Outlet position according to code.

Page 1 of 2  
Has anyone determined the correct way to mount an outlet according to code these days? I dont have a current NEC book. For many years everyone mounted them with the ground on the bottom. Then some years back they wanted the ground on the top, the reason given was because of objects falling onto the hot terminal of a plug. After that, it seems like the rules changed again, and the last I heard it was no longer a "rule" but simply personal choice. Of course that was several years ago too.
From a personal point of view, I think they look stupid when the ground is on the top. I can somewhat understand the problem with the hot prong on the top and gravity issue, but aside from a metal outlet cover losing it's screw and falling onto the hot terminal, it seems pretty unlikely that any other metal object would contact the prongs. If a child is playing around an outlet, they can touch the hot prong from the bottom as well as the top. Of course they should get their butt kicked for playing with an outlet, (which of course will violate another law and get the parent sent to prison for physical abuse to a child..... but that's another issue, not to be discussed here).
In the end, it seems that this matter becomes pretty senseless in the end. If the prongs of a plug are that loose, the plug usually falls out of the wall. As long as people keep metal (and all) outlet cover plate screws tight, there should be no real issue.
But code is code, (right or wrong). According to code, what is the latest "approved" method to mount an outlet? I am asking this because I have an old neighbor who calls himself an electrician. (In reality, he's a handyman who does some minor electrical work, such as adding an outlet). He said he has not read the code in at least ten years, (probably more than 20 years). Yet he insists that my outlets all need to be flipped to put the ground on the top.
Alvin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Too bad, I assume this is existing outlets not new construction?
Otherwise you could mount them sideways just to piss him off!
;^)
Eric Law
<SNIP>

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You can't mount it face up in a counter top. Other than that it's your choice

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ive never failed an inspection going ground down ;-)
snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

them with the ground on the bottom. Then some yearspback they wanted the ground on the top, the reason given was becauseof objects falling onto the hot terminal of a plug. After that, itseems like the rules changed again, and the last I heard it was nolonger a "rule" but simply personal choice. Of course that wasrseveral years ago too. From a personal point of view, I think they look stupid when theground is on the top. I can somewhat understand the problem with thehot prong on the top and gravity issue, but aside from a metal outletcover losing it's screw and falling onto the hot terminal, it seemspretty unlikely that any other metal object would contact the prongs.If a child is playing around an outlet, they can touch the hot prongsfrom the bottom as well as the top. Of course they should get theirmbutt kicked for playing with an outlet, (which of course will violateanother law and get the parent sent to prison for physical abuse to achild..... but that's another issue, not to be discussed here).In the end, it seems that this matter becomes pretty senseless in theend. If the prongs of a plug are that loose, the plug usually fallsRout of the wall. As long as people keep metal (and all) outlet coverplate screws tight, there should be no real issue.vBut code is code, (right or wrong). According to code, what is thelatest "approved" method to mount an outlet? qI am asking this because I have an old neighbor who calls himself anelectrician. (In reality, he's a handyman who does some minor~electrical work, such as adding an outlet). He said he has not readthe code in at least ten years, (probably more than 20 years). Yet heinsists that my outlets all need to be flipped to put the ground onxthe top. Alvin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
there is no rule on this, other than no face up on a counter as previously mentioned. Never has been. so tell mr. electrician to produce some documention (from ANY year) that proves his point.
s

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

ground up is better, having once dropped change into a outlet with ground down. the spark display was impressive:(
some new homes all outlets but swiched ones are ground up, switched ones ground down. saves service calls for dead outets
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The Code doesn't care, and never has.

My guess is, he's *never* read a Code book. Want to make some easy money? Bet him fifty bucks he can't show you *any* edition of the NEC, no matter how ancient or recent, that specifies whether receptacles in walls must be mounted up, down, or sideways. He doesn't have the first clue what he's talking about.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 21, 6:50 pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Is there a section in Health Care?
I don't use that online code book because I don't use Java due to security risks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

None that I'm aware of -- not that it would be relevant to the OP anyway.

It's not available at the moment anyway...
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Just curious. I have heard about this online code book. Where is it (the URL)?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
http://nfpa-acs-01.gvpi.net:8080/rrserver/browser?title=/NFPASTD/7005SB

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Although it's never been in the NEC, I remember around 10 -12 years ago, electrical inspectors telling us to start installing outlets with ground up, because it was going to be code. I also remember at the same time right angle plugs started coming out with ground up, but nothing ever came of it. The rational for ground up, always seemed a little lame to me. Those folks in Batterymarch Park have a little to much time on their hands
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's not a little lame. It's a LOT lame.
s

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 21, 5:47 pm, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Alvin: We recently had a long long thread here on this ng on this very topic. It covered all the options and the outcome was that unless there is written local code in some jurisdiction, there is nothing in the National Electrical Code (American) that defines up, down or sideways! Here in Canada where our systems (especially residential/domestic) are very similar we have found nothing either. Here, in this part of Canada it does seem that some of the wal-warts and small chargers for rechargeable batteries, cell phones, rechargeable flashlights etc. presently available are easier to use with the ground on the bottom. But that is only a personal observation. Built this house some 37 years ago; ours tend to be on the bottom or occasionally sideways! Terry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 21, 3:47 pm, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

If you look at most receptacles, the manufacturer's writing on the outlet is right side up with the ground prong up.
I vote up.
We were required to put them "up" in Atlanta health care facilities.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

But all those 3 neon bulb outlet testers they sell have their wording right side up if the outlet is ground prong down. You'd have to stand on your head to use one if the ground prong was up.
My stove needs a ground prong down outlet, my refridgerator needs a ground prong up outlet.
-dickm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Both of my testers have the lights visible from either side. No headstands required.

--
94 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
required by who?
s

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It was required by the person who brought us our paychecks.
The reason he gave was that a metal item falling down the wall would hit the ground plug instead of the hot if the cord was not fully plugged in. (We also used stainless steel receptacle covers and the screws do work loose)
"They" said it was a requirement in "patient care areas" Dunno if it was local or where it came from, but it was law for us.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Seems like a good enough reason to me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.