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  1. #1
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    Default Upside down receptacles

    I did an inspection on a new house yesterday and all of the receptacles in the house were upside down. I turned to the superintendent who was present and asked why. His answer was that the electrician said it was the new code. I cannot find anything that points to that.

    Any help would be appreciated since the customer is now complaining that they can only use one of the two plugs in the receptacle when the cord end is flat.


    Jim

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    upside down outlets usually means controlled by room switch--there is no code that I know on this--and there should only be two in each room

    chas


  3. #3

    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    No code requirement that I'm aware of... Think it is optional.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Brent Lerwill, Coos Bay, Oregon

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    I'm not aware of a code change either - and 'ground up' defeats the ground purpose as 'ground up' could cause loss of the ground before loss of power ... even with the ground prong being longer than the others.

    The ground needs to 'make first' and 'break last'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    jerry confused by your post--in many new homes{and older} the electrician will simply wire an outlet to room switch and turn outlet upside down so ground lug is on top--to identify it-I usually put a small green dot on this outlet and inform buyer-good inspect tip I think--9 out of ten home owners don't know this--and that amazes me how uneducated they are--but I guess that is our job inspectors


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    jerry confused by your post--in many new homes{and older} the electrician will simply wire an outlet to room switch and turn outlet upside down so ground lug is on top--to identify it-I usually put a small green dot on this outlet and inform buyer-good inspect tip I think--9 out of ten home owners don't know this--and that amazes me how uneducated they are--but I guess that is our job inspectors
    Charlie,

    Yes, turning a receptacle 'ground up' is a wide spread practice to indicate the switched receptacle outlet for lighting, and there is no code 'rightside up' or 'upside down' - however, look at every grounded plug and you will find that the ground prong is longer than the other prongs. That is to help ensure that the ground makes contact first and breaks contact last.

    Turn a receptacle ground up and you create a condition which can defeat the reason the ground prong is longer.

    Remember ... code is minimum, not good, better or best.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Receptacle direction is personal preference. Tell the customer to reverse the receptacle.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    I has heard that this was done so that if a metal cover plate falls off it does not short across the hot and neutral. I also think it seemed to be common in some areas in the past.

    These GFCI instructions show the ground up. I don't know if the Line and Load printing on the rear is really oriented that way.

    GFCI.jpg


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    I did an inspection a while back and the client worked for one of the largest US electrical contractors that did a lot of hospitals. He told me that they put the ground on top in hospitals so that if the plug was out from the wall a little and something fell down on it, it would hit the ground prong and not create a short across the two prongs. I have never confirmed this and have not personally seen this. What do you think??

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    upside down outlets usually means controlled by room switch--there is no code that I know on this--and there should only be two in each room

    chas
    Why should there only be two switched receptacles in a room? This is certainly not a code requirement, unless local.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    tom & jim

    I believe the outlets are ground lug up to show they are controlled by room switch--jim I have not seen more then two in any of my inspections--so just saying-there is no code as I can find

    chas


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    I did an inspection a while back and the client worked for one of the largest US electrical contractors that did a lot of hospitals. He told me that they put the ground on top in hospitals so that if the plug was out from the wall a little and something fell down on it, it would hit the ground prong and not create a short across the two prongs. I have never confirmed this and have not personally seen this. What do you think??
    Yes, that is the norm for hospitals. They don't want sparks flying when oxygen is in use!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    I just looked around a bit. Hubbell shows all of their receptacles with the ground up, and the printing on the metal yoke reads correctly that way. Legrand also. Eaton and Leviton show them that way also. However, at least one Leviton shown that way the printing was upside down.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    I just looked around a bit. Hubbell shows all of their receptacles with the ground up, and the printing on the metal yoke reads correctly that way. Legrand also. Eaton and Leviton show them that way also. However, at least one Leviton shown that way the printing was upside down.
    Worst is finding 1/2 "up" & the other half down (as if they didn't know which way was up...

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Outlet/receptacle orientation.
    I have heard were/where inspectors write up receptacles, in residential settings, if/when an outlet ground slot is not oriented up.
    Once on my friend's country home for sale.

