Proper outlet orientation

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This might sound like a dumb question, but is there a proper orientation for an outlet? I'm looking at the replacement outlet that I am going to install and I notice (based purely on the text stamped on the outlet face) that the text on the outlet is upside down if you put the ground prong on the bottom, but the text on the outlet is rightside up and readible, the ground prong is on top of the hot and neutral prong.
Does the orientation matter so far as code is concerned? Is there a reason why having the ground tap on the top would be necessarily a bad thing - if only because the cords wouldn't stay in the outlet or you'd have to always twist the cord 180 degrees when you plugged in.
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Ground lug up, for the reason that if a metal cover plate comes off it hits the ground first. Left to right orientation the hot goes up.
Rich
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Alright, I hadn't thought of that.
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Eigenvector wrote:

Most people haven't because (1) most plates in a house aren't metal (metal usually found only in a shop or industrial applications)and (2) plates are screwed on and don't often come off, especially if a plug is in the socket. Probably have a 1 in 10,000,000 chance of a plate falling off.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

I see a fair amount of metal plates in older homes and updated newer ones, and the odds are probably higher than that. We could poll the people on this newsgroup, mulitply by the number of outlets, on average, they've lived with over the years, and determine a sample incident ratio - but let's not. ;)
We're talking about convenience outlets. The proper orientation of an outlet is that which allows the connecting cord(s) to run the best course, lay flatest, or most concealed/accessible. In other words, whatever is most convenient. Any other answer, whether code or conviction, is based on immaterial and insignificant factors. That probably helps explain why GFIs usually (always? never saw one that wasn't) have the test and reset buttons labeled so they're readable with the ground in either orientation.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Completely agree with the paragraph above. I suppose type of plates may depend on what part of the country you live in. And certainly people use all types of material, wood, rock, etc. to make fancy plates.
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wrote:

Are you sure about that last thing? It seems inconsistent when orienting it for safety. You want the metal cover plate to touch hot?

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Rich wrote:

I had an interesting test of it a short time ago. A metal clothes hanger fell behind a desk hitting a plug that was partially out (ground plug down). Sparks and blew the breaker!!
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Most molded "wall hugger" plugs are orientated with the ground on the bottom, i install the outlets to comply + the look like a face going ooooh, which I prefer/
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Eigenvector wrote:

This has been discussed many times here. You can orient the plug any way you want including horizontally. Most plugs seem to be oriented with the hole (ground) on the bottom, but other houses have the ground on the top. Flat plugs are often formed so that a plug with the ground on the bottom is best. Orient it any way you want, you can always turn it over later if you want a different orientation.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

<snipped>
I've heard that "ground pin up" (for the metal wallplate reason) is required on new work in some parts of Canada.
Can anyone confirm that?
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

I can confirm that the metal cover plate reason makes no sense, regardless of who's bought into the logic and written code to comply.
By the time the ground prong is far enough out of the receptacle hole to make contact with the cover plate, the other two prongs are far enough out that the cord is no longer energized.
R
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wrote:

Even a really thin metal cover plate? Some of these might make contact even if the plug is only an eighth of an inch out.

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Mark Lloyd wrote:

The cover plate has nothing to do with the orientation. Nothing. The grounding plug is a bit longer than the other two. Like the other guy said, first to make, last to break.
Unless there's a new and stupid plug with flexible prongs, the hot and neutral can't be made to touch the cover plate unless the receptacle is recessed well behind the face of the plate.
Why is it that nobody's mentioned a polarized plug? Since there's no ground, does that make the plug more dangerous?
This whole thing is like someone complaining about the dangers of an air bag while they're driving around drunk. The mechanical/electrical systems aren't to blame, it's the nut behind the wheel.
R
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I was told by an electrician that the practice was changed to ground up a few years ago. The reason is that if a plug is not all the way into the receptacle, something dropped, like a paperclip off a desk, will not cross the two prongs and come to rest. It would most likely slide off.
I've also notice that a lot of new appliance cords, as air conditioner, are made in such a way that they will hang better ground up.
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wrote:

Now *that* makes sense!
However, I don't think I'm gonna reinstall/invert all of the outlets in my home.
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wrote:

I suppose it's not enough of an advantage that it's worth changing existing receptacles that need no other work.

Yes. That applies to my dryer (240V 30A) as well at 120V plugs.
Also. if you have 2 of those for one receptacle, how may have a problem since the cord on one plug can cover up the other outlet. They COULD make the cord come out the side, so you'd never have that problem. BTW, this applies to wall warts (power supplies, remote control modules, etc...) too.
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That may be new as a code requirement some places, but as a reason for putting the ground pin up, it's been around a long time. I recall reading it in a home workshop guide from the 1950s, can't recall which, that I got at a used book fair years ago.
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wrote in message

Actually that would explain a lot of things. Every so often I run across a heavy power adapter where the bulk of the adapter points UP in an outlet. I totally hate those things because they do flop down unless the ground is facing up.
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On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 18:03:59 -0700, "Eigenvector"

Yes, and the adapter is likely to block the other receptacle (or multiple receptacles).
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