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Thread: Outlet ground prong orientation

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    DIY Junior Member apparentgenius's Avatar
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    Default Outlet ground prong orientation

    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. #2

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    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. #3
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Didn't know that outlets had ground slots
    Last edited by Terry; 05-30-2012 at 10:39 AM.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apparentgenius View Post
    . His reasoning is that if you have a metal cover plate and it comes loose, ..............
    Opinions?

    Glen
    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. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by apparentgenius View Post
    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
    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.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default 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.

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    DIY Junior Member apparentgenius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Didn't know that outlets had gorund 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?

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Listen you all we need to first let Glen know that outlets donít have ground slots but receptacles do.

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

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member apparentgenius's Avatar
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    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

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    DIY Junior Member apparentgenius's Avatar
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    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 by apparentgenius; 11-25-2008 at 11:17 AM.

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    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    This thread is ridiculous, it can be argued till the cows come home and even then it wont be settled. Install them whatever way you think looks right to you.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member apparentgenius's Avatar
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    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

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    By apparentgenius:
    "" Quote:
    Originally Posted by jwelectric
    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 Terry; 05-30-2012 at 10:53 AM.

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75 View Post
    This thread is ridiculous, it can be argued till the cows come home and even then it wont be settled. Install them whatever way you think looks right to you.
    This is why I won't even comment on the topic. It is ridiculous!

  15. #15
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    By apparentgenius:
    "" Quote:
    Originally Posted by jwelectric
    Didn't know that outlets had ground slots
    I make this typo ALL the time. Luckily for me FF catches it.
    Last edited by Terry; 05-30-2012 at 10:55 AM.

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