    He asked me why.

    My reply, "Not code, but there is the logic."

    When I have clients in tow I can be chatty at times.
    Poor souls, but we all laugh and have a great day.
    Even REA's/brokers in my neck of the woods, that are professionals....


    I typically, usually start with, "Think of Sir Isaac Newton's 3 Laws."
    Let's start with...(Universal Gravitation)

    In this case, outlet orientation, when the grounding slot is oriented above the hot and neutral, facing up, atop, with the ground slot above the neutral and hot slots, the plugs male blade inhibits contact between the hot and neutral under universal gravitation.

    Logical in most cases. Still allows ground to neutral, ground to hot contact under certain situations.


    Grandpa the carpenter, put a penny in a burnt out fuse and everyone survived at my and gramps house...


    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 08-26-2016 at 03:45 AM. Reason: Pubtuation error
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Thanks to all for the responses. I thought it was a lively discussion. I was sure it was not a code requirement but wanted to be certain since some things change rapidly. Most good electricians have the ground down and turn it up to indicate it is on a switch. This electrician hid behind a lie that it was code to shut ever one up. However, it is his preference to have them up. Only the customer paying the bill doesn't like it and he will not change them since he said it was code.


    Jim


  17. #17

    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    I did an inspection on a new house yesterday and all of the receptacles in the house were upside down. I turned to the superintendent who was present and asked why. His answer was that the electrician said it was the new code. I cannot find anything that points to that.

    Any help would be appreciated since the customer is now complaining that they can only use one of the two plugs in the receptacle when the cord end is flat.


    Jim
    Hi Jim,
    Upside down receptacles...that is a misnomer according to the NEC no matter what code cycle unless it is a local code enforced amendment. Defining upside down would be receptacles that have the equipment grounding prong located at 12 o'clock on convenience outlet receptacles in dwellings. In some medical facilities this is a requirement.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Duxbury View Post
    Worst is finding 1/2 "up" & the other half down (as if they didn't know which way was up...
    I can understand how this could be discomfiting. However, I recently did so for my kitchen counter, to differentiate between the receptacles on the first and the second required countertop circuit. The reason for this is that if two very heavy loads are to be plugged in on the counter, they can be attached to receptacles on separate circuits.

    You've read the ample reasons for pointing the ground up, from our other colleagues. These apply particularly to receptacles at the common 14-18 inch height off the floor, where items other than metal cover plates are more likely to slide down toward them. (Receptacles up on the wall or over a counter are less at risk of this.) I know at least one good reason for pointing it down: low-voltage adapters that hug the wall are designed to plug in to receptacles oriented that way.

    Last edited by david shapiro; 08-26-2016 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Advice Modifier

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    You've read the ample reasons for pointing the ground up, from our other colleagues. These apply particularly to receptacles at the common 14-18 inch height off the floor, where items other than metal cover plates are more likely to slide down toward them.
    The problem with that thinking is that something falling down and landing on the grounding prong will very unlikely land on the grounding prong perfectly balanced and remain balanced on the grounding prong.

    Instead, that item will most likely fall to one side ... with a 50-50 chance of falling over to make contact with the grounding prong and the hot prong ... leading to all that sparking.

    A metal cover plate has a better chance of landing on the ground prong and remaining hanging there ... of course, the slightest bump or touch and the metal plate swings to one side and ... yep, touches the hot prong while handing on the ground prong.

    People need to think things out as to what might likely happen after the first 'gravity pulls it down' thought ... such as 'gravity pulls it down and the heavier side is pulled down even more by gravity ... which leads to all those sparks.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Duxbury View Post
    Worst is finding 1/2 "up" & the other half down (as if they didn't know which way was up...
    Is this the proper use of "worst"?

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The problem with that thinking is that something falling down and landing on the grounding prong will very unlikely land on the grounding prong perfectly balanced and remain balanced on the grounding prong.

    Instead, that item will most likely fall to one side ... with a 50-50 chance of falling over to make contact with the grounding prong and the hot prong ... leading to all that sparking.

