Tap to unmute

Power outlets are topsy turvy - but does it matter?

  • Publicado em 25 Set 2023
  • The answer may surprise you!
    Here's that follow-up I talked about at the end
    • Tamper-resistant outle...
    Technology Connections on Mastodon:
    This channel is supported through viewer contributions on Patreon. Thanks to the generous support of people like you, Technology Connections has remained independent and possible. If you'd like to join the amazing people who've pledged their support, check out the link below. Thank you for your consideration!
    / technologyconnections
  • Ciência e tecnologiaCiência e tecnologia

Comentários • 9 mil

  • @TechnologyConnections
    @TechnologyConnections  2 meses atrás +4364


    • @hdkdhdodhdnddjfkfjfofkfofo1453
      @hdkdhdodhdnddjfkfjfofkfofo1453 2 meses atrás +19


    • @indiepyx
      @indiepyx 2 meses atrás +124


    • @seanvinsick5271
      @seanvinsick5271 2 meses atrás +31

      Ugh. I can't watch this right now. There is nothing in code. Arguments for both orientations. People have specifically asked nec for a policy and they have outright refused.

    • @mysticmarble94
      @mysticmarble94 2 meses atrás +14


    • @xanthirus
      @xanthirus 2 meses atrás +7

      The right angle plug on my AC is upside down, debating rotating the outlet so the cable doesnt go straight up, but I rent. Could my landlord get mad at me for such a simple procedure? I have access to the breakers so there isnt an access issue.

  • @Valacosa
    @Valacosa 2 meses atrás +2567

    It was legit shocking to hear "I DON'T CARE" from the man who made videos about the colour of turn signals, the perfect warm Christmas lights, did a deep dive on different lantern technologies...
    I just didn't know Alec had it in him!

    • @mcspikesky
      @mcspikesky 2 meses atrás +61

      You must not drive or have never driven without Amber indicator lights/turn signals..

    • @pseudotasuki
      @pseudotasuki 2 meses atrás +128

      He's 100% right about turn signal color. If anything, he's too calm about it.

    • @Big_Loo
      @Big_Loo 2 meses atrás +25

      Or the video complaining that he can't get turn signals to sync up on old cars.

    • @12many4you
      @12many4you 2 meses atrás +12

      He really shattered my expectations this time

    • @batt3ryac1d
      @batt3ryac1d 2 meses atrás +30

      I do fuckin hate those brake light coloured indicators on American cars 😅 so annoying.

  • @Flutters_Shygal
    @Flutters_Shygal Mês atrás +166

    This video made me realize how much safer the European plugs and sockets are. For example: the sockets are recessed into the wall by a fair amount, right angle plugs are pretty common, and designed to be much beefier and in a way that they can be stacked one above the other. Some even have a ring to pull on to make removal easy

    • @jhoughjr1
      @jhoughjr1 Mês atrás +9

      Yes people have been dying like flies here in the US my entire life. SAVE US EUROPE!!! or maybe at some point safety is a waste.

    • @terrylandess6072
      @terrylandess6072 Mês atrás +4

      The smaller the manufacturing and supply of a given product, the easier it is to make changes in that industry. Progress is stifled by over supply of older engineering/tech.

    • @cambridgemart2075
      @cambridgemart2075 Mês atrás +15

      @@terrylandess6072 So are you suggesting Europe has fewer power outlets than the USA?

    • @terrylandess6072
      @terrylandess6072 Mês atrás +8

      @@cambridgemart2075 So are you suggesting that I'm suggesting something that I never said or implied? My statement is in relation to the ability to make changes to commonly used objects for local use. IF anything, it's a compliment to Europe for being more flexible. Take the bait elsewhere.

  • @koyaan1sqatsi
    @koyaan1sqatsi Mês atrás +168

    My kids were attracted to the faces in the wall outlets when they were very young. Putting the ground prong on the top would solve that. In related news, some brilliant company decided it would be better to make the child protective covers clear, so the outlets STILL looked like faces. The opaque white ones were the most effective at keeping tiny fingers off of the funny faces on the walls.

    • @terrylandess6072
      @terrylandess6072 Mês atrás +7

      It wouldn't have stopped my brother from noticing a breeze coming from it, blowing back into it and getting a minor spittle shock - ah the memories of youth. When you mention kid-proof I wonder if that's why very old doors were designed with the door handle out of a child's reach which is where electrical outlets should be.

    • @MarkoDash
      @MarkoDash 28 dias atrás +12

      telling them it's a screaming face because that's the face they'll be making if they mess with it.

