which way up for grounded outlet


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Old 11-25-04, 01:08 PM
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which way up for grounded outlet

Which way is up for a grounded outlet? Is there a correct side up? Lately I have noticed that a lot of commercial electrical installations are installing outlets with the ground prong up. I swapped out some outlets (2-prong to 3 prong, grounded outlets) in my new home this weekend and put them in with the ground prong up. My wife is now giving me a lot of grief for installing the outlets upside-down. I looked in a couple of electrical wiring books that I have, and they make no mention of direction of outlets (though the diagrams seem to suggest ground prong down). So, electrical gurus out there; is there a correct way to install outlets???

I may end up just turning them around to restore marital bliss...

thanks in advance!

jim
 
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Old 11-25-04, 02:27 PM
R
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Whichever way you please.
 
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Old 11-25-04, 03:27 PM
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I generally install the ground up for only switched outlets. That gives me a QUICK ID of the outlets that are controlled by a wall switch.
 
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Old 11-25-04, 05:19 PM
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Nothing in the code for this. Big debates each way. Your choice.
 
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Old 11-26-04, 09:11 AM
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Some say the ground should be the first in and the last out (out...as in if the plug is falling out) which means ground should be on bottom.

Some say something metal (coat hanger, etc) could be dropped over the hot/neutral prongs of a partially unplugged device, so the ground should be up to stop it before it gets there.

I put em up, not necessarily for that reason, just cause....thats how I do it .

As said, code doesn't say one way or the other, do whichever you want. just thought maybe you'd want to know the reasons for the debate, so you could decide for yourself.
 
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Old 11-26-04, 09:45 AM
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During my rewiring project I have been putting the receptacles in with the ground up...except for the refridgerator receptacle, which is a single receptacle. I put the ground down as the cord and plug would have had to be kinked (cord "hangs" upward) and would have a tendency to pull out.
 
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Old 11-26-04, 06:53 PM
Aarno
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If the cover plates are going to be plastic, I always install them with the ground down. Why? Because it "looks" better. [shrug]

However if the cover plates are metal, I always install them with the ground up. Why? Because in the extremely rare chance that the plate screw will loosen, back out, and the plate drop, it'll hit the ground instead of short circuiting across the prongs. (Makes 'some' sense, I suppose.)

Aarno
 
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Old 11-27-04, 04:39 AM
rlrct
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jpoder,

You say that you swapped out a bunch of 2-prong for 3-prong/grounded outlests. Did you have proper wiring to install a grounded outlet? If not, how did you wire it? If you didn't have a grounded conductor to begin with, you'll need either a GFCI (with some "ungrounded" stickers) or you need to put the 2-prong outlets back.

The only time that a receptacle should be installed with the ground specifically up or down is when it's a dedicated appliance receptacle for something like a 'frig or washer where the cord on the appliance is a "hang down" type. In those cases, you should orient the receptacle so the cord hands down naturally and doesn't loop up and then down. This isn't code, just common sense. Beyond that, as the others have said - it's your choice.
 
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Old 11-27-04, 06:27 AM
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checked for ground

Originally Posted by rlrct
jpoder,

You say that you swapped out a bunch of 2-prong for 3-prong/grounded outlests. Did you have proper wiring to install a grounded outlet? If not, how did you wire it? If you didn't have a grounded conductor to begin with, you'll need either a GFCI (with some "ungrounded" stickers) or you need to put the 2-prong outlets back.
Thanks for the word of caution. I was lucky in that all outlets except those in one room had a ground wire grounding the metal box. I pig-tailed that ground to the outlet and verified with a tester that it was indeed grounded after install.
 
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Old 11-27-04, 11:36 AM
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jpoder
I pig-tailed that ground to the outlet and verified with a tester that it was indeed grounded after install.
Be careful with the plug in type testers, they read grounding, they don't care if its grounding through neutral or a proper ground, just ground. It may very well be they are properly grounded, but its just as likely your tester is reading a false ground through the neutral.

Just a thought.
 
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Old 11-27-04, 04:12 PM
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I always install them ground down, mainly for the reason already mentioned, that's the way most appliance cords and brick transformers are designed for the plugged to be positioned.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 03:18 AM
colonel
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Thumbs down which way up.

A while ago I was measuring a kitchen wall with a steel measure. I clipped one
end and was moving along the wall when the clip slipped, There was a power
socket down below and the measure went into a slight gap between the plug
and the socket.There was a bang and I was thrown off the ladder, I was told
I was lucky as the earth prong on the plug had taken some of the shock. If
the plug had been the other way around it might have been a different story,
 
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Old 11-28-04, 05:31 AM
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Most brick transformers don't distinguish between the hot and the neutral, and it is irrelevant how they are plugged in.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 07:06 AM
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Odd, most of the brick transformers I have do, with one blade being wider than the other.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 12:51 PM
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I just went through a big debate about this very subject with one of my apprentice's.

He said that one of his teachers in school told him that in the new 2005 NEC code book, the ground had to be in the up position. Of course he couldn't give a code article.

I questioned this and after posting this on another electrical forum, found out, just as I expected, that this was a rumor.

I put the ground down in most cases because that's the way I was taught long ago and it's a habit.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 01:03 PM
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pendragon,

None (zero) of the transformers I have in front of me now (and I can count 15) have a polarized plug.
 
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Old 11-29-04, 06:22 PM
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Up or Down

As I look at my APC back-up power supply that my system is running on, it has all the printing readable when it is plugged in with the ground down. I imagine they did a lot of market research before deciding which way to put thier corporate logo & www. address, so I think "ground down" is the most popular.... check the decorative night-lights that plug in as well... same reasoning.
 
 

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