National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Question:

Orientation of receptacle. Ground up or down?

Vito Vacirca Jr

A

Answer:

Hey Vito thanks for your question. The NEC does not specify the orientation of the equipment grounding contact. Proposals to require that have been rejected for previous NEC editions based on insufficient substantiation of a problem. Some believe that having the equipment grounding contact on the bottom can help support the attachment plug, Others believe having the equipment grounding contact on the top is better if a metal object falls and lands on a partially inserted attachment plug it will land on the equipment grounding prong first. There are now multi-plex receptacles available that have both orientations on a single product. If you know what will be plugged into a receptacle, such as a right-angle attachment plug, orienting the receptacle to minimize strain on the flexible cord can be a consideration.

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