions, which provide the place where the ground wire is attached using the quick, stab, push, and/or pressure connection components; and
FIG. 9 is a partial rear view of the housing of this plug outlet receptacle, with a dotted line indicating how a previously available housing is extended at a corner to provide a mounting place for the added ground conductor portions which receive the ground wire using the quick, stab, push and/or pressure connection components.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Light Switch Receptacle In FIGS. 1 through 5, a wall light switch 10 is illustrated indicating how this electrical receptacle I0 is provided with conductor portions 12 which provide a place, where a ground wire 14 is attached, using the quick, stab, push, and/or pressure connection components. In using these stab components, the end of a ground wire 14, generally color coded in green insulation, has the insulation removed a pre set gage distance. Then the uncovered portion of the insulated wire 14 is directly inserted into a hole id in the housing or body 18 of the electrical receptacle 10, serving as a light switch 10, as shown in FIG. 1.
Upon entry of bare end of insulated wire I4, it is guided in the receiving slot, which includes a channel 22 of the ground conductor portion 12, and then it is pushed under the deflectable arm 24 having a lower wire gripping edge 26 formed on the conductor portion 12, as cutouts 28 are made on this extending end 30 of the ground conductor portion 12. The ground wire 14 remains firmly gripped in its ground connected position until it is intentionally released. This is accomplished by inserting the end of a screwdriver, not shown, into the slot 32 to contact the deflectable arm 24 and temporarily deflect it further until its gripping edge 26 clears the ground wire 14, thereby permitting its withdrawal.
Although each item of electrical equipment, such as light switch 10, is often made somewhat differently by various manufacturers, nevertheless with respect to all of them, a ground conductor portion 12 is conveniently added to receive the end of the ground wire 14 in these quick, stab, push, and/or pressure connection components. In FIGS. 2, 3, 4, and 5, the additions of the ground conductor portion 12 and a housing portion are illustrated. The conductor portion 12 is preferably bent at 34 to provide a front portion 36, having a hole 38 aligned with other regular holes to accommodate an assembly rivet 40, and a hole 42 to accommodate a screw, now shown, used to secure a cover plate, not shown. As illustrated in FIGS. I and 2, this front portion 36 is firmly contacted by the regular metal frame or support bar 44 used in supporting the electrical switch 10, to a surrounding electrical box, not shown, which in turn is generally secured to the framing of a building. Such firm contact completes the seeurement of the support bar 44.
In further reference to the conversion of a previously available electrical light switch 10, FIG. 3, shows in shaded lines a housing extension 46 added to housing 18, to accommodate the ground conductor portions 12. Some of the existing structure of previously available light switches are not necessary, as illustrated by the dotted lines in FIG. 4. These dotted lines indicate how a tab extension 48, with a hole 50 arranged to receive the assembly rivet 40, is cut off to accommodate the front portion 36 of the ground conductor portion 12. This tab extension 48 is a part of the plastic sub frame 52 positioned about the finger operated toggle lever 54.
It is recognized, under certain circumstances of poor access, subsequent wiring changes, and/or code regulations, a ground wire must still be secured using a threaded terminal 56. Therefore one may be provided, as shown in FIG. 1. However, preferably, electrical receptacles, such as this light switch 10 will be initially manufactured to accommodate the connection of ground wires 14 by using these quick, stab, push, and- /or pressure connection components and the added housing to accommodate them. Electrical boxes will be designed to provide clear access to hole 16 and slot 32. Also ground conductor portions 12 may be extended to each side and also the back, and respective new holes 16 may be provided. Thereafter, selectable location matching larger knockout holes are provided in electrical boxes. Then any ground wire I4, will be conveniently installed, regardless of the overall installation location of the electrical light switch 10 fastened within its connection box which is secured in turn to a structural member of a building, not shown.
Plug Outlet Receptacle As illustrated in FIGS. 6, 7, 8 and 9, in a very similar way as undertaken in regard to the light switch receptacle 10, a plug outlet receptacle is equipped with a ground conductor portion 62, to receive, by a stab connection, a ground wire 14, which is included in a three conductor wire cable 64, also including power wires 66 and 68. The ground conductor portion 62 is secured to the support bar 70 by rivet 72, or made integrally with it at the outset of the manufacture of the plug outlet receptacle 60.
To provide the wire receiving, gripping, and receiving components, the ground conductor portion 62 has portions removed at 74, and then the remaining portions are bent relative to one another to form a deflectable arm 76 having a side gripping edge 78, located oppositely to the extension 80. A ground wire 14, stripped at its end to a preselected gage length is inserted through the hole 82, in the housing 84, as shown in FIG. 9, and extended beyond to be gripped between the side gripping edge 78 and the extension 80 of the ground conductor portion 62, as illustrated in FIG. 8. When release and withdrawal of ground wire 14 is undertaken, the end of a screwdriver, not shown, is inserted through the slot 86 in housing 84, to further deflect the deflectable arm 76, thereby clearing it from contact with ground wire 14.
As indicated by the dotted lines in FIGS. 6 and 9, previously available housings for plug type receptacles have their housings conveniently altered by added at least one full corner portion 88 to surround and support the added ground conductor portion 62. If more places for a ground wire connection were to be provided, another ground conductor portion 62 and its respective added full corner housing portion 88 could be conveniently arranged at another comer.
SUMMARY OF ADVANTAGES By equipping each electrical receptacle such as light switch 10 or plug outlet 60 with quick, stab, push, and- /or pressure ground connection components, all ground connections may be made, very rapidly, substantially reducing the overall wiring time involved. With the use of heavy gage ground wires, better ground connections will be assured. Inspection is still readily accomplished as a slight reverse tug on the wire, if no pull out movement of the ground wire occurs, will indicate a good ground contact has been created. Also testing instruments are available to check on the complete connection of the stab connected ground line.
The addition of extra metal portions to provide the ground conductor portion of the support bar, having the stab connection components, is readily and easily undertaken. As necessary, the addition to the housing of each receptacle is likewise readily and easily undertaken, as illustrated and described.
1. An electrical outlet receptacle comprising,
an insulated housing having wall portions forming a chamber for holding power terminals and a ground terminal therewithin,
an electrical cover means for said housing,
at least two power wire terminals mounted within said housing chamber, and
a quick wiring ground terminal arranged to receive a ground wire and grip the same which is comprised of,
an integral metallic ground conductor mounted on one wall of said housing and having an extension portion extending across an immediately adjacent wall and opposite said one wall said ground conductor having a wire receiving channel, and said extensionportion which extends across said immediately adjacent wall having a defleetable arm with a ground wire gripping lower edge which partially obstructs said ground wire receiving channel, said housing having a ground wire access aperture aligned with said channel, and a tool access aperture aligned with said deflectable arm for insertion of a tool to deflect said arm and release a ground wire.
2. The electrical outlet receptacle of claim 1 wherein 'said extension portion of said metallic ground conductor has a cutout portion immediately above said defleetable arm.
3. The electrical outlet receptacle of claim I wherein said electrical cover means for said housing is a switch cover means.
4. The electrical outlet receptacle of claim 1 wherein said electrical cover means for said housing is a plug