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Old September 29th 16, 03:33 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:26:30 -0700 (PDT)
DerbyDad03 wrote:

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 7:39:29 AM UTC-4, Colonel Edmund
J. Burke wrote:
On 9/28/2016 6:18 PM, TomR wrote:
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?



This is a question I tackled, successfully, years ago, here at
Sunset Chateau.
The neutral pin on the top is a safety precaution all us expert
electrical types know about and perform on a routine basis. The
purpose of such arrangement is to prevent a short should, for
example, someone drop a metal object on partially exposed pins.


Neutral pin? On the top?

That can only happen if the receptacle is mounted sideways. I'd
hardly consider that to be "routine".


Not all that uncommon.....

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Old September 29th 16, 03:38 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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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.
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Old September 29th 16, 03:40 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 9:33:34 AM UTC-4, burfordTjustice wrote:
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:26:30 -0700 (PDT)
DerbyDad03 wrote:

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 7:39:29 AM UTC-4, Colonel Edmund
J. Burke wrote:
On 9/28/2016 6:18 PM, TomR wrote:
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?


This is a question I tackled, successfully, years ago, here at
Sunset Chateau.
The neutral pin on the top is a safety precaution all us expert
electrical types know about and perform on a routine basis. The
purpose of such arrangement is to prevent a short should, for
example, someone drop a metal object on partially exposed pins.


Neutral pin? On the top?

That can only happen if the receptacle is mounted sideways. I'd
hardly consider that to be "routine".


Not all that uncommon.....


Just admit your error and move on.
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Old September 29th 16, 03:49 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:40:23 -0700 (PDT)
DerbyDad03 wrote:

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 9:33:34 AM UTC-4, burfordTjustice
wrote:
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:26:30 -0700 (PDT)
DerbyDad03 wrote:

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 7:39:29 AM UTC-4, Colonel
Edmund J. Burke wrote:
On 9/28/2016 6:18 PM, TomR wrote:
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?


This is a question I tackled, successfully, years ago, here at
Sunset Chateau.
The neutral pin on the top is a safety precaution all us expert
electrical types know about and perform on a routine basis. The
purpose of such arrangement is to prevent a short should, for
example, someone drop a metal object on partially exposed pins.


Neutral pin? On the top?

That can only happen if the receptacle is mounted sideways. I'd
hardly consider that to be "routine".


Not all that uncommon.....


Just admit your error and move on.


negative
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Old September 29th 16, 05:06 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

I think they look stupid when they are upside down (ground on top). I
put them with ground on bottom because thats what I'm used to and what
looks best.


I agree, but I suppose that's due to the way we recognize faces in humans
and most animals. We are accustomed to seeing two eyes on top and a mouth
below. So we tend to see faces even in inanimate objects. When the ground
is placed on top, it just instinctively looks "wrong". At least that's my
theory...

Does that cloud look like an electrical outlet?

I dont make a habit of dropping paper clips on plugs


Even if you had an outlet behind a desk and knocked a paper clip off the
back, the odds of it landing in the area of the plug is unlikely. Then it
would have to slide down the wall in such a way that it fits between the
plug and the outlet. Sure, there's an EXTREMELY remote chance it could
happen, but the bigger issue is the plug not being plugged in all the
way. Either the outlet needs to be replaced, or the cord needs to be
relocated so it isn't being pulled out.

Years ago I had some flat plug cords with a tab you could screw to the
center outlet screw to secure it in place. That would solve the problem,
but I can't say I've seen cords like that in recent years.

If someone was really worried about it, you could mount the outlet
sideways with the ground and neutral facing up. Or better yet, put a stop
on the back of the desk to prevent things from getting knocked off the
back in the first place.

Or, you could install those locking outlets where you have to insert the
plug and twist it to lock the plug in place.

We have outlets in our kitchen that are mounted sideways on a half height
peninsula wall where there's not enough space to mount them vertically.

Any inspector who wont pass someone's wiring because of the mounting
direction of outlets is an idiot.


Perhaps, but it's not something I would argue about. If the local
inspector wants them upside down, so be it. I just want to get my work
approved with as little drama as possible. If it really bothers you, you
can flip them over after the work is inspected.

