correct receptacle orientation?


Old 06-27-04, 05:19 PM
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Question correct receptacle orientation?

When installing grounding type receptacles should the sockets for the grounding lugs be up or down?

Leviton states down yet their catalog shows up. Which is the correct orientation and why?
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Old 06-27-04, 06:07 PM
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There is no code required orientation. Just lots of personal opinions.
Old 06-27-04, 07:54 PM
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Ron is right, no rule with the ground pin up or down.This is 1 of many code snafus that will be debated for years!!!!!
Old 06-27-04, 08:23 PM
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There's probably been more written about this issue than any other issue except grounding, so I'll try to keep it short. There are reasons for both and concensus for neither.

Number one reason for ground up: Safety in case something should fall on the plug.

Number one reason for ground down: Molded plugs such as the ones on your washing machine and refrigerator and most power converters fit better.

There are at least twenty more reasons on each side. Do what you want.
Old 06-28-04, 05:43 AM
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I think the current accepted practice today is - Ground at the top and this is why - I was an Industrial electrician for 35 years and the normal practice was to put the Ground Pin down - (at least where I worked) - But about 2 years before I retired - (1997) - I was told to mount them with the ground Pin on top - The reason is ie: if the plug became partcially unplugged and a metalic object happened to slide down the wall - it would not be able to come in contact with both plug pins and cause a short circuit - While I can see the reasoning that someone put behind this - I never saw it happen in my entire life - A long story but maybe it will help you understand.
Old 06-29-04, 09:54 PM
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Wink receptacle orientation -- conclusion

Thanks to HandRon, ampz, John Nelson & Spark Chaser for your help.

I contacted nine people / companies including Hubbell, Leviton, electricians and a material supply house.


5 stated to locate the ground lug up. *1
1 stated the ground should be down.
2 stated to do what made me happy.

*1 One electrician of this group stated that there is no code for residential applications but for commercial OSHA & OSHPD applications the ground must be up.

Bottom Line;

In the interest of safey, it makes sense to locate the ground lug up. The only exception may be for a receptacle in back of a refrigerator or similar appliance where the power cord is usually of the molded type. As you know, these plugs normally have the power cord exiting the plug at 90 degrees ( parallel to the wall) and headed toward the floor with the ground lug down. Since these appliances are usually large they provide limited access to the receptacle thus protection from shorting of the lugs.
Old 06-29-04, 11:32 PM
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Thumbs up Another reason for ground pin up

Spark Chaser said he'd never seen a metallic object contact the plug prongs. I did see this happen ages ago before there was a ground pin. My high school chemistry teacher was plugging in a movie projector and the metal plate fell off. Zap! Lights dimmed, and the projector didn't work.

But here's one that might change your mind. My younger brother, when he was maybe around 8, was playing around and stuck a metal toy sheriff badge in the outlet prongs. Again, this was before ground pins. He got a small burn on his hand and his toy badge was melted. One of the prongs was over half way melted through. Maybe, just maybe, if the ground pin is up, small children who do mess with plugs might only mess with that one because it's the closes and most visible when up.
Old 07-04-04, 07:34 PM
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The only good technical reason for ground pin down is in a situation where you have an angled plug with the ground pin opposite the cord.If the ground is on top this will put too much stress on the cord as it will bend backwards.

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