    A metal cover plate has a better chance of landing on the ground prong and remaining hanging there ... of course, the slightest bump or touch and the metal plate swings to one side and ... yep, touches the hot prong while handing on the ground prong.

    People need to think things out as to what might likely happen after the first 'gravity pulls it down' thought ... such as 'gravity pulls it down and the heavier side is pulled down even more by gravity ... which leads to all those sparks.


    So Jerry, what you are saying is that they such not be installed up! Correct?

    Jim


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Why should there only be two switched receptacles in a room? This is certainly not a code requirement, unless local.
    Unless grandfathered from wa-ay back, it would be an unusual room (try 6 ft square with no closet) for this to be legal in a residence under any electrical code adopted for =many decades.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Why should there only be two switched receptacles in a room? This is certainly not a code requirement, unless local.
    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Unless grandfathered from wa-ay back, it would be an unusual room (try 6 ft square with no closet) for this to be legal in a residence under any electrical code adopted for =many decades.
    David,

    I think you misread Jim's post ... he said (underlining is mine) "two switched receptacles".

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Is this the proper use of "worst"?
    Worser??

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    David, it sounded like someone was saying there could only be 2 switched receptacles in the room, not just 2 receptacles. If the room had 6 only 2 could be switched. The balance needed to be constant hots.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The problem with that thinking is that something falling down and landing on the grounding prong will very unlikely land on the grounding prong perfectly balanced and remain balanced on the grounding prong.
    Skewed hypothesis.
    Newton's second and third law is?
    There is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects.
    The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force.
    The object will bounce at an angle, likely being deflected to one or the other side of the ground blade in most cases.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And Jim Murry thought the discussion was over. ha ha ha.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    ...........Jerry - I'm not following your reasoning regarding the orientation impacting ground-prong
    engagement. Seems it would be the same no matter how the receptacle is mounted..........Greg

    prior to self-employment, I spent 20 years in the hospital facilities field and the norm was always to install ground slot up - as mentioned by several posters.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Skewed hypothesis.
    Newton's second and third law is?
    There is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects.
    The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force.
    The object will bounce at an angle, likely being deflected to one or the other side of the ground blade in most cases.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And Jim Murry thought the discussion was over. ha ha ha.
    You are making a presumption ... that the object it falling with sufficient speed (momentum) and has sufficient hardness to bounce all the way clear of the other prongs.

    That is not a presumption that I would bet my life on in an oxygen filled room.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ...........Jerry - I'm not following your reasoning regarding the orientation impacting ground-prong
    engagement. Seems it would be the same no matter how the receptacle is mounted..........Greg

    prior to self-employment, I spent 20 years in the hospital facilities field and the norm was always to install ground slot up - as mentioned by several posters.
    Gregory,

    I have agreed that 'it is common practice', and even specified, to install the receptacle outlets with the ground slot up ... for the reasons given (oxygen use in the rooms), however ...

    That 'ground up' orientation does not alter the fact of the physics of inserting and removing a plug from a receptacle outlet.

    A plug with a cord attached (even lighter weight two wire lamp cords) have a tendency to (due to gravity) have the cord pull on the plug at a downward angle to the point that the plug sometimes even fall out of the receptacle outlet.

    The floor lamp in the hotel room I am in right now - I noticed the plug was almost out of the receptacle and that is why the lamp worked some of the time but not all of the time - I pushed the plug all the way back in last night and ... no more issues with the lamp.

    Look at a 3-prong plug and you will see that the ground prong is longer than the other two prongs.

    This is so the ground prong will make contact first, and break contact last.

    Being as you were in the hospital facilities field (any type of work where one does electrical work) ... you KNOW ... that you ALWAYS ... ALWAYS make the ground up first, and disconnect the ground last ... at least that is the correct way to wire a circuit, so I am sure you learned that too.

    When a plug is plugged and the ground is down, the hot prong can pull all the way out while the ground prong is still being pushed into the receptacle outlet.

