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TomR[_6_] September 29th 16 02:18 AM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
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?


Ed Pawlowski September 29th 16 02:57 AM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On 9/28/2016 9:18 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 was discussed recently. Some inspectors want the pin up. The
reason is that in an office a paper clip fell and hit the prongs of a
plug that was not pushed in fully. Pin up would not let it short.
IIRC, national code does not mention it.

Mayayana September 29th 16 03:16 AM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
I don't know about nationally but I know
in the state of MA there's no spec. It can
be either way. State code is what you should
be concerned with.

"TomR" wrote

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



[email protected] September 29th 16 05:21 AM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:18:13 -0400, "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?


Short answer, No. There is no rule about how they are mounted and
there is even a school of thought that ground up is better. Something
falling between the plug and the wall would hit the ground.

Typically when a receptacle is different than the rest, it is
switched.

[email protected] September 29th 16 05:44 AM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 00:21:29 -0400, wrote:

On Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:18:13 -0400, "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?


Short answer, No. There is no rule about how they are mounted and
there is even a school of thought that ground up is better. Something
falling between the plug and the wall would hit the ground.

Typically when a receptacle is different than the rest, it is
switched.


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 dont make a habit of dropping paper clips on plugs, and
actually if a metal object was to fall on a loose plug, it could contact
the ground as well as the hot terminal too (with the ground on top).

Any inspector who wont pass someone's wiring because of the mounting
direction of outlets is an idiot. I'd like to see that one taken in
front of a board of electricians. It's not code, so it cant be enforced
either way.



FromTheRafters September 29th 16 11:45 AM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
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. As someone else has mentioned, there may be
locals codes to consider where NEC is agnostic on the matter.

You are probably right, your friend is probably wrong, and his
enforcement official should be able to cite an official local code to
remove the 'probably' from those statements. If he does cite a source,
I would like to see it because no such source has ever been cited
before as far as I know.

Diesel September 29th 16 11:55 AM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 

Thu, 29 Sep 2016
04:44:33 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Any inspector who wont pass someone's wiring because of the
mounting direction of outlets is an idiot. I'd like to see that
one taken in front of a board of electricians. It's not code, so
it cant be enforced either way.


If local code exists specifying ground pin up in a specific location,
it's to be ground pin up. Just because NEC doesn't care one way or
another doesn't mean you'll have power connected because you chose to
violate local code. You'll **** off the inspector, they'll be a real
hardass when they come to inspect you for the second time.

Until you pass inspection, your jobsite doesn't go farther than temp
power and, as the name implies, it's temporary power. Keep ****ing
around, you won't even have temp power on the jobsite. Nobody will
like you then.

Word may get around that you're a troublemaker, too. Until your work
passes their inspection, the power company isn't going to hook up
permanent power. Having the reputation as a troublemaker and one who
holds up job sites can put you out of business. Nobody wants to deal
with a self righteous asshat who costs them more time and money.

Arguing with an electrical inspector is like wrestling with a pig in
the mud. Sooner or later, you'll realize, the pig is enjoying it.



--
People you encounter every day are fighting battles you know nothing
about. Be kind.

Colonel Edmund J. Burke[_16_] September 29th 16 12:39 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
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.



Colonel Edmund J. Burke[_16_] September 29th 16 12:41 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On 9/28/2016 9:21 PM, wrote:
Typically when a receptacle is different than the rest, it is
switched.


Uh....well.....true....... And the same can be said of Ladyboys.
Did you know that?


DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 02:26 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
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".

burfordTjustice September 29th 16 02:33 PM

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.....

DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 02:38 PM

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.

DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 02:40 PM

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.

burfordTjustice September 29th 16 02:49 PM

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

HerHusband September 29th 16 04:06 PM

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

DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 04:14 PM

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.

Oren[_2_] September 29th 16 04:50 PM

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

FromTheRafters September 29th 16 04:56 PM

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.

[...]

FromTheRafters September 29th 16 05:02 PM

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.

Checkmate, DoW #1[_2_] September 29th 16 05:17 PM

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".

