I've got a really old combination electrical receptacle that's failing
and needs to be replaced. It's configured with the outlet above the
switch. However, all the current models I've found have the switch on
top. Unfortunately,for my application, I need the outlet on top.
The question is-- can I mount it upside down without violating any
In my old age, I'm suffering from memory loss....I'm also suffering from
On Monday, December 14, 2015 at 12:32:20 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I'll take a guess here:
He is looking at grounded combination receptacles and visualizing the "old
school" ground hole on the bottom installation method.
If he adopts the ground hole on top method, he will not only end up with
the receptacle on top, but he will have moved into modern times. ;-)
Although I suspect the code would frown on the switch being positioned
such that you flip it down to turn it on (unless you're in europe :-).
The orientation of the u-ground pin doesn't matter, although by preference
I like to see it at the top (for when metal items fall on an incompletely
| The question is-- can I mount it upside down without violating any
| electrical codes?
It's not illegal where I live, but I wonder if you
might want to reconsider. There's a reason that
the switch is usually on top: With the receptacle
on top you're likely to have a wire in the way of
I used to have one of those (combination switch/receptacle) with the
switch on the bottom. This device was mounted below a low window and
normally used with a cord going out the window for holiday lights.
I removed this when I installed GFCIs for the lights.
11 days until the winter celebration (Friday December 25, 2015 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).
You can ("legally") mount it sideways, upside down -- probably inside-out if
you could figure out how to insulate the contacts! :>)
Note that all of our (vertically oriented) *outlets* here are arranged
with the earth ground at top (like an upside down smiley face -- instead
of the smiley face that most folks seem to prefer). Inspectors have
noticed this but never complained.
[If you're observant, you'll notice this is the orientation in most
It wont matter how it's mounted as long as it's wired properly and no
connections are exposed. The code dont specify anything in regard to
I once lived in a rental house that had 2 switches that were upside
down. (not 3 way). That was not a code violation, but it irritated me,
so I reversed them. Except for 3 way switches, they should always go UP
to turn a light ON. That's just the way it is, and what we're accustomed
to. However, electrically, they work the same way.
I heard that in England the light switches are usually down for on.
Where I worked the last large 480 volt disconnects to get in to electrical
cabinets were color coded so green was off and red was on. They said the
green ment it was safe to go into the cabinet and the red ment danger or not
safe to go into because the power was still on. That stuff came from Europe.
When a company has 2 different standards, they would be beter just painting
over them with the same color as the cabinet.
The "up" as "on" goes way back to the days of knife switches.
The powered line supply entered from the bottom, and you
pushed the knife handle "up" to energize the wiring
heading over to the monster's table...
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
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