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Old 09-22-2013, 08:42 PM   #1
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Switched outlets funny question


So I'm talking to this guy who does home improvement - I think mostly flooring, but we got to talking about an electrical issue and he was talking about it like he knew what he was talking about (you know the kind.)

The bottom half of a dual receptacle was not working (the top was). I was asking the host if the receptacle was switched. This guy said if it was switched, it would be upside down. I thought he was joking, but he said it was true. Now we've all had the receptacle direction debates, so understand I'm not going there. I said I know some guys who install them right side up, and some who install upside down. He said the latter are idiots. He said if you see a house with most receptacle right side up, and one upside down, then that receptacle is switched.

Now that seems crazy, and he sounds like he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about, but I try to be open minded. Anyone ever heard of this?

He then said if the top half was working and the bottom not, then the receptacle is broken. I said the bottom half might be switched. He said "You can't do that." I know that obviously it can be done and is sometimes done. Could he have been making some obscure code requirement I'm not aware of, like "you're not allowed to do that", or did he mean "it's not physically possible"? The whole things sounds pretty far fetched to me.

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Old 09-22-2013, 08:52 PM   #2
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Switched outlets funny question


Totally false as far as code goes.

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Old 09-22-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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He is --what's the nice word??? Full of hot air?
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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would be nice it worked that way, but it doesn't , he's full of him self!
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:45 AM   #5
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Some areas it is common practice to put switched receptacles "upside down"!
You can split the duplex to have one switched and one constant hot.
He may have heard this in the past and that is all he remembers.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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Not a code requirement but a common practice in some areas.
Just because it was not upside down did not mean it wasn't switched. Someone, not knowing the convention, could have flipped it thinking what idiot put this one in upside down.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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Typically the bottom half of a duplex receptacle is the one that is switched on the assumption that a lamp will be plugged in there at all times, making it easier to plug a temporary device into the top without having to reach below the lamp plug.

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Old 09-23-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by busman
Typically the bottom half of a duplex receptacle is the one that is switched on the assumption that a lamp will be plugged in there at all times, making it easier to plug a temporary device into the top without having to reach below the lamp plug.

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There is no typical in regards to switched recepts. For instance, I switch the top because If you need to plug a wall wart in, you won't be blocking the lower recept.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:03 AM   #9
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Switched outlets funny question


like others say, this is all preference based. you could have one recep upright, the next one down the wall upside down, the next one upright with the top switched, the next upright with the bottom switched, the next upside down, etc., all on the same circuit and all meeting code. it would look goofy and be confusing as hell but not a code violation.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:14 AM   #10
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This guy said if it was switched, it would be upside down.....He said if you see a house with most receptacle right side up, and one upside down, then that receptacle is switched.
You have failed to identify which orientation you consider "right side up".
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:18 AM   #11
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The duplex in my living room which is 1/2 switched, does have the grounding hole up whereas the others have the grounding hole down.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:52 AM   #12
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I switch the top because If you need to plug a wall wart in, you won't be blocking the lower recept.
That's a good point.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:52 AM   #13
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You have failed to identify which orientation you consider "right side up".
I think of grounding hole down as "right side up".
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:06 AM   #14
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You have failed to identify which orientation you consider "right side up".
No need to open that can of worms again!
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:15 AM   #15
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No need to open that can of worms again!
cut the hole horizontal in the wall & mount them, that'll solve the problem.

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