Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Upside down wall plugs
Old 03-11-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Upside down wall plugs

Are your wall plugs installed right side up or down? ... Better way to ask...
Is the round grounding part of the plug on top or bottom.

Most angled plugs ends of appliance wires are designed so that when the wire is plugged in, the wire hangs down. Also, plug in wall items such as Carbon Monoxide detectors, are designed to have the grounding plug below the "prongs". I just bought this... charging plug module,
Westinghouse T91001 Outlet Valet Portable Charging Station with 1 Grounded Outlet & 2 USB Ports, White - Amazon.com but can't use it because all my plugs have the grounding plug on top.

All of the homes in our development, my mfg home in FL and my camp have what I'd call upside down plugs, so it's not unusual.
Upside down equals grounding plug on top, because most plug in stuff is designed that way.

... and we put a man on the moon!.
.................................................. ...
one explanation... a metal piece like a metal backplate, falling down on two prongs that might not be plugged in all the way, could create a short... with the upside down, the metal would ground safely...

Who's smarter? the manufacturer or the electrician?
__________________

__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-11-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,979
I must be missing your drift, but in case I'm not...

Not doubting your observation at all, but I can't remember ever seeing a 120V outlet with the ground prong on top. Though it's just as easy to install 'upside down' - no self-respecting electrician would do it. The receptacle-plugs in our house (and every one I've ever seen) can be easily 'flipped' with a (simple flat blade) screwdriver.

Throw the breaker for the affected circuit, take the receptacle cover off, loosen the top and bottom screws, gently turn the receptacle 180 (less wiring twist is better than more), put the screws back in and tighten, replace the cover, and re-energize the breaker. Literally (almost) anyone can do it. Easy-peasy.

I've never seen one without plenty of excess wiring to allow the 'flip' - also a standard practice for electricians.

Could be a little more confusing with switched/unswitched receptacles, but you can still flip them.

Again, I must be missing something...

__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,573
My grounding plugs are on the bottom. I always thought that is how they are supposed to be.

After getting frustrated with little plug in power supplies blocking access to two or three outlets on a power strip, I bought some 1 to 2 splitters that have about 18 inches of wire on them. They are unsightly, but usually are behind furniture.

Maybe you could use something like this:
Amazon.com : C2G / Cables to Go 03137 18 AWG Outlet Saver Power Extension Cord NEMA 5-15R to NEMA 5-15P (1 Foot/0.30 Meters) Black : Electronics Power Cables : Electronics
__________________
Rustward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 02:43 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Funny you mention this. Up until the last few months, i've only seen them the right way. When I rented a condo in Florida for a couple months this winter, half the plugs where right and half where wrong. Then when I left Florida to go to Texas, I noticed many of the hotels had them the wrong way. The extended stay hotel i'm in now in Austin has all the plugs the wrong way. I thought it was automatic that the round part went on the bottom. I guess not
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 02:43 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,896
imoldernu,

Would this solve your problem?

http://www.amazon.com/ROTATOR-GR7100...JAKNCTH1H32DP8

I have a few of these to rotate so that I can use both outlets.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I must be missing your drift, but in case I'm not...

Not doubting your observation at all, but I can't remember ever seeing a 120V outlet with the ground prong on top. Though it's just as easy to install 'upside down' - no self-respecting electrician would do it. The receptacle-plugs in our house (and every one I've ever seen) can be easily 'flipped' with a (simple flat blade) screwdriver.

Throw the breaker for the affected circuit, take the receptacle cover off, loosen the top and bottom screws, gently turn the receptacle 180 (less wiring twist is better than more), put the screws back in and tighten, replace the cover, and re-energize the breaker. Literally (almost) anyone can do it. Easy-peasy.

I've never seen one without plenty of excess wiring to allow the 'flip' - also a standard practice for electricians.

Could be a little more confusing with switched/unswitched receptacles, but you can still flip them.

Again, I must be missing something...

Gonna try turning the wall plug... but... in your picture....
Note that the correct/wrong pictures both have the wider part of the prong on the left... If it were just put in upside down, wouldn't the wide part of the plug prong be on the other side?
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: No. California
Posts: 1,601
I have a few plugs in my house that are the 'upside down' plugs. Those plugs are the ones that have a wall switch that controls the plug. I asked the contractor why they were upside down when I had my walk through on the house and he explained about the wall switch. Whether it is standard or not, this contractor did it in my entire subdivision.
__________________
KB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 02:58 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
imoldernu,

Would this solve your problem?

