National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Re: CQD answer published Monday, October 22, 2018 -Receptacle Orientation

1) When I was working as an electrician we wired a house and put the ground down. The lady of the house made us turn them all over. She did not want the receptacles looking at her! Have a good day!! Lowell I. (Laddie) Wolfe Jr.

2) The continuing debate over whether receptacles should be installed grounding prong up or down always amuses me. Both sides seem to forget that nothing in the NEC requires that receptacles be installed vertically. It is perfectly acceptable and often necessary to install receptacles in a horizontal orientation. Don Haskin

3) Ground up or Ground Down. Most union Classed teach Ground up, but there is NO NEC rule about grounding up or down. There are some interesting supporting comments that can be made about the ground post will be first to be hit by a dropping paperclip, in a wire mold the neutral up came point, but no rule. This is a Trick question that is fun to discuss. But it has Merit. Many thanks, Bill Schell



Hey all y'all thanks for your comments.

1) Interesting concern that the blade openings would be viewed as eyes and the equipment grounding contact hole as being the mouth. Some self-proclaimed artists have enhanced receptacles by drawing people in various positions around the openings.

2) It is very common for receptacles to be installed in a vertical orientation. If installed horizontally some believe the grounded contact should be located on top (equipment grounding contact to the left) because something falling on a partially inserted attachment plug would more likely land on the grounded blade first instead of the ungrounded blade.

3) Correct, no NEC rule, and not meant to be a trick question, but some interesting thoughts.

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ABOUT CHARLIE: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Charlie was also a member of NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting. Charlie’s experienced team of industry experts keep the CQD dialogue and discussions active and informative in the spirit of the man himself, as he wanted.

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