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Thread: Ground Up or Ground Down

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Bumpass, VA

    Ground Up or Ground Down

    This morning, my neighbor was over while I was putting in the electrical outlets in the new shop (that story will be in shop tours shortly) and asked me why I was putting in the electrical outlets upside down. I never really thought about it, but I've always put the ground plug up when I install outlets. Back in high school when I was planning on being an electrician, I was working part time with an electrical contractor and he always put the outlets with the ground facing up. I just kept doing it that way because he did, not because he told me that had to go that way.

    Other than appearance is there a reason why they should go one way or the other? Which way does everybody else install them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Wapakoneta, OH
    I always put them ground pin down, mostly because a lot of the things that come with molded plugs are made to work in that direction. There is really no correct way, though a lot of folks argue ground pin up is safer, theorizing that if something thin fell on to the outlet with a plug in it, it would hit the ground instead of a hot. I did notice that in most of the hospitals around me they have the ground pin up. Nevertheless, there is no correct way (at least in the US).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    I've always mounted outlets with the ground down because they look more balanced visually to me. As Fred said, a lot of things come with molded plugs that have the ground lug toward the cord or angled like one I'm looking at here in my shop right now. In either case, if the ground was up, the cord would have to point up rather than toward the floor or counter.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    <-- is how I always installed them, for the reason posted above.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I think it's a lot like toilet paper, orer the top or under the bottom, it's what ever works for you!
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Independence MO
    My understanding is in Canada, that the ground is supposed to go up. As said, unless there was some change recently, we have no (at least enforced) requirement one way or the other, and with devices down tend to be easier.

    That said, when I had some work done, I had the ground going the direction of the wire. That way if I ever had to do something in a wall, I had an idea before cutting into it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    <-- is how I always installed them, for the reason posted above.
    Love your use of the picture!! Ha x many!


    My house is wired ground plug down UNLESS it is a switched outlet, then the ground is up.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Humid Gulf Coast
    Well if you were are in China, or Australia the question would be kind of relative--lol
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    I have heard that the ground is supposed to be up - because of the safety thing mentioned above. Never done that. I put them in the smiley face position - ground down.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oliver Springs, TN
    Don't you mean this position Leo I've noticed around here that a lot of the commercial places have them up. I like Jim's idea of the switched outlets being up and the rest down. My OCD would kick in though and I'd have to change it.

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