ROTATOR GR7100 Swivel Socket Power Adaptor, 2-Pack - Amazon.com

I have a few of these to rotate so that I can use both outlets.
Would solve my problem, but I only paid $2.50 for the charger, and the rotators cost $24. My reputation as a cheapskate frugal person would suffer.
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,488
Here's what I learned from this post: I need to save more money and accelerate my retirement timeline so I can spend my days worried about stuff like this!!
__________________
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:03 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado Mountains
Posts: 2,145
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Funny you mention this. Up until the last few months, i've only seen them the right way. When I rented a condo in Florida for a couple months this winter, half the plugs where right and half where wrong. Then when I left Florida to go to Texas, I noticed many of the hotels had them the wrong way. The extended stay hotel i'm in now in Austin has all the plugs the wrong way. I thought it was automatic that the round part went on the bottom. I guess not
aaronc879, could you check your wall plugs against the pictures of the inverse? It looks like a picture is flipped. The wide blade should be on the other side.
__________________
Hermit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:13 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Gonna try turning the wall plug... but... in your picture....
Note that the correct/wrong pictures both have the wider part of the prong on the left... If it were just put in upside down, wouldn't the wide part of the plug prong be on the other side?
I didn't notice that, poor choice of pictures on my part. But aside from the picture, are your wider prongs on the "wrong side?" If not, you can just flip them as described.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:22 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
Tortoise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Jose
Posts: 80
The National Electrical Code, which is commonly but not exclusively adopted by local authorities having jurisdiction, specifies that three-prong outlets should have the ground facing up in certain circumstances -- particularly hospitals. As for commercial and residential applications, however, there is no such requirement in the NEC. The reason for hospitals is that it is safer to have the ground on top in case a plug is partially pulled out and something metallic, like a paper clip or pen, falls across the prongs.
__________________
"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." --Mark Twain
Tortoise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:22 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
What's a ground - I have a house with mixed plugs, many being two prong with no ground. I removed the cover on several and observed the ground wire nowhere to be seen. But the bathroom and kitchen and former garage now an added room have three prong grounded plugs.



heh heh heh -
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:27 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by nash031 View Post
Here's what I learned from this post: I need to save more money and accelerate my retirement timeline so I can spend my days worried about stuff like this!!
YES!

Having just solved the Ukraine crisis, had a little time on my hands...

BTW... looks like the question isn't too unusual... Read this for more input.
Why are these outlets upside-down? - homeimprovement electricalwiring resolved | Ask MetaFilter

Back to working on the US budget.
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:30 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
In our house all of the wall sockets are upside down. It was built in the seventies and has the electrical inspector's signature on the power panel, noting the house's wiring were approved before issuing a certificate of occupancy to the original owners.

A pain in the arse. I just don't feel like going around to rotate them so the ground prong is at the bottom. OTOH when they they fail or I have to remove them for some other reason they do get turned the right way.

Apparently at one time it was the electrical code for some areas. Years ago I read somwhere that the purpose was to avoid bare wire or paper clips or some such falling on the partiallly seated plug and cause a short. I all my life I never heard of any bare wire accidentally falling on a partially seated plug's terminals and causing problems.

This was from the same brilliant era of allowing the wiring to be pushed into the socket's holes in the back. I had replaced several sockets which were malfunctioning due to overhated and poor connections. On the replacements the wires wre properly attached via the conveniently provided screw terminals.

NB. Before ERD50 shows up and says code allows for that, I do know. We had a long discussion a few years back of this very subject on this forum. I just don't feel like searching for it.

Seems like some OSHA as*hole looking for a problem which did not exist.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:31 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Would solve my problem, but I only paid $2.50 for the charger, and the rotators cost $24. My reputation as a cheapskate frugal person would suffer.
I didn't even look at the price before I posted.

How about this one?

360 Electrical 36083 1-Outlet Compact Rotating Surge Protector - Amazon.com

$5.99 sounds better than $24 at least
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:33 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick View Post
What's a ground - I have a house with mixed plugs, many being two prong with no ground. I removed the cover on several and observed the ground wire nowhere to be seen. But the bathroom and kitchen and former garage now an added room have three prong grounded plugs.



heh heh heh -

In olden days there was some stuff called BX cable, metal jacket and all that
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:33 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
38Chevy454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,587
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tortoise View Post
The National Electrical Code, which is commonly but not exclusively adopted by local authorities having jurisdiction, specifies that three-prong outlets should have the ground facing up in certain circumstances -- particularly hospitals. As for commercial and residential applications, however, there is no such requirement in the NEC. The reason for hospitals is that it is safer to have the ground on top in case a plug is partially pulled out and something metallic, like a paper clip or pen, falls across the prongs.
What I have heard also, it prevents a shock or shorting if something slips down between the wall and the plug.

As for functionality, it usually does not matter. On 120V one leg is hot (black wire), other neutral (white wire). Most devices do not have preference, but the wide plug slot (neutral, the white wire) is intended for applications where it does matter.

For OP, as suggested, you should be able to just turn the receptacle the way that fits your needs. Should be enough wiring inside to flip it 180.
__________________
After Monday & Tuesday even the calendar says, W-T-F...

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now [4/24/16 changed to 80%]
Retired Aug 2, 2017; age 53
38Chevy454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:39 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
....Back to working on the US budget.
That should keep you busy for a while.....
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 03:45 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,899
I worry a lot, too, about the proper way to hang toilet paper. Of course any fool knows the end should be away for the wall.
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Emergency fund upside down and backwards growing_older FIRE and Money 26 11-11-2008 03:43 PM
Iridium Spark Plugs Pete Other topics 8 08-03-2008 06:07 PM
Upright Freezer - drain plugs in door? ERD50 Other topics 6 07-12-2008 03:25 PM
Upside down?! Arif Life after FIRE 19 12-07-2005 12:40 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:04 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.