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Poll: Electrical Outlets – Up or Down?

Here’s a quick poll for today. Which way should electrical outlets be oriented? Should they have the ground prong up?

Electrical outlet ground prong up
Electrical outlet ground prong up

Or should they have the ground prong down?

Electrical outlet ground prong down
Electrical outlet ground prong down

I don’t think there is anything in the electrical code that requires one orientation or the other. Maybe Allan will be able to clear that one up. :) (I can’t seem to find my copy of the “yellow book” right now or I’d confirm it on my own.)

I know which way I prefer and there definitely appears to be an expected orientation based on some of the products I’ve purchased over the years. For some reason, all of the outlets on the top floor of our house were put in opposite to everything on the main floor. I’m guessing that some electrician decided (s)he wanted to be different when the upstairs was remodeled.

Anyways, leave a comment and let me know what your opinion is – should the ground prong go up or down?

7 thoughts on “Poll: Electrical Outlets – Up or Down?”

  1. The ground prong-up argument has some merit from a minor, incremental safety perspective.

    But, the big problem is, ALL appliance, wall transformer, and extension cord and power-strip manufacturers design their plugs assuming the ground prong is down (if 3 wire) or the narrower hot prong is to the right (if polarized 2-wire), which also means the ground prong must be down, until someone makes and gets approved a plug with reversed hot/neutral prong holes.

    Putting a wall transformer in a ground-up receptacle is especially aggravating. Often it won’t stay in at all, and you hope that you don’t need to plug in a 3-prong right angle low-profile plug (like many power strips use) in the other outlet. One of the upside down plugs will cover up the other outlet receptacle, preventing the use of both.

    So the answer is – ground-prong down.

    All the outlets in my house in Pittsburgh are ground-up, and I’ve been gradually switching them around.

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