    Now turn that receptacle over and have the ground slot on top ... yep ... the ground prong, even being longer, can be pull out (disconnected) with the hot prong still making contact ... that equipment is *no longer grounded* ... yet that equipment *is still energized* ... think beds and all associated equipment ... in that oxygen enriched room.

    Sooo ... is 'ground up' really a 'good idea' - even in a hospital room ... ESPECIALLY in a hospital room ... with potentially ungrounded equipment?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    I think you misread Jim's post ... he said (underlining is mine) "two switched receptacles".
    You're undoubtedly right that he must have been saying "two switched (ones among all the) receptacles.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You are making a presumption ... that the object it falling with sufficient speed (momentum) and has sufficient hardness to bounce all the way clear of the other prongs.

    That is not a presumption that I would bet my life on in an oxygen filled room.
    Oxygen filled room?
    In a hospital, oxygen tubes are taped to the nostrils for sleeping purposes or a mask is worn until the patient is stabilized then tubes are used to introduce oxygen to the patent.

    I have read of what you are suggesting, thinking, hypothesizing, but would like to see conclusive evidence to where this oxygen fill room is.

    Be it oxygen or any combustible gas, such as natural gas or liquid propane, it takes a heat to set the chemical process in play. A match will do and I suspect operating a light switch does the same thing as inserting a plug a receptacle.


    What role does the ground play outside the circuit and how would accidental heat occur?

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Oxygen filled room?
    No one here, until you, said anything about any oxygen filled room.

    We acknowledge that hospital rooms may have oxygen enriched air.

    Tubes? Nah ... not only tubes.

    Our daughter just had surgery and had an open oxygen fed mask ... more went into the room than she took in ... she was in three different rooms over three days with the mask.

    About 25 years ago I had my first introduction to pine nuts ... and spent two days in the hospital with a screen tent over me which was kept filled with oxygen, while I was kept on intravenous antihistamines .. I am sure that more oxygen went into the room than into me.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 08-27-2016 at 07:16 AM. Reason: clarification wording
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No one here, until you, said anything about any oxygen filled room.
    I will review the thread and posts.
    If I am mistaken, please excuse me.

    But you were relating to a possible explosion in a room with enriched oxygen and a spark was introduced, were you not?
    If I am mistaken please excuse me. long day yesterday. >6 hours of traveling time on top of the time it took to inspect the house. Long day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    We acknowledge that hospital rooms may have oxygen enriched air.
    Tubes? Nah ... not only tubes.
    Nah ... and yes to explain not only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Our daughter just had surgery and had an open oxygen fed mask ... more went into the room than she took in.

    About 25 years ago I had my first introduction to pine nuts ... and spent two days in the hospital with a screen tent over me which was kept filled with oxygen, while I was kept on intravenous antihistamines .. I am sure that more oxygen went into the room than into me.
    About 46 years ago was my first introduction into a hospital emergency and recovery setting. Near death. coma many days, 6 neurosurgeons 6 plus hours. The skull fracture outline are my initials. How cool is that.
    Within the past 25 years more times than I care to count, lost tract, add mother, over 30 times. I suspect more.
    Many/many within the last 5 years.

    Never had or saw oxygen tent. Tubes and masks only.
    Mother's oxygen counts was to low many times were alarms sounded, and often.
    A mask was placed on her face.

    I can see an oxygen tent in use allowing the patient freedom of movement and to remain calm after surgery. IMO, for that is all it is, when you have something strapped to your face you know you are having trouble getting oxygen to your blood cells.

    I say prayers and suspect many here do for your family.
    God bless them all and yourself.

    Regards:-)

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No one here, until you, said anything about any oxygen filled room.

    We acknowledge that hospital rooms may have oxygen enriched air.

    Tubes? Nah ... not only tubes.

    Our daughter just had surgery and had an open oxygen fed mask ... more went into the room than she took in ... she was in three different rooms over three days with the mask.

    About 25 years ago I had my first introduction to pine nuts ... and spent two days in the hospital with a screen tent over me which was kept filled with oxygen, while I was kept on intravenous antihistamines .. I am sure that more oxygen went into the room than into me.
    Post #12?


