Lighting and ElectricHome Improvement

Installing Grounded Electrical Outlets

I'm having this debate with my husband about how to install grounded electrical outlets. Should the 2 prong slots be on the top or bottom? I was told that when installed it should look like a smiley face with the round hole on the bottom. Does it make any difference?


Rose from Malvern, PA

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April 16, 20080 found this helpful

It makes no difference which way they are installed other than the plug has to be turned the same direction as the outlet holes. I have had them both directions in different houses.

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April 16, 20080 found this helpful

When I took basic electricity, we were told the smily face rule. We were told that some cords/plugs are "weighted" and tend to want to slip out the other way.

I have a Black and Decker scrubber battery charger that plugs in and holds the battery in the charger next to the wall. It is grounded. If I were to put it into an outlet with the ground on top, I would have to flip the charger over, and the battery would fall out. Then it would not charge the battery. The same also applies to my electric toothbrush, now that I look at it also...

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By Verue (Guest Post)
April 18, 20080 found this helpful

I was taught that you install the outlet with the ground on the bottom. That way if the plug starts to come out of the socket it is still grounded.

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By Richard G. (Guest Post)
January 20, 20090 found this helpful

Electrically it should make no difference whatsoever -- however, I have built many homes in the past, and my electricians have always put the ground pins on the bottom; I have been in many hospitals and medical office buildings recently, unfortunately, and I have noticed that the ground pins are on top. I have wondered why.

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