Which way is up

Old 01-22-04, 08:19 AM
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Which way is up

Sorry guys Iím a novice to this but lately I have been noticing that some of the three prong outlets have the ground up and some have them down. The way I was taught was to have them down. Iím a little confused as to which is the right way. I know that I have flush extension cords that are designed to have the ground n the bottom. Any insight in this will be grateful.
Old 01-22-04, 08:27 AM
charlie b
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There is no code or industry standard that declares one way to be right and the other wrong. Arguments have been put forth in favor of ďground up,Ē and others in favor of ďground down.Ē The arguments on neither side outweigh those of the other side. Whatever works for you is acceptable.
Old 01-22-04, 09:29 AM
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We haven't had a good debate on this for a month. As Charlie says, it really doesn't matter much. You can even install the receptacles sideways or at a 45 degree angle if you want.

Main arguments for ground up:
  • Safety in case something falls on the plug.
Main arguments for ground down:
  • Looks "right" to most people (the way God intended!).
  • Makes molded plugs such as on your refrigerator, washing machine, most plug-in transformers, and night lights hang right.
  • Looks like a smiley face.
Many electricians use the convention that ground up signifies a switched receptacle, and thus install some each way.

I really don't think it's worth much debate.
Old 01-22-04, 10:12 AM
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Thank you for the input guys. I guess I should have said this before but Iím actually a safety inspector for the new construction on the University of Iowa. The biggest problem that I have seen so for was like I said was the flush mounted power strips are designed to have the ground on the bottom; henceforth, plugging it in the way that I have is putting extra stress on the cord, since in has to go up a few inches and making a 180 and coming straight back down to the floor. Everyone that I have talked with so far about it has said the same thing you all did. I guess my next question is what is the main direction that manufactures are making the designs for? Has anyone else run in to similar problems?
Old 01-22-04, 03:53 PM
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In my experience I have found most commercial/industrial situations like the ground up for the reasons stated.
Most all residential applications go ground down. Exactly for the reasons John stated.

If you look at a heavy duty Spec Grade receptacle all the writing on it can be read with the ground up. Standard residential receptacles I don't really see a pattern.
Old 01-22-04, 06:53 PM
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Which way is up

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