Outlet ground prong orientation

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by apparentgenius, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Oregon
    Ok, so here's an easy question.

    I'm installing the outlets in my new house. I know that the code does not specify the orientation of the ground slot (up or down), however, Ray Mullen's residential wiring guide suggests the ground in the up position is superior. His reasoning is that if you have a metal cover plate and it comes loose, kit will hit the ground and not a hot prong. Yet, every house I look at has the outlets installed with the ground slot on the bottom.

    Opinions?

    Glen
  2. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    Ground down. Many appliance cords are designed so the cord will go down when plugged in to an outlet with the ground prong on the bottom.
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    Didn't know that outlets had ground slots
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2012
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Only a tiny percentage of cover plates found in residential are metal, and when was the last time you say the screw fall out of a cover plate? Mostly this is a solution in search of a problem. If the NEC dudes could find any reasonable data to support it, they would have made it a code a long time ago!
  5. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

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    Location:
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    His method is good practice so if you ever replace a cover with a metal one then you are covered. This way you are consistent with your installations. I do it that way except:

    I always look at the appliance cord to see how it is oriented. Refridge cords are usually with the equipment grounding conductor prong in the down position.

    Your call completely, either way you are code compliant.

    My reasoning for placing most of them grounding side up is that the homeowner may change the cover in the future and if they do place a metal cover on then I feel I did a safer install just in case.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    ground

    In hospitals and health care facilities the ground terminal is on tbe top so that if ANY metal object is dropped and gets between the plug and receptacle it will short out and trip the breaker, not shock a patient who might be on the other end of the metal object.
  7. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oregon
    Ok, ground hole, ground pin acceptor, ground port, place meant for ground prong etc. if you don't want to call it a slot. If you knew what I meant, what's the point in posting to be difficult?
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Listen you all we need to first let Glen know that outlets don’t have ground slots but receptacles do.

    Come now you all if you going to do something do it right or not at all.
  9. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oregon
    Jar 546,

    Thanks for the help. I think I'm going to go with ground up unless there is a fixed item, like a fridge where it works better in the down position. I read another story about how a kid got shocked using a remote control toy with an antenna that slid down the wall and hit the hot lead.

    GLen
  10. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oregon
    Thanks for the clarity. I full agree with doing it right, that's why I ask questions and pass inspections on my first try. Thanks again for the help

    From Wikipedia

    Power sockets, power receptacles, or power outlets are female electrical connectors that have slots or holes which accept the pins or blades of power plugs inserted into them and deliver electricity to the plugs. Sockets are usually designed to reject any plug which is not built to the same electrical standard. Some sockets have a pin that connects to a hole on the plug, for a ground contact.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  11. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

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    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    This thread is ridiculous, it can be argued till the cows come home and even then it wont be settled. :D Install them whatever way you think looks right to you.
  12. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oregon
    SInce there is no clear right or wrong, I'm going to buck the trend with what I see around here and go ground prong up because I like the idea of the ground being up incase something drops on it.

    Glen
  13. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    By apparentgenius:
    "" Quote:
    Originally Posted by jwelectric [​IMG]
    Didn't know that outlets had ground slots

    Ok, ground hole, ground pin acceptor, ground port, place meant for ground prong etc. if you don't want to call it a slot. If you knew what I meant, what's the point in posting to be difficult? ""
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2012
  14. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    NY State, USA
    This is why I won't even comment on the topic. It is ridiculous!
  15. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I make this typo ALL the time. Luckily for me FF catches it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2012
  16. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Location:
    Ohio
    The absolute safest way to install outlets would be at a 45 degree angle with the hot on the bottom so something droping would be protected from touching the hot by not 1 but 2, the ground prong and the neutral prong...2 prongs will hold more weight and just in case 1 of the prongs broke and failed the other would be there as a back up....

    why hasn't any one mentioned this...

    You guys just don't think outside the box enough...

    :D
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  17. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Carolina

    Uh OH here is another one of them Wiki gotta be right experts.
    Thare ani't nothing that Wiki has to say that changes the words in the only reference that counts, the NEC.

    You can have a Lighting OUTLET. Which way do you turn the ground slot in this outlet?
  18. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

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    422
  19. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    Glad you are using your head. There is another reason beyond the metal plate, especially with all of the remote control toys.
  20. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oregon

    I install them upside down when I use them for shop lights.

    Glen
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