--

Checkmate, Royal Order of the DoW #1, and Official Ko0K Wrangler
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
Copyright 2016
all rights reserved

DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 05:22 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 12:02:43 PM UTC-4, FromTheRafters wrote:
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.


Open Standoff --- Knob and Tube

Regardless, sideways receptacles are far from "routine" but bTj
won't admit his error anyway.

Interesting "wiring coincidence" Knob and Tube wiring

The first time I encountered K&T wiring was when I was young kid and saw
it in my Aunt's house. She lived on Narragansett Blvd. A couple of decades
later, this same Aunt gave me some money to use as the down payment on my
first house. 350 miles away and in a different state. This house was wired
with the old-fashioned cloth-covered "romex". The brand name on most of it
was Narragansett.

Spooky!

trader_4 September 29th 16 05:44 PM

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...


I'd say it has more to do with the fact that almost all the ones I've
seen and used everyday for decades are installed ground pin down.




TimR[_2_] September 29th 16 05:49 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
It has never made sense to me that the probability of something conductive landing on the blades was high enough to be detectable. Of course it's not that hard to do it however the inspector wants.

One problem with that is reading a KilloWatt meter.

European outlets don't have that problem. The pins are insulated halfway such that the tips don't make contact until they're completely inside. Ground is top AND bottom IIRC, and pins side by side.

I think the real issue, not yet mentioned, is that a child can plug in a cord with his/her fingers on the blade. That is FAR more likely than dropping a paperclip on it.

FromTheRafters September 29th 16 06:42 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
DerbyDad03 has brought this to us :
On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 12:02:43 PM UTC-4, FromTheRafters wrote:
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.


Open Standoff --- Knob and Tube


Yeah, I looked it up to see what the correct terminology was just after
hitting send. I saw that the description used the words 'insulator' and
'standoff' so I figured no harm, no foul.

Regardless, sideways receptacles are far from "routine" but bTj
won't admit his error anyway.


He never does, and he is very often wrong.

Interesting "wiring coincidence" Knob and Tube wiring

The first time I encountered K&T wiring was when I was young kid and saw
it in my Aunt's house. She lived on Narragansett Blvd. A couple of decades
later, this same Aunt gave me some money to use as the down payment on my
first house. 350 miles away and in a different state. This house was wired
with the old-fashioned cloth-covered "romex". The brand name on most of it
was Narragansett.

Spooky!


:)

FromTheRafters September 29th 16 06:47 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
TimR formulated the question :
It has never made sense to me that the probability of something conductive
landing on the blades was high enough to be detectable. Of course it's not
that hard to do it however the inspector wants.

One problem with that is reading a KilloWatt meter.

European outlets don't have that problem. The pins are insulated halfway
such that the tips don't make contact until they're completely inside.
Ground is top AND bottom IIRC, and pins side by side.

I think the real issue, not yet mentioned, is that a child can plug in a cord
with his/her fingers on the blade. That is FAR more likely than dropping a
paperclip on it.


Oh yeah, that one too, but not just for children. The idea that the
thumb on top might contact the hot blade when plugging or unplugging.

Many possible reasons, but none compelling enough for NEC to mandate.

[email protected] September 29th 16 06:56 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:47:40 -0400, FromTheRafters
wrote:

TimR formulated the question :
It has never made sense to me that the probability of something conductive
landing on the blades was high enough to be detectable. Of course it's not
that hard to do it however the inspector wants.

One problem with that is reading a KilloWatt meter.

European outlets don't have that problem. The pins are insulated halfway
such that the tips don't make contact until they're completely inside.
Ground is top AND bottom IIRC, and pins side by side.

I think the real issue, not yet mentioned, is that a child can plug in a cord
with his/her fingers on the blade. That is FAR more likely than dropping a
paperclip on it.


Oh yeah, that one too, but not just for children. The idea that the
thumb on top might contact the hot blade when plugging or unplugging.

Many possible reasons, but none compelling enough for NEC to mandate.