    • @teaser6089
      @teaser6089 23 dias atrás +4

      When growing up I though that European plugs, mainly talking about Dutch and Germany here, it's called the Type F plug if you are interested uses a side-ground, which means there are two ground strips on either side of the socket, which fit into cutouts on the plugs. Which means that can fit in the socket in two ways.
      Also interesting to note that the Type E with a ground pin in the socket and a ground hole in the plug is more comonly used in Belgium and France, but most devices now a days have a Type E/F plug that will fit both sockets and makes it very convient.
      We also have a special child safety socket that basically works by pressing a plug against the socket, turning it a quarter turn and then pressing through.
      This contraption is really effective at preventing children from well trying to put stuff into it, it is also effective at preventing you from plugging in your charger at night 😂
      But luckily you can buy kits that just stick onto existing sockets to make them child proof, which you can remove once your children are passed the age of putting things to see what happes haha.
      Americans tend to look at Europe as the "old world" and as "old fashioned" but there is a good reason why most nations addopt EU standards and see the proof mark of Made in Europe / Made to European Standards as a true hallmark of quality and why the "Made in USA" has really fallen from the most desired to "better than Made in China".
      Which isn't caused by US products getting worse, but mostly by US standards really not having changed in the last few decades, with the exception of really agregious lack of standards in some industries.
      And if the US and US citizens want to reclaim their market leading position and be able to dictate standards across the world, you guys have to start demanding change, cause the rest of the world isn't gonna keep waiting for US regulators to catch up forever :)

    • @malice6081
      @malice6081 2 dias atrás

      I had to remove a clear one from an outlet we hadn’t used for many years. And I had to use a flathead to pry it out because it had gotten stuck to the outlet.

  • @jasonbagwell5522
    @jasonbagwell5522 Mês atrás +82

    I’m an electrician of many years exp (I’m lvl 47) and I must tell you, I have never even meet anyone who has been troubled by the very singular and specific safety scenarios in your vid. And you’re quite right about the NEC; even article 517 only goes as far as tamper resistance in pediatric facilities.
    Throw knives at the wall does sound enticing though.

    • @maxwelllewis4486
      @maxwelllewis4486 10 dias atrás +1

      The CEC now requires TR for all buildings of residential occupancy, because children often live in homes.

    • @MAGAMAN
      @MAGAMAN 5 horas atrás +1

      The whole thing is an issue made up by some idiot who probably gets paid to make up nonexistent problems. In fact, the whole tamper resistant requirement is another non-issue probably legislated by someone who takes money from a company that would make a lot of money by forcing everyone to replace all their outlets. Even GFCI is a solution for a problem most people don't have. In my 50+ years on this planet, I have never had and never known anyone who would have benefited from any of these now mandated devices.

    • @MAGAMAN
      @MAGAMAN 5 horas atrás

      @@maxwelllewis4486 Not in my house they don't.

  • @jonray8429
    @jonray8429 Mês atrás +116

    As a writing professor, I'm always delighted with your scripts. Thanks for the effort you put into these videos - they're always informative and well executed!

  • @timetraveller6643
    @timetraveller6643 Mês atrás +26

    TOPIC SUGGESTION: There was a portable mini refrigeration device powered by a paraffin stove in the early 20th century called a "Crosley IcyBall". It had no moving parts and consisted of two chambers with water and ammonia. I was amazed at how simple its function.

  • @evilsock420
    @evilsock420 2 meses atrás +2875

    As a former " throw the knives at the wall" champion, I am absolutely shocked at how the world has taken the sport over the past few years.

    • @rays7805
      @rays7805 2 meses atrás +37

      Pun intended!

    • @OsX86H3AvY
      @OsX86H3AvY 2 meses atrás +82

      champion where exactly? I went to state and didnt see ya? i went to the nationals and you werent there? i was throwing knives at walls in effin luxembourg and were you around? nope. I CALL BS. BOO THIS FRAUD.
      i might be thinking of volleyball....but just in case BOO HIM ANYWAY

    • @dhillaz
      @dhillaz 2 meses atrás +86

      ​@@OsX86H3AvYI saw him at the nationals, when he made that final throw the atmosphere was electric

    • @KairuHakubi
      @KairuHakubi 2 meses atrás +30

      And as a compulsive yardstick-wall-rester, i'm terrified nobody knows the technical term for it is "Mustardcatching"

    • @infinitybeyond6357
      @infinitybeyond6357 2 meses atrás +9

      rewind for your pleasure @7:42

  • @erichd9460
    @erichd9460 Mês atrás +59

    One thing I thought he should mention is the fact that two grounded right-angle plugs are impossible to use on the same outlet. This is why I think duplex receptacles should be installed horizontally (as compared to the current installation), but with the ground pins facing out on either side.

