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Thread: Duplex receptacle orientation code ?

  1. #1
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    Duplex receptacle orientation code ?

    With a standard grounded 15 or 20 amp receptacle - does the NEC specify the orientation of the ground portion? Does it have to be up? Does it have to be down?

    If it does: what is the section of the NEC which addresses this issue?
    PHM
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    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  2. #2
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    Now a days I see them all ground up. Where as back in the day it was vise versa.
    I came to the conclusion that if a spatula slid down the wall it would hit the ground first.

  3. #3
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    I've got a touch of OCD in me. Nothing too medical, it's just a hunch of mine.

    Outlets need to be installed with the ground down. You'll never see an outlet with the ground up in my house.

    On a bit of a tangent, did I ever tell you of the time I was a child of maybe 10, and I intentionally dropped a penny on the hot legs of a plug that wasn't all the way in? Oh yeah, got to meet mister sparky . . . LOL
    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

  4. #4
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    There is nothing in code denoting either direction. All code states is that it has to be installed per manufacturer's instructions. I've heard excuses from every Sparky trying to support either way but it's all crap. The best one I've heard is that if you have the ground up and the cover plate is loose it would hit the ground and it wouldn't be a safety issue. But I'd rather see the plate hit the hot and common and trip the breaker so no one can get zapped.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    I find the ground-up orientation disturbing to look at. Although ground-down does look like an annoyed Frenchman's face. Still; I find that a far more acceptable appearance.

    I have heard many times that ground-up is safer as a thin metal object sliding between a plug and a ground-down receptacle could produce a short and fire hazard - whereas a ground-up orientation would present the ground first and so prevent the short.

    This "logic" is ridiculous as most plugs do not have a ground prong and so the H and N prongs would be equally accessible for short circuiting in either receptacle orientation.

    But: none of that addresses my question. Which is: Does The NEC specifically address receptacle orientation?

    PHM
    ----------------


    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    Now a days I see them all ground up. Where as back in the day it was vise versa.
    I came to the conclusion that if a spatula slide down the wall it would hit the ground first.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  6. #6
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    Our University design standards require ground up. This is said to prevent things like paperclips or other metal objects from sliding down the wall and arcing. Legit concern in an office environment I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    I find the ground-up orientation disturbing to look at. Although ground-down does look like an annoyed Frenchman's face. Still; I find that a far more acceptable appearance.

    I have heard many times that ground-up is safer as a thin metal object sliding between a plug and a ground-down receptacle could produce a short and fire hazard - whereas a ground-up orientation would present the ground first and so prevent the short.


    This "logic" is ridiculous as most plugs do not have a ground prong and so the H and N prongs would be equally accessible for short circuiting in either receptacle orientation.

    But: none of that addresses my question. Which is: Does The NEC specifically address receptacle orientation?

    PHM
    ----------------
    No there is no NEC code for orientation.
    NEC Article 406

  8. #8
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    I have never installed one ground up and never will. A long time back I checked the NEC and never found a requirement for up or down. To me up looks wrong no matter what any code may say.
    No man can be both ignorant and free.
    Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
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    Saw a commercial last week and they showed an outlet in the top surface of a counter top. that is a code violation. You can still put outlets in a floor, but need a cap to seal when not in use.

    Only seen a few that were on bottom of surface, like garage door opener or under a baywindow outside (weird place for one, but out of weather)

    never heard of an orientation requirement, even on a range or dryer outlet. Problem there is there is no standard for where the bumpout space on the back of a range is located, so a range may not push against wall when you replace it w new.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by billygoat22 View Post
    Saw a commercial last week and they showed an outlet in the top surface of a counter top. that is a code violation.
    That is correct.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Put the question to Mike Holt. On this forum, I look to Timebuilder for answers to these types of questions. And whatever he says, I do not question. Above Timebuilder, is Mike Holt. That's where the answers are.
    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

  12. #12
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    Behind electric stoves I install a 'fire block' between the wall studs at 13" up from the floor and leave the space below the block open. Then I mount the stove receptacle to the side of the wall stud which is closest to the center of the stove-space.

    That way any stove will fit flush to the wall behind it.

    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by billygoat22 View Post
    . . . . there is no standard for where the bumpout space on the back of a range is located, so a range may not push against wall when you replace it w new.
    PHM
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    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  13. #13
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    I cannot stand to see them ground up

    Some cords have to loop up and hang over backwards when they put them like that

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  15. #14
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    Like I said above, the NEC doesn't denote directionality, but specifies the device has to be installed per manufacturer's instructions. So if the manufacturer doesn't say otherwise you can do what you want.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  16. #15
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    I've noticed that flat plugs w ground have the cord on the ground pin side, so if the ground is down, wire lays flat. if ground is up, the cord comes out top and droops over, pulling on the plug rather than hanging straight down.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  17. #16
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    In my 10 years as an Electrician all I've ever heard is people trying to come up with clever explanations to accommodate their OCD on receptacle orientation. There is nothing in code except on counters. Just accept it.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  18. #17
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    How about when they made the red light green light change on MCC panels?

    That both confused me and pissed me off at the same time.


    Quote Originally Posted by MPeterson21 View Post
    In my 10 years as an Electrician all I've ever heard is people trying to come up with clever explanations to accommodate their OCD on receptacle orientation. There is nothing in code except on counters. Just accept it.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBeerme View Post
    How about when they made the red light green light change on MCC panels?

    That both confused me and pissed me off at the same time.
    What is very stupid about that change is power plants use red in the opposite of green in general industry (NFPA 79). It's all an ego thing.

    I really hate standards that aren't really standards. When I train apprentices I continually tell myself to leave my OCD at home but explain why some people do things one way or another.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  20. #19
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    OCD is just a created / applied label for the quite natural human tendency to attempt to simplify one's world. Forming a habit to do something exactly the same way frees up brain power as you don't have to critically assess habitual items each time.

    This happens in thought processes all the time - hence my signature line. <g>



    Quote Originally Posted by MPeterson21 View Post
    What is very stupid about that change is power plants use red in the opposite of green in general industry (NFPA 79). It's all an ego thing.

    I really hate standards that aren't really standards. When I train apprentices I continually tell myself to leave my OCD at home but explain why some people do things one way or another.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  21. #20
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    I know it simplifies thinking for people but it's unfair to apprentices to be forced into someone's way. I had quite a few trainer's that obsessed about things that were so wrong that it made work difficult.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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