New Zealand may have a better idea on plugs and receptacles
The plugs have handles on them and the receptacle has a switch so you
can plug things in and turn them on after they are plugged in.
The switch is upside down by our standard tho.

http://gfretwell.com/ftp/New%20Zeala...plug%20cap.jpg

FromTheRafters September 29th 16 07:15 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
on 9/29/2016, supposed :
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:47:40 -0400, FromTheRafters
wrote:

TimR formulated the question :
It has never made sense to me that the probability of something conductive
landing on the blades was high enough to be detectable. Of course it's not
that hard to do it however the inspector wants.

One problem with that is reading a KilloWatt meter.

European outlets don't have that problem. The pins are insulated halfway
such that the tips don't make contact until they're completely inside.
Ground is top AND bottom IIRC, and pins side by side.

I think the real issue, not yet mentioned, is that a child can plug in a
cord with his/her fingers on the blade. That is FAR more likely than
dropping a paperclip on it.


Oh yeah, that one too, but not just for children. The idea that the
thumb on top might contact the hot blade when plugging or unplugging.

Many possible reasons, but none compelling enough for NEC to mandate.


New Zealand may have a better idea on plugs and receptacles
The plugs have handles on them and the receptacle has a switch so you
can plug things in and turn them on after they are plugged in.
The switch is upside down by our standard tho.

http://gfretwell.com/ftp/New%20Zeala...plug%20cap.jpg

That looks like a good idea to me. I wonder what the downsides are if
any.

Mark Lloyd[_12_] September 29th 16 07:33 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On 09/28/2016 11:44 PM, wrote:

[snip]

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.


"looks stupid" and "looks best" is probably only what you're used to. If
they were usually ground up, it would be different.

I dont make a habit of dropping paper clips on plugs,


I don't either. That doesn't mean it can't happen. Here, I think it more
likely to be a small wire (twister) than a paper clip.

and
actually if a metal object was to fall on a loose plug, it could contact
the ground as well as the hot terminal too (with the ground on top).


More likely to trip the breaker than be a shock hazard.

[snip]

--
87 days until the winter celebration (Sunday December 25, 2016 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).

Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/

On the sixth day God created man On the seventh day, man returned the
favor.

tony944 September 29th 16 07:37 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 


"FromTheRafters" wrote in message
...

on 9/29/2016, supposed :
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:47:40 -0400, FromTheRafters
wrote:

TimR formulated the question :
It has never made sense to me that the probability of something
conductive landing on the blades was high enough to be detectable. Of
course it's not that hard to do it however the inspector wants. One
problem with that is reading a KilloWatt meter. European outlets don't
have that problem. The pins are insulated halfway such that the tips
don't make contact until they're completely inside. Ground is top AND
bottom IIRC, and pins side by side.

I think the real issue, not yet mentioned, is that a child can plug in a
cord with his/her fingers on the blade. That is FAR more likely than
dropping a paperclip on it.


Oh yeah, that one too, but not just for children. The idea that the thumb
on top might contact the hot blade when plugging or unplugging.

Many possible reasons, but none compelling enough for NEC to mandate.


New Zealand may have a better idea on plugs and receptacles
The plugs have handles on them and the receptacle has a switch so you
can plug things in and turn them on after they are plugged in.
The switch is upside down by our standard tho.

http://gfretwell.com/ftp/New%20Zeala...plug%20cap.jpg

That looks like a good idea to me. I wonder what the downsides are if
any.

Yes it is nice but that cost triple what cost in USA and on top of that you
are using 220 instead of 115, 115 makes little more convenience.


DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 07:37 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 2:15:46 PM UTC-4, FromTheRafters wrote:
on 9/29/2016, supposed :
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:47:40 -0400, FromTheRafters
wrote:

TimR formulated the question :
It has never made sense to me that the probability of something conductive
landing on the blades was high enough to be detectable. Of course it's not
that hard to do it however the inspector wants.

One problem with that is reading a KilloWatt meter.

European outlets don't have that problem. The pins are insulated halfway
such that the tips don't make contact until they're completely inside.
Ground is top AND bottom IIRC, and pins side by side.