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    This is post #12:
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Yes, that is the norm for hospitals. They don't want sparks flying when oxygen is in use!
    This is what Robert said:
    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Oxygen filled room?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Post #12?
    When oxygen is in use does not equate the an oxygen filled room.

    Robert,

    Elevated levels of oxygen can increase the dangers related to open flames, red hot items, and yes electrical sparks.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No one here, until you, said anything about any oxygen filled room.
    It appears you are correct.
    Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Robert,
    Elevated levels of oxygen can increase the dangers related to open flames, red hot items, and yes electrical sparks.
    I concur.
    Just reading up on the subject of liquid oxygen.

    Sorry for the skewed hypothesis.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Getting back to the thread, post #1. "I did an inspection on a new house yesterday and all of the receptacles in the house were upside down."

    Thanks, Mark Reinmiller.

    Great information.
    Go the the manufacturer. They hold trump.




    Jim, I do not think the electrician lied.
    He was likely incorrect and would not consider an alternative installation procedure.
    To be a liar, there would have to be willing intent to deceive.
    Do not use him as a source for electrical reference unless you require the predominance of a conclusion to be inaccurate.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Go the the manufacturer. They hold trump.[/COLOR]
    Go to the manufacturer - good advice ... but that manufacturer didn't say anything about which way is up or down.

    The manufacturer did say to install in accordance with national and local codes ... and the NEC national code does not address up or down either.

    If you look at the illustration of the face you will see "TEST" and "RESET" are shown as being 'rightside up ' either way.

    And this thread is not tanking as fast as your reference is.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Gregory,

    I have agreed that 'it is common practice', and even specified, to install the receptacle outlets with the ground slot up ... for the reasons given (oxygen use in the rooms), however ...

    That 'ground up' orientation does not alter the fact of the physics of inserting and removing a plug from a receptacle outlet.

    A plug with a cord attached (even lighter weight two wire lamp cords) have a tendency to (due to gravity) have the cord pull on the plug at a downward angle to the point that the plug sometimes even fall out of the receptacle outlet.

    The floor lamp in the hotel room I am in right now - I noticed the plug was almost out of the receptacle and that is why the lamp worked some of the time but not all of the time - I pushed the plug all the way back in last night and ... no more issues with the lamp.

    Look at a 3-prong plug and you will see that the ground prong is longer than the other two prongs.

    This is so the ground prong will make contact first, and break contact last.

    Being as you were in the hospital facilities field (any type of work where one does electrical work) ... you KNOW ... that you ALWAYS ... ALWAYS make the ground up first, and disconnect the ground last ... at least that is the correct way to wire a circuit, so I am sure you learned that too.

    When a plug is plugged and the ground is down, the hot prong can pull all the way out while the ground prong is still being pushed into the receptacle outlet.

    Now turn that receptacle over and have the ground slot on top ... yep ... the ground prong, even being longer, can be pull out (disconnected) with the hot prong still making contact ... that equipment is *no longer grounded* ... yet that equipment *is still energized* ... think beds and all associated equipment ... in that oxygen enriched room.

    Sooo ... is 'ground up' really a 'good idea' - even in a hospital room ... ESPECIALLY in a hospital room ... with potentially ungrounded equipment?
    ...........while what you describe regarding pushing and pulling can probably result in premature disconnect of the ground prong - it's only going to occur with substantial twisting/deforming of the plug body and that's not going to be caused by the gravity of the cord. As for hospital use, hospital grade recepts and hospital grade plugs will simply not allow what you are suggesting to occur - ever........Greg