    • @mh98177
      @mh98177 Mês atrás +9

      In my experience big right angle plugs for things like portable ac units block the second plug on purpose. The reason being that the one load is close enough to tripping the breaker that they don’t want you adding any more load to that circuit.

    • @erichd9460
      @erichd9460 Mês atrás +3

      @@mh98177 You’re right about overload protection, however, I have some light duty extension cords that do the same thing. Good point though!

    • @emryspaperart
      @emryspaperart Mês atrás +7

      why would you not do what we do in the uk and have them side by side and facing so both wires go downwards lmfao

    • @peytonblanscet6035
      @peytonblanscet6035 Mês atrás +2

      That's why I like the 45° ones he mentioned. Best of both worlds.

    • @Lronhoyabembe
      @Lronhoyabembe Mês atrás +1

      @@mh98177 That's a very unlikely reason, considering circuit breakers are almost always connected to multiple outlets, simply allowing you to overload the circuit by plugging into them instead.
      It's far more likely because ACs (generally) have integrated GFCI nowadays and are made to be durable.

  • @celeronceleron5595
    @celeronceleron5595 Mês atrás +6

    My mother got a new refrigerator ( a long time ago ) with a right angle plug with the ground pin on top. She told me to flip the outlet. Of course having worked in the field I just had to have the quite common gall to 'properly' inform her that's impossible. She called me a liar and 'questioned' my professionalism, so we entered into a spittle blowing contest which I decided to end about a half hour later by pulling the refrigerator out and scalding her about her impossible dream scape! But I didn't say anything as I quieted down humbly and went outside to my truck to get my toolbox. When I unplugged the refrigerator and looked unbelievably at it sure enough the ground pin was on top.
    The first moral of the story is sometimes you run across the strangest most bizarre things. And moral number two is, sometimes the impossible happens and mother is right about something in your chosen profession.

    • @k.b.tidwell6910
      @k.b.tidwell6910 3 dias atrás +1

      My mother-in-law is a self-taught medical diagnostician like that. I feel you.

  • @kevinmalone4341
    @kevinmalone4341 Mês atrás +52

    Former electrician here. My opinion on it is that if you step on a cord and pull the plug out of the wall, the ground plug will be the last thing to come out if it's in the classic orientation. That'll give you more protection from a serious shock, even if the risk of a minor shock is higher.

    • @Gruntled2001
      @Gruntled2001 Mês atrás +3

      A listed receptacle will not let this easily happen. Ground prong contacts in a receptacle are closer to the face of the recept, and the ground prong is longer, too, so, regardless of orientation, it will break contact last. Yes, I know, people are banned for these discussions over at ET or Mike Holt's forums.

    • @R3_Live
      @R3_Live 21 dia atrás

      I don't think I believe that is true though. Considering how much longer the ground prong is, I don't think there is any orientation that would result in the ground being first to fall out in the event of an accident.

    • @gypsy6211
      @gypsy6211 6 dias atrás

      Think about it for a second. How do you get shocked. You need a complete path. That means voltage must have some place to go. With no ground path, no shock. You can literally put a finger on a live circuit and feel nothing other than a slight tingle, unless you are somehow grounded. Which is exactly the same as being grounded and touching a hot. Must have a path.
      Having a grounded outlet where the ground prong increases the likelihood of remaining connected only increases the likelihood of getting actually shocked by accident as you become the connecting conduit.

  • @Secretcircuits
    @Secretcircuits 16 dias atrás +2

    As an electrician, I will always try to install the outlets ground pin up if there’s ever a metal faceplate. I’ve seen metal plates blow up when the little screw gets loose and the plate shorts across L-N

  • @humvee2ooi
    @humvee2ooi Mês atrás +56

    As an electrician I'd just like to thank you for this video. I work with so many guys that insist on putting the ground up. It's just annoying. I've even had a few insist that putting the ground up is code. I always offer to give them a 100 dollar bill if they can give me the specific reference. Nobody has been able to give me one yet 😂

    • @dieson7538
      @dieson7538 Mês atrás +5

      I only put them ground up when the plans called for it. You are right there is no code for this but some guys will insist there is.

    • @mh98177
      @mh98177 Mês atrás

      I know it’s not in NFPA 70 but I think there’s a code specific to hospitals and it might be in there?

    • @esamottawa
      @esamottawa Mês atrás +1

      My in-laws AC unit had a 90° plug, but the outlet had ground up. I had to flip the plug when I discovered that tripping hazard.

