Home Improvement

Which way are your power outlets oriented?

By August 16, 2019 8 Comments
Which way are your power outlets oriented?

I’m just curious. My houses have always had the outlets oriented in a 2-1 (ground plug on bottom) setup, by my mother-in-law’s house is all in a 1-2 setup (ground plug on top). Is there an advantage to one way or the other?

[Strawpoll for posterity. ](https://strawpoll.com/bhs7fzz8)


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8 Comments

  • Kv603 says:

    In my home, any outlets that are generator powered are installed “ground up”.

    > Is there an advantage to one way or the other?

    Electricians like the “ground pin on top” orientation because of the perceived safety advantage (something metallic that slides down over the top of the plug will hit the ground before hitting a live connection).

  • AssistX says:

    If the outlet is on a light switch I’ll flip the outlet upside down so I remember which one the switch connects to in the room. Haven’t seem them all ground pin up before.

  • woohoo says:

    most places are installed “ground down” because it looks like a face.

  • bns7 says:

    I have a mix because some won’t fit in the boxes in one direction or another because of the ground wire setup.

  • seriouslyawesome says:

    I think in Texas the convention is ground-down for residential, ground-up for commercial. That said my house is like 90% ground-up. I’m redoing a lot of my electrical right now and will be switching everything to ground-down orientation.

    Also someone mentioned this in a similar thread elsewhere, but some consumer electronics come with plugs that are designed to save space on your outlets with the assumption that the ground is on the bottom.

  • Sernix1 says:

    I had always heard that ground up came from the aluminum wire days. If the hot broke off it wouldn’t fall on the ground and short it inside the box. So the old school guys would always install them ground up and of course that probably got passed on to a few appreciates that also went ground.

  • dmscheidt says:

    Why does your poll hate Chicago?

  • vinniepasta says:

    Electrician here. Many electricians put the ground pin on top in basements, when the outlet is powered by generators, controlled by switches, commercial applications, or GFCI protected circuits. This is all a matter of style. None of this is dictated by electrical code.

    I install outlets with the ground pin down. Always.

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