Ground Side Up outlets


Old 02-27-05, 07:39 AM
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Ground Side Up outlets

Recently moved into a new home and found that some of the outlets are ground side up. Is there any ryhme or reason to this?
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Old 02-27-05, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,663
It is common practice to put switched receptacles in opposite the others. If they are not switched then someone just didn't pay attention or didn't care when they installed them.
Old 02-27-05, 10:23 AM
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Upside Down Is Rightside Up

The idea of the outlets being turned with ground up is not to show switching but rather to promote saftey. The idea of this is to make sure if something is droped from above or if the cord connected device gets pulled out from the wall, the HOT side is not the first for an object to come into contact with thus tripping a fuse or breaker or burning up the outlet and wall. It is practiced quite a bit on the commercial end of our trade but seldom do we do it in resi. situations. Either way you can change it or leave it.

Old 02-27-05, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219

As you note, in some situations it is quite common to wire receptacles 'ground side up', often specified in contracts for commercial installation. And there are some small potential safety benefits. The benefits here are so small that the national electric code does not address the issue; it is entirely legal to wire receptacles ground side up, down, or sideways

The arrangement that joed identified is a common practise in residential wiring. I know of no places where it is mandated by code, and there are _many_ reasons for putting some receptacles ground pin up; thus Honeydews4me could not be certain of 'ground pin up means switched receptacle'; but it is a strong guess as to why his house was done that way.

Old 02-27-05, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
There are also many reasons for putting the ground pin down. One main reason being that many right angle plugs have the cord running down the wall (as opposed to up the wall) when the ground pin is toward the floor. Installed the other way, and the cord will have to run up the wall, with gravity helping to pull the plug out of the receptacle.
Old 02-27-05, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 132
I've never practiced putting receptacles with the ground pin on the top. Most homeowners will complain.
Old 02-27-05, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for all the information guys, I'm going to see if the ground up outlets are in fact switch operated. Given the non patterned approach, it appears to be the best answer for my home.
Old 02-27-05, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,663
Up or down is a never ending debate. However mixed up and down is either switched or amatuer installer.
Check both plugs in the receptacle. They could also be only 1/2 switched.

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