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Author Topic: Philosophical Debate on Outlets  (Read 549 times)

Knightrider

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Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« on: April 10, 2018, 07:20:23 AM »

This is going to sound like the "how to hang a roll of toilet paper" thing.

Do you prefer the ground pin up or down.

Every project I do, the ground pin is on top. I have two reasons for this. You probably know what they are.

It just occurred to me that every X10 module I have is upside down. Even my WM100. Does this bother you?

With the recent forum activity regarding the NEC, shouldn't we all take a stand and have a standard created?

If this does come to pass, X10 will have a major redesign to cover.

Just some random thoughts from my upside-down home to yours.
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HA Dave

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 08:39:52 AM »

Do you prefer the ground pin up or down.

Every project I do, the ground pin is on top. I have two reasons for this. You probably know what they are.....

Interestingly... last I knew there was two distinct and different standards... for the same plugs. For residential use... the ground hole is on the bottom. In commercial/industrial applications the ground is on top... protecting the live and neutral.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 08:43:03 AM by HA Dave »
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SkipWX10

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 03:00:04 PM »

In my house, ground is down purely for the reason that all residential plugs seem to be designed for it, just like the modules, etc. In my shop, ground pin is up, just because.

In my customers homes, it varies depending on who the electrician was....some are up and some are down.
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racerfern

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 03:25:00 PM »

Then there's the 40 story residential apartment towers I go to on a regular basis. As tenants move out and before new ones move in, they modernize the units will all new decora style outlets installed sideways, about three feet from the floor. Ground to the right BTW.
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HA Dave

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 06:17:04 PM »

........ decora style outlets installed sideways, about three feet from the floor. Ground to the right BTW.

Seems to me I saw something like that... in a model home or on-line showing... somewhere. Is there a reasoning behind this? I can see how higher would be easier for the new fatter American.
 
Knightrider what height are you mounting new outlets now-a-days? Assuming new construction... as I would think added outlets would match existing outlets in the same area.
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radioguy1007

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 06:44:28 PM »

I was always wondering which way is up when it came to outlets.  Local code directs it in some places like Chicago where ground is up everywhere.  I've seen it in hospitals this way too.  The building I work in (Wisconsin) has all grounds down.  The homes here have all grounds down.  At one time in my career I had heard the reason to put ground up was if the plug was not fully inserted and something conductive slid down the wall it would have less of a chance of hitting the hot blade.  That makes the horizontal ground to the right install the most dangerous of all if the plug is partly out as the hot blade is pointing up in this fashion.  I have a suspicion the majority of outlets are installed ground down as there are so many pluggable modules that are designed to have cables exit the bottom (X10 is just one example).  They do not have to be three prong either - the polarization of the neutral pin (wider) forces installation in only one direction. 
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racerfern

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 07:30:34 PM »

Quote
the polarization of the neutral pin (wider) forces installation in only one direction.

Don't most people file or grind those down? The most annoying thing is laying out XMAS lights with polarized or three prong plugs trying to go to a six foot extension cord that is not polarized and has a plastic block for the ground. Then you need a grinder and some end cutters. :o
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radioguy1007

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 08:01:02 PM »

I'm not going to admit that I have never filed down the neutral pin on an extension cord to use with my holiday lighting.  I still have a collection of the old BSR brown modules that get used annually only for that purpose.  And those modules do not have polarized plugs (both in and out), which are nice as you can plug in one up and one down in an outlet but need the non polarized extensions. 
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dave w

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 03:50:45 AM »

Ground pin goes down. Otherwise the X10 modules fall out of the outlet when the cat rubs up against them. This is common knowledge. Ground pins were up in our house when we purchased. After 13 years, I think I got them all down. Whew! <wink>

Addendum: Toilet paper goes over top of roll. This is common knowledge also.  rofl
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 11:02:42 PM by dave w »
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Knightrider

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 05:24:32 PM »

For some reason, I had 2 outlets in my bedroom that were 48" off the floor.  I never knew the reason, but I'd say that they were original wiring. The house got electrified in the late 40's. Was built in 1828. The wire was aluminum, and those outlets were some of the first to get eliminated in my rewiring rampage.
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HA Dave

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 10:07:01 PM »

The house got electrified in the late 40's. Was built in 1828. The wire was aluminum, and those outlets were some of the first to get eliminated in my rewiring rampage.

I was under the impression the aluminum wire was only used for a short while late 60's-early 70's. I had thought... it was mostly used in mobile homes (as far as residential wiring use). Other than power line drops and 220 lines. I have only seen/found it used once, in one home (decades ago). The electrician that was instructing me.... insisted we re-grease (? if that's the correct term) the connections with an anti-corrosive paste-like stuff. 

For some reason, I had 2 outlets in my bedroom that were 48" off the floor.  I never knew the reason........ 

Indepentent of these posts.... the idea of postioning outlets higher up a wall... has intriged me a bit. I keep trying to imagine an advanage other than not bending over so far. But... in my mind... I have an image of everyone having powerbars on most outlets (like I have HERE) for all the gadgets and such. I have a really hard time keeping wires hidden now. I can't wrap my head around how all those wires would look in the middle of the wall.

I've also been considering "TV mounts" at strategic places on the wall. One in a bedroom and another over the fireplace (and maybe one other location). An outlet, HDMI, and attic antenna could be easily be hidden behind a picture if not in use. Then use a more centralized location for a cable box and Blue-Ray and/or streaming device. Maybe hidden in a built-in of some sort or a closet. But then again... how much longer until EVERYTHING just streams. 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 10:18:37 PM by HA Dave »
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dave w

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 11:06:11 PM »

The wire was aluminum,
Did you find any loose screws on outlets or switches? Wasn't that one of the problems with the dissimilar metals?
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Knightrider

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 02:05:51 AM »

The wire was aluminum,
Did you find any loose screws on outlets or switches? Wasn't that one of the problems with the dissimilar metals?

That, and the corrosion on the Al. I use No-Al-Ox when I put in a new cooktop on a house with Al wire.

The only loose screws I found belong to a guy that bought a 200 year old house.  Will never do that again.

Maybe when I open up a wall for some reason, I'll cut a piece off for show and tell. Until then, I just cut all circuits off and filled the old boxes in with plaster.  New circuits were ran on 12ga wire for everything (even the 15a circuits) and new circuits were ran for the lighting (so the heater overload doesn't pop the lights) AND I ran neutrals to the switches.
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dave w

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Re: Philosophical Debate on Outlets
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2018, 03:44:43 AM »

The only loose screws I found belong to a guy that bought a 200 year old house.  Will never do that again.
Man, you gotta stop that. Coffee just shot out my nose.

12ga is a good move. 
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