It's an age-old argument that has been going on since the NEMA 5-20R grounding receptacle came into being: do you orient the receptacle with the ground pin up or the ground pin down?
There are valid reasons for both methods:
- Ground pin should be UP because if something falls between the plug and the receptacle, it is less likely to hit the hot pin
- Ground pin should be DOWN because some right-angle plugs are optimized for this orientation
- Ground pin should be UP because some right-angle plugs are optimized for this orientation
- Ground pin should be DOWN because the printing on the yoke of the receptacle indicates this orientation
- Ground pin should be UP because it provides better support for most plugs (excepting #2 above)
- Ground pin should be DOWN because the wife thinks it should look like a little face
I find that reason #6 is the most commonly cited.
Anyway, the purpose of my post is to relate that at my church's annual campout this weekend, the fairgrounds where we were staying had an outdoor stage (which we did not use). On the stage back wall were two "range plug" receptacles (NEMA 10-50R).
Now I've found that most range plugs are built so that the cord exits at a right angle to the pins on the side OPPOSITE the ground pin. This means that for the cord to hang down, the pin should be UP. Being an outdoor stage, the receptacles were equipped with weather-resistant covers, hinged at the top. Now on this stage, the receptacles were installed with the ground pin down (in the "wife says it must make a face" orientation). This means that the cord would go upward, and run into the cover. Since an 8 AWG 3-wire cord is not particularly flexible, you'd never be able to plug in because the cover would be in the way. Sure enough, someone had flipped the cover on one of the receptacles, so it hinged down. That solved the immediate problem but introduced others: the cover is only weathertight with the hinge at the top, and now with the cord extending upward, there is undue strain on the cord, plug, and receptacle.