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ...........while what you describe regarding pushing and pulling can probably result in premature disconnect of the ground prong - it's only going to occur with substantial twisting/deforming of the plug body and that's not going to be caused by the gravity of the cord. As for hospital use, hospital grade recepts and hospital grade plugs will simply not allow what you are suggesting to occur - ever........Greg
    Obviously, you've never seen it ... NO deformation of anything is necessary and the weight of the cord over time wins ... you also apparently have not observed gravity before either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    AFAIK , hospital receptacles are tested for pullout tension on a regular basis. Cords should not be falling out of the wall.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    but that manufacturer didn't say anything about which way is up or down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    the NEC national code does not address up or down either.
    The original post did not indicate that a GFCI was the receptacle.
    Marc looked through many receptacle manufacturers for orientation and found none EXCEPT, a illustration of a GFCI outlet.
    You concur with my observation that Mark Reinmiller is #1
    See Mark, Jerry concurs you are #1.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    AFAIK , hospital receptacles are tested for pullout tension on a regular basis. Cords should not be falling out of the wall.
    "should not be" is a key phrase

    I should have taken photos of the ones I saw at Duke earlier this week.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Robert,

    Don't over or under read what is in manufacturer's installation instructions ... and it looks like you are doing both at the same time here.

    And, yes, a thank you to Mark for those installation instructions.

    Keep in mind that those installation instructions do not indicate any implied up or down orientation.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    AFAIK , hospital receptacles are tested for pullout tension on a regular basis. Cords should not be falling out of the wall.
    ...........you are absolutely correct.


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    Smile Re: Upside down receptacles

    The receptacle orientation is likely to be the result of the local code official's office. It is unfortunate that some intellectual lacking practical experience came up with the idea of the grounding conductor prong/slot being at 0o. The idea was, and remains, ridiculous. I believe that Jerry is correct when he implies/states that any presumption about how any particular situation is going to play out is fool-hardy.

    Central to the issue is that we have not just the NEC, but NEMA, to deal with. Any consumer who has purchased an appliance in the last 10 years will note, with righteous frustration, that some appliance plugs are engineered to allow the cord to immediately drop at 90o, but some of these cords have the grounding prong at 0o, and some have the grounding prong at 180o. This creates a more serious problem, that of placing the cord and plug under undue strain.

    My opinion is that this will never be resolved, as the confusion was sown many years ago, and is now deeply rooted. In the end, it only has significance when the orientation of the plug, when inserted in the outlet, is other than practical based on the plug design.

    As for arcing and sparking as rationale, this is hilarious. There is no way to guarantee there will be no arcing or sparking at a wall outlet. Static electricity can cause arcing. Plugging in a cord can sometimes cause a spark. One may never see the spark, but it will be there. The real safety at the outlet is sourced at the electrical panel. If there is a safety failure at the outlet, it is desired that the circuit breaker open.

    Perhaps recommending AFCI outlets for all of those who are petrified by the idea of a static discharge at an outlet is one option.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Thanks, Randy. Unconventional installations will annoy some people, including me. How about the upside down light switches? Some people will live with that for as long as they own the house, some will not, including me.

    In the BC electrical books by PS Knight, he cautions that the 240 volt/40 amp range outlet should be installed so that the cord is horizontal. So ground to one side is best, assuming a conventional cord design.
    Not pointing down, because the floor may interfere with the cord, not pointing up, because the weight of the cord will pull down on the plug.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Chiming in a bit late but if anyone says ground prong down is the correct orientation, they are wrong, if someone says ground prong up is correct, they are wrong, it is either personal preference, or job specs, that dictate which way.


    I personally prefer "UP", but normally install them down.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Ground down if you are having a good day, ground up to cause confusion and mayhem if you are having a bad day.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Ground up is safest and common on commercial buildings.

    Lisa Endza
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Yup the ground not in the 12 o'clock position is a deal blower alright. I wouldn't buy a house if the outlets had the ground pin at the 6 o'clock position.

    Get real! This type of issue is not worth an inspectors time because it's a none issue!

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Endza View Post
    Ground up is safest and common on commercial buildings.
    Geeze, Nick (you are Nick posing as Lisa, right? ), ground down is the safest as that allows the 'hot' to pull out before the ground does ... ground needs to make contact first, break contact last.

    For all those afraid of a paper clip falling onto the hot and neutral prongs on top ... if that is that common - install a bubble cover ... problem solved ... the right way.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    1]The fact everyone calls it upside down is the clue .
    2]If upside down you no longer will see the "OH" Face


    Other than the above it is no big deal except that in most cases it causes a stress bend on the cord wiring .