I think the real issue, not yet mentioned, is that a child can plug in a
cord with his/her fingers on the blade. That is FAR more likely than
dropping a paperclip on it.

Oh yeah, that one too, but not just for children. The idea that the
thumb on top might contact the hot blade when plugging or unplugging.

Many possible reasons, but none compelling enough for NEC to mandate.


New Zealand may have a better idea on plugs and receptacles
The plugs have handles on them and the receptacle has a switch so you
can plug things in and turn them on after they are plugged in.
The switch is upside down by our standard tho.

http://gfretwell.com/ftp/New%20Zeala...plug%20cap.jpg

That looks like a good idea to me. I wonder what the downsides are if
any.


A switch that gets bumped to Off on a receptacle that should always be On.

"Grandpa's Iron Lung sure is quiet today."

Mark Lloyd[_12_] September 29th 16 07:43 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On 09/29/2016 08:38 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

[snip]

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.


That's something I do. Sometimes, I've even changed it in public places.

Unlike a lot of people, my idea of "looks best" depends on practical
things, not silly rules. If you plug something into the top outlet (of a
vertically mounted) duplex receptacle, the cord hangs down across the
bottom outlet making it harder to use.

I'm not sure if I EVER thought it looked best to use the top.

--
87 days until the winter celebration (Sunday December 25, 2016 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).

Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/

On the sixth day God created man On the seventh day, man returned the
favor.

notX September 29th 16 07:48 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On 09/29/2016 10:14 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

[snip]

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


People who like that kind of thing will always find something.

OT:
Apparently, green is now a Halloween color. If you want to put out green
lights, you can use Christmas ones.


Mark Lloyd[_12_] September 29th 16 07:55 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On 09/29/2016 11:49 AM, TimR wrote:

[snip]

European outlets don't have that problem. The pins are insulated halfway such that the tips don't make contact until they're completely inside. Ground is top AND bottom IIRC, and pins side
by side.

I think the real issue, not yet mentioned, is that a child can plug in a cord with his/her fingers on the blade. That is FAR more likely than dropping a paperclip on it.


Once, I was plugging radio into a receptacle in an old building. The
receptacle was damaged in such a way that the only way a plug would go
is was it you squeezed he prongs together while inserting the plug. I
could have used insulated fingers :-)

--
87 days until the winter celebration (Sunday December 25, 2016 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).

Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/

On the sixth day God created man On the seventh day, man returned the
favor.

DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 08:05 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 2:48:41 PM UTC-4, notX wrote:
On 09/29/2016 10:14 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

[snip]

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


People who like that kind of thing will always find something.

OT:
Apparently, green is now a Halloween color. If you want to put out green
lights, you can use Christmas ones.


I'm pretty sure that Jesus would frown upon using Christmas lights
on Halloween. Just sayin'

(I decorate for Christmas because I decorate for Halloween. Better
safe than sorry.)

TomR[_3_] September 29th 16 08:07 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
In ,
TomR typed:
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?


Thanks all for the replies. Looks like the answer is that there is no
national code (in the U.S.A.) that requires outlets to be oriented in any
special direction.

One thing that I also noticed in recent years is that there does not seem to
be any one standard way that the 3 prongs on 3-prong plugs are oriented --
including the flush mount type plugs that allow the wire to be parallel to
the wall with the plug plugged in. With those types of plugs, I would like
to be able to orient the outlet so that the plug wire can come up from the
floor or down from the appliance (such as a window A/C) and plug in
correctly. I am probably not describing or explaining this too well.

And, I sometimes thought it would be interesting if all outlets were
designed so that there would be not "up" or "down" position. For example,
if all duplex outlets had the ground pin of each outlet on each end and the
other two prongs in the center, then there would be no "up" or "down"
orientation -- the outlet would look the same regardless of which way it was
installed. But, there would be problems with that idea because that would
result it the hot side screw of one outlet being on the same side as the
neutral side screw of the other outlet in the duplex.



