Upside down outlets??

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When installing a 3 prong electrical outlet (120v), is it customary for the ground plug "holes" to be at the top or bottom of each receptacle (see diagram below)? Or is it just a matter of preference?
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or
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Maybe a stupid question, but this is just something that I've noticed over the years.
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Ray

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Depends on who puts them in. The electric code does not specify a orientation. My new home (5 years old), has the switched outlets ground up. The rest are ground down..
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Ray,
According to Harold Leviton of Leviton Mfg. = outlets, switches etc.. Harold told me that it will soon be code for any outlet with a metal cover plate to be installed with the ground up. This is to prevent any possible problems that may occur if you have something plugged into the outlet and the coverplate screw is missing the metal coverplate could possibly fall off the outlet onto the two prongs of the plug and cause a short or fire. I have noticed when visiting hospitals that have metal coverplates the ground is up on the outlets.
Have fun,
AZCRAIG
www.azcraig.us

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Ray wrote:

Oh noooooo...not *this* argument again. <g>
Listen to whatever anybody else tells you, but here is one point of "common sense" to take to the bank:
If you have an appliance like a window AC or refrigerator that has a *right angle* plug on it, and it's obviously going to stay plugged in to one specific outlet, make sure *that* outlet is oriented to allow the plug to be inserted without being twisted "upside down".
IOW, you want the cord to plug in so that the wire hangs down, does not stick straight up and then fall down over itself and the plug. The weight and strain of that are *not* good for that plug staying firmly seated in that outlet. If you need to turn one of those around, it takes all of 8-10 minutes, and that includes the two trips to the basement for flipping the breaker off and then back on.
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And I still have my grounds on the right =o Mark H.
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Ray wrote:

There is no regulation that I know of, but most are put in with the ground down. The only reason I can think of for this is because most plugs that are angled fit better than way.
However I always put mine in with the ground up. that way if something falls between the plug and prongs, it will hit the ground first and maybe only the ground. That is safer in my book.
BTW I-zheet M'drurz does offer a good reason for some of the going the other way.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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So, in the long run, one combines Mehan + I=zheet + cm and comes up with: Plugs will be redesigned. TB
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Tom Baker wrote:

Or maybe they'll start making boxes which can be installed sideways? <G>
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

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Tom Baker wrote:

I would hope, but I'll bet I will be long gone from this world by the time that happens.
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wrote:

Operationally, it doesn't make a bit of difference, there is no right or wrong way to do it. There are arguments for both and some people have personal preferences, but there's nothing wrong with it either way.
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Ground down matches more wall warts and such. Mine are ground-up and nothing ever fits in an outlet. Everything expects ground down.
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wrote:

I have a few heavy-duty cord sets that are easier to use with ground-up outlets. Most of mine are down. I'm not sure about the ones on the garage ceiling.
FWIW, the NEMA diagram shows the 5-15 receptacle ground-up.
I wonder if ground-down is popular because the outlet has a vaguely face-like appearance. (Or is it just me?)
-Scott
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wrote:

My houses ('72 and '04) have the ground down pretty much throughout. It means they work better with X-10 boxes because of where the wide blade is for polarized plugs. The newer house has ground-up for those outlets that are switched by wall switches because the builder was too cheap to put in ceiling fixtures, though.
Mary
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Air Conditioner plugs are ground up these days.
I'm told the reason for ground up is safety. If a plugs is not quite all the way into the receptacle and something falls on it, the possibility if getting a short is higher with ground down. Not a likely happening in the home, but in the office, staples and paperclips have been know to do just that.
The electrician that told me this said it was just a recommendation, not code yet. (at least a couple of years ago) Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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There is no preferred way. but it is less preferred to having some outlets with ground up, and others with ground down. I see far more outlets with the ground in the down position.
wrote:

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Ray wrote:

You can eliminate the entire controversy by doing this:
=0 or 0 And, no, it doesn't make any difference whether ground left or right.
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But now you can argue that the neutral side of the prong holes should be up, because that is usually nearly the some voltage as the ground, using the same argument for the ground prong being up. Therefore it does make a difference which way the horizontal outlet is installed!

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Go to page 240 Fig.11-5 in Traistor's "Commercial Electrical Wiring" ISBN1-57218-092-7.
Recommeded practice (not code required yet) ground terminal shown up, and for horizontally mounted outlets the ground terminal is to the left. HTH
Joe
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Ray:
R > When installing a 3 prong electrical outlet (120v), is it customary for the R > ground plug "holes" to be at the top or bottom of each receptacle (see R > diagram below)? Or is it just a matter of preference? R > R > o R > | | R > R > or R > R > | | R > o R > R > Maybe a stupid question, but this is just something that I've noticed over R > the years.
No such thing as a stupid question. I don't know the NEC (as witnessed by some of the answers I've posted in the past!) but newer construction tends to have the ground on top. Reason seems to be if by chance something conductive fell across the two flat prongs would definately have a short. If, on the other hand, the same conductor fell across the outlet with the ground on top there's only a 50% chance it would short between the hot and ground.
Unless it's against the current code (and I'll be looking for an answer) I'd say which ever way trips your fancy. One consideration would be what is being plugged in to the specific outlet. If it's a right-angle cord then I would say the outlet's orientation is which ever way provides the least stress on the cord. If the orientation causes the cord to have to go up the wall and then flop over I would reverse the plug.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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A question on the side -- (no pun intended) -- is it custom or code in Chicago that outlets be oriented horizontally? The code there mandates conduit and metal boxes. Often square boxes are used, so it's just a matter of cover orientation.
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