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I just replaced the 18th failed P&S 660-WG light switch in my house...
on August 28, 2011
DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against the vendor selling this item. Seems like they're reasonable folks just making a living. Keep that in mind.
My house was finished in 2007, and the electricians used P&S 660-WG switches throughout (anywhere not requiring a 3-way circuit). One by one, starting with the most-used locations, these switches have failed. Every single failure has been exactly the same. The electricians inserted the 12-gauge wire through the back and loop-screwed the ground wire -- just as I would expect. This makes contact by creating pressure in between the contact plate that's connected to the outside screw terminals, and allows the circuit to be opened/closed by the switch.
Unfortunately, whatever made-in-China (of course it says that on the back) plastic they used to hold the bottom plate in breaks off due to the insertion pressure from the wire over time. Every. Single. One. In. The. Exact. Same. Place. Said another way: They're defective if you plan to use them by inserting the wire. In all my ( >10 && <100 ) years on this planet, I've never seen any light switches fail this way. The first one I chalked up as a fluke. The second was interesting data. The third one was a fun escapade into figuring out why the breaker kept tripping. I just replaced #17 and #18, and having inspected others in use, I can see that the plastic has cracked in 10 more. (A 10-pack of Cooper switches was less than $5 at Lowe's...)
So if any of the P&S guys read this: You suck at product design. There should be a product recall on these switches.
EDIT: I contacted Legrand, the parent company of Pass & Seymour. They agreed to replace all the switches in the house, so at least they're acting responsibly. I still believe these are defective, but if you're planning to use the side screw terminals instead of inserting wire through the back, you'll be fine.