Anthony Watson
www.watsondiy.com
www.mountainsoftware.com


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Old September 29th 16, 05:14 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 11:06:35 AM UTC-4, HerHusband wrote:
I think they look stupid when they are upside down (ground on top). I
put them with ground on bottom because thats what I'm used to and what
looks best.


I agree, but I suppose that's due to the way we recognize faces in humans
and most animals. We are accustomed to seeing two eyes on top and a mouth
below. So we tend to see faces even in inanimate objects. When the ground
is placed on top, it just instinctively looks "wrong". At least that's my
theory...


In addition, if they are all mounted "ground up" that risque cartoon would
be obsolete.
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Old September 29th 16, 05:50 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:14:29 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
wrote:

I agree, but I suppose that's due to the way we recognize faces in humans
and most animals. We are accustomed to seeing two eyes on top and a mouth
below. So we tend to see faces even in inanimate objects. When the ground
is placed on top, it just instinctively looks "wrong". At least that's my
theory...


In addition, if they are all mounted "ground up" that risque cartoon would
be obsolete.


https://tinyurl.com/gu4wxnz
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Old September 29th 16, 05:56 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

HerHusband was thinking very hard :

and quoted someone without attribution.

I think they look stupid when they are upside down (ground on top). I
put them with ground on bottom because thats what I'm used to and what
looks best.


and then added

I agree, but I suppose that's due to the way we recognize faces in humans
and most animals. We are accustomed to seeing two eyes on top and a mouth
below. So we tend to see faces even in inanimate objects. When the ground
is placed on top, it just instinctively looks "wrong". At least that's my
theory...

Does that cloud look like an electrical outlet?


LOL

As an aside, one of the purported reasons I read for the ground-up
orientation was that children see a face and try to feed it a nice meal
of paperclips. I'm not entirely convinced of that myself, but there it
is. Two other reasons which made sense were that pictures mounted on
walls with metal wires, and the metal escutcheons on the receptacles
themselves are the perceived hazards.

Apparently none of those were compelling enough for NEC to jump on
board.

[...]
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Old September 29th 16, 06:02 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

DerbyDad03 used his keyboard to write :
On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 7:39:29 AM UTC-4, Colonel Edmund J. Burke
wrote:
On 9/28/2016 6:18 PM, TomR wrote:
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?



This is a question I tackled, successfully, years ago, here at Sunset
Chateau.
The neutral pin on the top is a safety precaution all us expert
electrical types know about and perform on a routine basis. The purpose
of such arrangement is to prevent a short should, for example, someone
drop a metal object on partially exposed pins.


Neutral pin? On the top?

That can only happen if the receptacle is mounted sideways. I'd hardly
consider that to be "routine".


Most of my baseboard (or mopboard?) outlets are sideways. The house was
built in 1910 with that open standoff insulator wiring but has been
rewired since.
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Old September 29th 16, 06:17 PM posted to alt.home.repair,alt.usenet.kooks
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Default Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?

In article , says...



On 9/28/2016 6:18 PM, TomR wrote:
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?



This is a question I tackled, successfully, years ago, here at Sunset
Chateau.
The neutral pin on the top is a safety precaution all us expert
electrical types know about and perform on a routine basis. The purpose
of such arrangement is to prevent a short should, for example, someone
drop a metal object on partially exposed pins.

May the Eye of Horus be which you.


You're partially correct. The ground pin is not known as a neutral pin.
The flat blade that's currently made wider than the other flat blade is
the neutral. While both of them are grounded, the neutral is intended
to carry current, and the ground only carries current in the event of a
fault. It is safer to have the ground on top for the reason you
mentioned, but I know of nothing in the NEC that dictates which way you
mount them, unless it's a recent change.

This was one of my main complaints with electrical inspectors, back when
I had to deal with them. Sometimes they make **** up and claim it's a
code violation, when it isn't. We had an old saying: "Those who can,
do. Those who can't, inspect".

--

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AUK Hammer of Thor award, Feb. 2012 (Pre-Burnore)
Destroyer of the AUK Ko0k Vote (Post-Burnore)
Originator of the "Dance for me" (tm) lame
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