Correct wiring according to receptacle tester, but still a problem?

Good Morning,

I began my second mock inspection for internachi last night. I noticed something strange about the receptacles, and after a second it hit me… there upside down!!! I then tested them and my device simpled showed correct wiring with no GFCI or AFCI protection. Therefore technically they are sufficient. however any hard working person would constantly shake his head at seeing this in a home.

but seeing on 23 out of 27 outlets?? come on.

so my question is this is definitely note worthy in the report but is it a defect?
Because it dang sure ain’t right!! HAHAHA

They are not upside down.

These are due to lazy sparkys (yeah, yeah, yeah… bite me!) installing to common convention.

There is an actual purpose for the ‘pin’ to be on top. If you ever do Commercial inspections, you will tend to see them installed this way most of the time.

Take a ‘field trip’ down to Lowes or HD. Walk down the electrical supply aisle, and pick up a duplex outlet. Hold it as if it was installed in the wall with all wiring attached. Now turn it upside down. Does it’s functionality change? Duh!

Are you trolling or is this a serious question?

Not upside down, but commonly installed with the ground pin down. Some turn the receptacle with ground pin up, on a split / switched receptacle for lighting.

Greetings New Inspector -

Over my 30 years of teaching and working in the field I have received this question a time or two. In fact, it is kinda one of those questions that new inspectors have to learn by asking the question without being berated for it.

It is sometimes felt that the “grounding” or “equipment grounding terminal” should be down in order to it’s relation to earth. Well, that is a perception but is far from fact. In reality it has nothing to do with a lazy electrician, in fact I used to put the receptacles devices this way in rooms of dwellings where that was the switched receptacle to assist in furniture layouts and so on. Just something different I guess.

Now, in commercial installations it could be specified in the engineers drawings to be a specific orientation and in fact if this was the case it would have to be that specific orientation regardless of the National Electrical Code (which doesn’t care) because it was specified as such…thus the designer has made a specific statement of their intent.

Also in commercial applications where metal cover plates are used, it is commonly conceived that if the “ground” terminal is up and the metal plate works loose and slides down that it will have a less likely chance of “shorting” out the circuit than with the “ground” terminal down…so in many eyes, where applicable, it can be a design criteria that enhances the reliability of the circuit if deemed important to that environment to which it is installed…The facility owner and designer need to make that call in most cases.

As for the NEC, it does not care how it is oriented (with limitations to face up installations in counter-tops and so on, where applicable in Article 406)…

Hope this was helpful and provided some insight as to the myth.

Thank you Mr. Abernathy, and MR. Toye , for the information, very informative , and I owe an apology to yourself and electricians who have done and installation in this manner.

I was uneducated on this subject. After all this is an educational forum and online program… NOT FACEBOOK.

(MR. Jonas and NON-Member… save the disrespect for Facebook.)

No, not always, but… believe it or not, many years ago I asked a sparky that was on site installing the receptacles why he installed in that orientation. He directly stated that is how he always installs them… (get this)… because that is the side the conductors come in the box and he always installs the HOT conductor on the side it enters the box so he doesn’t have to wrap it to the other side of the receptacles. I asked how does he decide when the conductors enter from the back of the box, or the top or bottom. He claimed he never does that, always from the side.

I rarely ask sparky’s anything on site anymore. I’d rather come here and ask experts like you, Jim, and others.

Well I just call myself a Master Electrician and hope that it has some type of meaning in the world. In my opinion someone is not an electrician (or can even be called one) unless they have passed exams and achieved the status of a Journeyman (who is still learning daily) or a Master (who is still learning daily, and helps the journeyman learn as well).

In states or areas where no licensing is required, I just call those Electrical Practitioners…they are not Electricians in my view.

Anyway…i hear ya. I can’t tell you how many times I hear strange stuff in the field…I just shake my head, smile and walk away. It’s all good…as their are many knowledgeable people around to also clear the MUD.

It certainly sounded like a troll. Did you really think it was going to operate any differently simply by being 180 degree from the way you are used to seeing them?

You knew it was wrong when it was something you simply had never experienced . Hope that doesn’t further block any learning.

Since his title is “student” i would not (at least I am not) going to assume he is a Troll. Just wanting a place to ask questions and get answers…at least that is my hope.

I saw the student part, but the lack of critical thinking skills made me think it was a troll. Maybe just a victim of the educational system?

I actually saw the OP as a newbie attempting to fit in with the ‘gang’ playfully joking around about his “find”… kind of like a new kid at school trying to fit in… and then, like at school, some bully came along and handed his a-s-s to him! :shock:


The receptacle is fine…up or down. As a student and as you study the forum boards, you’ll see more and more that is there to learn.

so You mean to tell me the electricity doesn’t fall out if You put them in upside down ???

Hello, have you not heard of voltage drop? That is where the electrons hit the floor because the receptacle was upside down. The ground being a poor conductor stops this under normal orientation.



Dude…we are all a victim in that SYSTEM…:wink:

Nice…:twisted: You Evil Electrician !

I would not think so. Teaching methods have evolved and now it seems like the kids are spoon fed a methodology. Leave out a step and they are stuck because they cannot come up with the next step on their own.