simple outlet question


Old 06-29-06, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: ny
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simple outlet question

i'm changing the outlets in my kitchen to gcfi and updating wiring. my goofy question is to the gcfi outlets go in w/ the groud hole down or up, i've always seen them down (below the slots), but the wiring instructions show alll pics w/ it above the slots. does it matter?

example I I or .
. I I
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Old 06-29-06, 08:44 AM
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There never has and probably never will be an NEC requirement for the ground to be oriented in any particular direction for residential wiring.

Place them however you want them.
Old 06-29-06, 08:58 AM
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Ideally - and this is just my take on the subject - If you look at a bare, uninstalled receptacle, it will have tiny writing and symbols on the face(same side as the 3-holes): UL listing, amperage, max wattage, whatever.

Right-side-up is what ever way you have to hold the receptacle so that this text is readable. In most cases, that means the ground hole will be on top and the hot/neutral will be bottom. Looks odd since I think most people associate a 3-hole outlet with a human face - the mouth ain't on top, is it?

Old 06-29-06, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by birch
my goofy question is to the gcfi outlets go in w/ the groud hole down or up, i've always seen them down (below the slots)
racraft is right. I will summarize a few of the much-debated justifications for one way or the other:

1. To be consistent with what else is there.
2. To accommodate right-angle or side-angled plugs you may need to use.
3. If you have metal wallplates orienting the ground blade UP can help prevent an energized or arcing wall plate if the wall plate screws should fall out and the plate should fall on the blades.
4. In a combination arrangement, for example a switch plus receptacle, so that the switch is on top and not obstructed by a cord over the toggle handle. You will note that at least with a Leviton, this will result in the ground blade being oriented DOWN.

For those who can be somewhat obsessive, mounting the yoke horizontally or selecting a GFCI with the slots oriented horizontally on the yoke will sidestep the issue.

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