Fred McKenzie September 29th 16 08:19 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
In article , Mark Lloyd
wrote:

I don't either. That doesn't mean it can't happen. Here, I think it more
likely to be a small wire (twister) than a paper clip.


When I was about 5 years old, there was no ground pin on the outlets.
(Neutral was the wide slot, Hot the narrow slot.)

Milk was delivered to the house. A quart milk bottle had a paper cover
held on by a wire.

I knew that there was "electricity" in the outlet, and wire was an
electric conductor. One morning after the milkman came, I decided to
try an experiment. Fortunately I only burned my fingers.

Unfortunately I did not learn my lesson completely. I've been shocked
numerous times since then. Recently I came to appreciate GFCI outlets!

Fred

DerbyDad03 September 29th 16 08:24 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 3:07:16 PM UTC-4, TomR wrote:
In ,
TomR typed:
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?


Thanks all for the replies. Looks like the answer is that there is no
national code (in the U.S.A.) that requires outlets to be oriented in any
special direction.

One thing that I also noticed in recent years is that there does not seem to
be any one standard way that the 3 prongs on 3-prong plugs are oriented --
including the flush mount type plugs that allow the wire to be parallel to
the wall with the plug plugged in. With those types of plugs, I would like
to be able to orient the outlet so that the plug wire can come up from the
floor or down from the appliance (such as a window A/C) and plug in
correctly. I am probably not describing or explaining this too well.

And, I sometimes thought it would be interesting if all outlets were
designed so that there would be not "up" or "down" position.


There is no up or down position now.

For example,
if all duplex outlets had the ground pin of each outlet on each end and the
other two prongs in the center, then there would be no "up" or "down"
orientation -- the outlet would look the same regardless of which way it was
installed. But, there would be problems with that idea because that would
result it the hot side screw of one outlet being on the same side as the
neutral side screw of the other outlet in the duplex.



[email protected] September 29th 16 08:52 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:07:13 -0400, "TomR" wrote:


And, I sometimes thought it would be interesting if all outlets were
designed so that there would be not "up" or "down" position. For example,
if all duplex outlets had the ground pin of each outlet on each end and the
other two prongs in the center, then there would be no "up" or "down"
orientation -- the outlet would look the same regardless of which way it was
installed. But, there would be problems with that idea because that would
result it the hot side screw of one outlet being on the same side as the
neutral side screw of the other outlet in the duplex.


Like this

http://www.legrand.us/~/media/produc...=0&h=181&w=181



FromTheRafters September 29th 16 09:25 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
DerbyDad03 was thinking very hard :
On Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 2:48:41 PM UTC-4, notX wrote:
On 09/29/2016 10:14 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

[snip]

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


People who like that kind of thing will always find something.

OT:
Apparently, green is now a Halloween color. If you want to put out green
lights, you can use Christmas ones.


I'm pretty sure that Jesus would frown upon using Christmas lights
on Halloween. Just sayin'

(I decorate for Christmas because I decorate for Halloween. Better
safe than sorry.)


Is ham dinner still okay?

TomR[_3_] September 29th 16 09:31 PM

Electrical Outlets Upside Down? Code?
 
In ,
typed:
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:07:13 -0400, "TomR" wrote:


And, I sometimes thought it would be interesting if all outlets were
designed so that there would be not "up" or "down" position. For
example, if all duplex outlets had the ground pin of each outlet on
each end and the other two prongs in the center, then there would be
no "up" or "down" orientation -- the outlet would look the same
regardless of which way it was installed. But, there would be
problems with that idea because that would result it the hot side
screw of one outlet being on the same side as the neutral side screw
of the other outlet in the duplex.


Like this

http://www.legrand.us/~/media/produc...=0&h=181&w=181

Wow, interesting! Yes, like that! -- except maybe a duplex receptacle
instead of a "quad".

I found this info on the one you posted:

SPECIFICATION GRADE QUAD RECEPTACLE, 415W , Pass & Seymour

http://www.legrand.us/passandseymour...uads/415w.aspx






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