3 prong plug how do I write it up?

I often see 3 prong plugs wrongly installed. but yet have to do a proper written report as a certified residential building inspector.
I need clarification.
Sorry but the photo examples did not come up right.
The photo is correct in this image.
I see the opposite 50 percent of the time.


Not sure about Canada but here if you’re saying that the ground on the top (up) is incorrectly installed then you’re mistaken. There is no NEC wording that dictates the orientation of the ground prong on a receptacle. Is this what you want to write up or is it something else?

Thank you Mr.Meire
I know the right way is to have the ground up as to avoid contact from any ( conducting ) object falling down the wall plate and would be moved and somewhat unable to touch both bottom connections simultaneously.
If not installed correctly it might case a short or worse injury and death.

As Robert stated, there is nothing in the NEC regarding orientation.
The theory that the ground prong will stop shorts, is good, providing that you are using a three prong plug.

For two prong plugs, it doesn’t really matter.

I think it is a preference, In commercial you often find the ground on top and residential on the bottom

Thank you Mr. Van De Ven.
I have to look because its my understanding that homes of a certain age must be fitted with 3 prong.

If it was sideways, as on many cabinet back-splashes, would that be wrong also???

I am asking a civil question.
Like to here and have read sensible ones SIR.

See my answer above.
Also, the OP is in Canada. Canadas codes vary from the NEC in several areas.

As for grounded receptacles, I’d have to look that up Robert.
1975 NEC section 210-7, was the first year that all 15 and 20 amp receptacles in residential occupancies, were required to be the grounding type.

Thank you Mr.Van De VEN.
That is what I am asking for.
I have a code book and more questions to ask the RBQ before I set out on my new carrier.
Ontario code and going out this week to ask the government how up to date it is.
Mr.R Coole was kind to give it to me.
He is a class act.
Thanks all.


Time was that the ground being on the top was indicated on the receptacle itself, with the word “top” at the end that the manufacturer recommended be unstalled skywards. In time, the word was removed from the pressing.

As to Joe Funderbunk’s question, although tounge-in-cheek…it is a valid one.

No need to have such a large chip on your shoulder.

In new construction, the one receptacle in a room where the grounding pin is on top, is the receptacle controlled by a wall-switch.

I see that a lot here.

If the receptacle was posidioned sideways then the neutral should be up. In Gatineau, most receptacles are positioned with the ground up.

I worked several different construction projects in the same hospital over 2 decades.

Depending on the date of the new building project, they were installed one way or the other.

There is no requirement whatsoever regarding the orientation of the ground pin, even on switched outlets. When you see the switched outlet reversed, that was done as a courtesy by the electrician or for his own purposes.

Thanks. :smiley:



We are referring to residential applications.

A “tip”, “recommendation” or “advisement” is not a requirement.