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Old September 29th 16, 02:38 PM posted to alt.home.repair
DerbyDad03 DerbyDad03 is offline
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 6:45:29 AM UTC-4, FromTheRafters wrote:
TomR explained on 9/28/2016 :
A friend of mine asked me today why the electrical outlets in my house were
"upside down". They are positioned with the ground pin hole at the top and
the two slots of the outlet on the bottom. I agree that, to me, they "look"
like they are upside down, and I think they would "look" better with the
ground pin hole on the bottom. But, my belief is that the National
Electrical Code (NEC) is silent on this question and that there is no right
or wrong orientation for electrical outlets.

My friend said that he has had code enforcement officials tell him that
electrical outlets with the ground pin hole on top were "upside down" and
that they needed to be reversed to be with the ground pin on the bottom to
pass the electrical inspection.

Is there anything in the NEC that says that one way is "upside down" and the
other way is the "correct" orientation?


No, but some installations such as hospitals might dictate the ground
up preference. Some equipment designed for hospitals and such might
have cords with right-angle plugs on the end which expect the
ground-up orientation.


I've got a couple of appliance cords that expect the ground pin to be
up. The freezer in my garage is like that, so I spun the receptacle
around to match.

I replaced the cord on a really old, almost jet engine strength, floor fan
many years ago. I don't recall where I got the cord from, but the plug
is designed for ground pin up.

OT, but here's a plug-socket habit/pet peeve of mine:

When plugging a "permanent" item (lamp, clock radio, toaster oven, etc.)
into a duplex receptacle, please use the bottom receptacle to keep the
top receptacle open for temporary use.