The never ending receptacle argument


Old 01-28-03, 08:18 PM
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Question The never ending recepticle argument

Is there an industry standard for the positioning of receptacles? In particular, is the ground hole supposed to be on the top or the bottom? I know functionally the positioning doesn’t make a difference, but I seem to have a never-ending conversation with a few of my friends concerning the positioning of receptacles. I know I’m “splitting hairs” here, but I would love to end the discussion. My one friend for instance feels the ground hole should be on the top to avoid shock from any conductive material falling along a wall. In this case the conductive material would contact the ground instead of the “hot” line.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-03, 08:23 PM
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it depends on which code you go by. at one point having the ground down was correct, but by more recent code the ground should be up. I think 1996 was the changing point but I could be wrong. Either way, they're all right.
Old 01-28-03, 08:41 PM
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No code. Mount the ground up, down, left, right, diagonally.

There are arguments either way.

Ground up arguments center around the concern of something metallic falling on a not fully seated plug. Personal opinion, but that seems pretty unlikely to me.

Ground down arguments center around the fact that certain plugs (e.g., molded refrigerator and washing machine plugs, transformers, air fresheners, CO detectors, appliance timers) are designed for a ground down receptacle.

I'm in the ground down camp, but not enough to argue about it. Do whatever you want.
Old 01-28-03, 10:09 PM
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up or down ground

My friend just moved into a new home and I noticed the ups and downs grounds in the rooms. I asked him why. He said the downs are the usual receptacles while the ups are controlled by switches. Hmmm - very interesting.
Old 01-29-03, 05:57 AM
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There is no code as to whether ground should up or down or the height of the recepticle. Often they are put a hammer handle length because it is easy to do when you have a hammer in your hand.
Old 01-29-03, 06:33 AM
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Yes, ground hole up is a common convention of many electricians to indicate a switched (or half-switched) receptacle. It's a pretty good way of reminding you of why that receptacle may not be working.
Old 01-29-03, 12:05 PM
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Everyone is correct here. "NO Code"
But just to keep the argument going, and give you some self gratification. The code say's
the ground is the first to make contact, and the last to break. Now while standing in
the upright position you go to plug something in, it is self conscience to hold the plug at
about a 30' angle in the downward position from back to font. This allows you to see the plug entering into
the holes a little better, which intern gives the ground a little head start into the plug,
Now lets say something was to fall on the plug that was conductive. It hits the plug to
force it out starting from top to bottom, at about the same 30' angle. The ground will have
disconnected before the hot, and neutral would have. or even better, the heavy object has
the ability to cut the grounding prong, or break it from the cord cap. "Now you have no
There is no code, but there allows is logic. "at least my logic."
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