    Chicagopropertyinspection.com

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    1]The fact everyone calls it upside down is the clue .
    2]If upside down you no longer will see the "OH" Face


    Other than the above it is no big deal except that in most cases it causes a stress bend on the cord wiring .
    Cord stress is not an issue with most cords. It is more common on right angle plugs like for dryers. It has no additional effect on a straight cord.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Yup the ground not in the 12 o'clock position is a deal blower alright. I wouldn't buy a house if the outlets had the ground pin at the 6 o'clock position.

    Get real! This type of issue is not worth an inspectors time because it's a none issue!
    Framers frame wall on deck, electricians install wiring and outlets , framers come back and stand up wall.

    It may be a big issue... If the ground is at 12 o'clock then they built the wall upside down and had placed the outlets to close to the ceiling... so they turn the wall 180 deg to correct. Its all about problem solving..


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    Cool Re: Upside down receptacles

    I see receptacles with the ground up occasionally, but I've neer heard any of the reasoning in this thread.

    It's not code in my neck of the woods and they don't do it for switched outlets most of wich are only half switched.

    Bob Kenney
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Kenney View Post
    It's not code in my neck of the woods
    Jargon alert!
    Does "It's not code" mean to you "It's not required by the locally adopted code" or "It's not permissible under the local interpretation of the code"?
    I've seen it used both (conflicting) ways.
    Thanks


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Don't know anything about jargon. I was merely responding to one of the initial posts where someone was told it was code.

    When I say it's not code, I mean it's not in the book, I don't care about interpretations. I don't inspect to code, that's not my job and I would never use the language with a client. Might give them the wrong idea.

    I do research however and have copies of current code-books for reference purposes. Need to stay informed with the latest changes and such.

    As an example, Balto. County is the only county in MD that does not explicitly require deck posts to be notched and under the beam. As a result I see many installations where the beam is merely bolted to the post. Do I point this out, of course, the language is "not recommended practice." If they want to know why I elaborate.

    Bob Kenney
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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Kenney View Post
    When I say it's not code, I mean it's not in the book, I don't care about interpretations. I don't inspect to code, that's not my job and I would never use the language with a client. Might give them the wrong idea.

    I do research however and have copies of current code-books for reference purposes. Need to stay informed with the latest changes and such.
    .
    Makes sense. Even where the latest version hasn't been adopted, I refer to what it requires as "best practices." OTOH, where I see an installation that clearly was not done to code, meaning whatever version and edition was enforced at the time of the installation, I mention this, separately. I can't tell without research whether it was done without a permit and inspection or whether the inspector missed it or let it slide. However, it suggests that other violations due to ignorant work may well be present.


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    I'd be willing to bet that if the requirement of a grounding cord cap and receptacle is for the ground to disconnect last and connect first that UL tested it under a number of conditions to make sure it happens that way all the time. And, I would bet that includes both zero and 180 degree mounting of the ground.

    A set of diagnostic tools (hammer and sharp chisel) were used to examine a currently manufactured receptacle. It was noted that the line and neutral contacts were recessed below the ground contact for the cord cap. Several cord caps randomly sampled have a ground prong about an eighth of an inch longer than the line and neutral blades. What little bit of research I've been able to do with lights and buzzers says that with several brands and grades of currently manufactured receptacles and a number of various vintages of cord caps, the ground always disconnects last no matter how I remove the cord cap. This is pretty much what I expected. YMMV, but probably not.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    A set of diagnostic tools (hammer and sharp chisel)
    . . . and eye protection? Whaddya mean, you just can't see it?


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    Default Re: Upside down receptacles

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    . . . and eye protection? Whaddya mean, you just can't see it?
    Eye protection, a smock, a lathe (shop) bib over that, and gloves. Of course, I had been salvaging SMD components prior to this diversion so was dealing with hot stuff anyway. Safety is #1 priority, sorta like the Ru**ian H**ker guy on Y** tube.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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