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Why are my outlets upside down?

The original patent for the “Electrical outlet for three-prong locking plugs,” filed in 1955 by Wilbur R Smith NEMA would recognize as 5-15(p/r) features a diagram of ground side up  Electrical outlet for three-prong locking plugs

In hospitals the AHCA requires the ground prong up.  Many safety publications state that a ground pin upwards shall protect better from sheet metal contacting the hot and the ground-ed-ing conductors.
Receptacle Outlet Up Down

So why in your home are the outlets orientated one way or the other?  There is no enforceable correct orientation beyond safety in homes.  Here are a few reasons why one outlet might be a different orientation in the house than the others:

  1. Designation of 1/2 hot (1 of the 2 outlets on a “duplex” receptacle outlet) or switched outlets used for freestanding lamps controlled by a switch
  2. Repair that was improperly executed

Now if all the outlets are orientated with ground pin up:

  1. Safety conscience specifications, ignoring societal norms and trendy outlet faux pas
  2. We have come across homes with all ground prongs up but were wired without an equipment grounding conductor. This is not a conforming method of installing a grounding type receptacle.

Are you considering an outlet job?  Give us a call 360-633-5413.  We will install outlets in any orientation you wish, including Bocchi 22

Bocchi 22
Bocchi 22

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