Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ground Up or Ground Down

The age old argument of which is correct, ground up or ground down. A lot of electricians in the field get confused when deciding whether or not standard grounding receptacle should be ground up or ground down. The origins of this entire argument actually stems from a corporate officer in a McDonalds' corporation, according to sources there was a employee that did in fact accidentally drop a metallic tray down the back of the table which slid into a half seeded cord cap. A large flash occurred and the employee suffered some burns. The incident created a policy within the McDonalds corporation mandating that receptacles from that point on should be installed with the grounding terminal on the top, and receptacles to be mounted on a horizontal position with the grounded side, i.e. load side facing up. When facing the receptacle, the grounding terminal will always be to your left and the grounded terminal will be on top. The issue was brought to Pass & Seymour major manufacturer of receptacles and other devices. The debate however, began to rage back and forth between the two factions that we call the smile face group and the ground-up group. The issue was so large and important that at one point a proposal was submitted to NEC but it was ultimately rejected. It has never been adopted again, as such there is no actual code requirement, it is strictly just a preference. The only time it would be an issue that would cause you to fail an inspection would be if there is a city ordinance that is above and beyond the NEC requirement. Mitchell Tolbert

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