Should the ground be up or down on an outlet?

Asked By: Brain Hrabak | Last Updated: 5th January, 2020
Category: home and garden home entertaining
4.7/5 (66 Views . 38 Votes)
The electrical code allows outlets to be installed with the ground plug hole facing up, down or sideways. It's up to you, there is no standard electric outlet orientation. So that means there really is no such thing as upside down outlets.

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Then, why are some electrical outlets installed upside down?

Because if a cord or wire were to fall down on a partially plugged in right-side up outlet you would short out between the hot and the neutral. When the outlet is "upside down" in the above situation the wire would touch ground first.

Subsequently, question is, can a receptacle be mounted face up? Receptacles are presently not permitted, according to 406.5(E), to be installed in a face-up position in countertops, or similar work surfaces. These seating-mounted receptacles can also be listed as a receptacle assembly or as a GFCI receptacle assembly for countertop applications or installed in a listed floor box.

Beside above, how high off the ground should an outdoor electrical outlet be?

Required Outdoor Receptacle Locations Protection may be provided by a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI breaker. One receptacle is required at the front and rear of the house and at a maximum height of 6 feet 6 inches above grade (ground level).

What is the correct orientation for a electrical outlet?

The outlet should be oriented with the ground pin down because a person grabbing the outlet will have their index finger at the bottom side of the plug and the index finger sticks out further than the thumb. Having the ground down will keep a person's index finger from touching the live pins.

27 Related Question Answers Found

How do you ground a two prong outlet?

If your house has two prong outlets with metal boxes, it is possible you can ground your outlets without overhauling the wiring. To find out whether the metal housing is grounded, purchase a circuit tester. Insert one of the tester's prongs into the hot slot (the shorter slot in the outlet).

Can you turn a plug socket upside down?

The socket has the live and neutral holes shuttered until the earth prong is inserted (it's a little longer so this is natural.) The socket can have anything plugged into it. They cannot be reversed, so the live wire is always the live wire and the neutral wire is always the neutral wire.

How do I add a ground to an outlet?

Examine the receptacle and the wiring.
If you have three wires in the box (black, white, and copper), you will need to attach or tighten the grounding wire. If you have only two wires and a 2-prong receptacle, you can attach a GFI or GFCI receptacle.

What does a blue outlet mean?

Blue outlets are self grounding outlets with alarms indication loss of ground protection.

Which side of the plug is positive?


In North America, looking at a wall outlet with the ground pin to the bottom, you will find the neutral conductor hole to be on the left, and it is deeper (wider pin). It would be connected to the white supply wire. The 'hot conductor' is on the right and is smaller, and would have a black or red supply wire.

What does an orange outlet mean?

According to an information article by Scott Spyrka @spyrkaelectric.com, the orange outlets are isolated ground receptacles that can provide electricity directly from a grounding point, meaning they maintain power even if the circuit breaker is tripped or power is interrupted elsewhere.

How many outlets can be on a 15 amp breaker?

for a 15 amp circuit this allowed for 10 outlets and on a 20 amp circuit 13 outlets were allowed.

Should outdoor lights be on GFCI?

Outdoor receptacles are usually required to have a GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. When asked if outdoor lights need GFCI, the simple answer is, “Yes.” Keep reading below to learn what you need to know about GFCI for outdoor lighting.

How many outlets can a GFCI protect?

Re: number of outlets after gfci
Using 220.14, a maximum of 13 receptacle outlets are allowed on a 20A circuit. They can be single or dulpex and still only counts as one receptacle.

Does outdoor wiring have to be in conduit?

You can run electrical wire outside to nearly any location. Although some types of electrical cable do not have to be enclosed in conduit for outside installation, enclosing any exposed cable is a good idea. Schedule 40 polyvinyl chloride (PVC) conduit for electricity is gray and is rated for sunlight resistance.

How close can a plug be to a sink?

Electrical sockets or switches should be fitted at a safe distance (it is recommended at least 30cm horizontally) from a sink to avoid the chance of water coming into contact with electricity. Sockets should also be easily accessible.

Do all receptacles need to be grounded?

How to Ground an Electrical Outlet With No Grounding Wire. The National Electrical Code requires that all receptacles installed in all 15- and 20-amp, 120-volt circuits be grounded. If your house wiring predates the adoption of this requirement, you don't have to replace your ungrounded receptacles with grounded ones.

Are floor outlets legal?

The National Electrical Code requires floor outlets to be a part of an approved assembly consisting of a metal box, gasket seal, special receptacle and strong cover plate with a moisture-proof cover. You can't just mount a regular wall outlet in the floor.

What is considered a receptacle?


210-21(b) Receptacles A “Receptacle,” as defined in Article 100, is a contact device installed at an outlet for the connection of an attachment plug. The words “receptacle” and “receptacles” appear quite often in the National Electrical Code (NEC). A multiple receptacle is two or more contact devices on the same yoke.

Do all outlets have to be tamper resistant?

A. All nonlocking type 15A and 20A, 125V receptacles in the following areas of a dwelling unit [210.52] must be listed as tamper-resistant [406.12]. Exception: Receptacles in the following locations aren't required to be tamper-resistant: Receptacles located more than 5½ ft above the floor.

Where are controlled receptacles required?

At least one controlled receptacle must be installed within 6 feet of an uncontrolled receptacle or split wire the receptacles to provide at least one controlled and one uncontrolled receptacle.