    • @terrylandess6072
      @terrylandess6072 Mês atrás +8

      Isn't it funny how this one isolated detail gives insight to how information is spread, accepted, and then preached as gospel? Magnify that by the world . . . . .

  • @Xanthelei
    @Xanthelei Mês atrás +219

    What I took away from this is the correct, best orientation is "Sideways, with ground plugs on opposite sides from each other so two right angle plugs can be used together" and I'm all for this idea personally.

    • @josiahferrell5022
      @josiahferrell5022 Mês atrás +20

      Why opposite sides? Why not just upright(ground pin down) but side by side, like 2 faces next to each other?

    • @Xanthelei
      @Xanthelei Mês atrás +5

      @josiahferrell5022 that would work too, though I'm not sure which would be harder to wire up. Iirc the wires plug into the sides of the sockets, and by having then next to each other you run the risk of a short or having electricity arc. If they're just flipped from each other the wires wouldn't be closer than if they both faced the same way.

    • @terrylandess6072
      @terrylandess6072 Mês atrás +4

      Some right angle plugs are now being designed with a 45* orientation to the vertical of 'stacked' outlets. I like these.

    • @Coconut-219
      @Coconut-219 Mês atrás +9

      Sort of reminds me of the 'specialty' housings I've seen in places like professional kitchens & chemistry labs which are intended to be installed "sideways" - so the plugs are side-by-side instead of over-under, but oriented upright.

    • @KaityKat117
      @KaityKat117 Mês atrás

      This is what we need!

  • @TulaneAve
    @TulaneAve Mês atrás +3

    As someone who does a lot of electrical repairs in older homes, the biggest liability I see is what's going on inside the box....and the worn out receptacles.

  • @jacobhefner3558
    @jacobhefner3558 Mês atrás +9

    I was taught that an 'upside down' plug was usually controlled by a separate switch. Usually specific to a floor lamp. More so common in older homes that didn't have built in lighting

    • @tkefan29
      @tkefan29 27 dias atrás

      He mentioned that in his video on switched outlets if I remember correctly

    • @coolsnake1134
      @coolsnake1134 24 dias atrás

      What do you mean older homes that don't have ceiling lighting? I've seen more older homes with ceiling lighting. Then I've seen brand new homes and yes when there's only one outlet upside down in a room. It usually means it's controlled by a switch. It's not in the code but it's a go- to unofficial method

  • @bmw5002
    @bmw5002 Mês atrás +38

    Experienced this firsthand a few weeks back. Had a photo printed on an aluminum sheet fall down the wall and hit the hot and neutral (something was plugged in and not completely inserted as it pretty common). Sparks flew for a split second - the breaker did it’s job but the picture received some indentations and the outlet received a nice black mark on it 😅

    • @osmium6832
      @osmium6832 7 dias atrás +2

      Oh my god. There's this company called Displate that sponsors several people on BRclip and Twitch so I hear it advertised occasionally. They are thin metal plates with artwork on them. If the adhesive failed and it slid straight down the wall instead of falling forward, it'd be in prime position to slap right into an outlet underneath like you just described. The whole "thin metal object falling onto the pins of a power plug" scenario goes from "extremely unlikely" to "happens somewhere every day" if everyone had these Displates and outlets weren't oriented ground-side up. Maybe the Displate lobby in Congress is trying to future-proof their product by reorienting our outlets!

    • @WayneTheSeine
      @WayneTheSeine 3 dias atrás

      I have witnessed something similar with a wire coathanger. Granted, most hangers now days are plastic, unless you get your clothes done at a cleaners. Molten balls of steel on a carpet or rug might not cause a fire....might not.

    • @MAGAMAN
      @MAGAMAN 5 horas atrás +1

      I'm calling bullshit. The outlet cover plate would have deflected the picture away, unless the outlet was massively unplugged, in which case, you are an idiot for leaving it like that.

    • @WayneTheSeine
      @WayneTheSeine 2 horas atrás

      @@MAGAMAN Typical critical thinking of a "MAGAMAN." Can't even start to imagine it falling any other way but straight down...right against the wall. We come to expect narrow points of view from MAGA.

  • @ondrejscholz9537
    @ondrejscholz9537 Mês atrás +23

    This design always seemed to me like it's from 18th century. It's interesting how intricate the design in Europe is not only from safty point of view but also it's compatibility because even though the cord is the same there are different types of plugs used in different countries.

    • @pavook
      @pavook Mês atrás +9

      Yep. These plugs seems like the ones made for appliances in 1950s... Straight, no bumbs on plastic, nothing to grip it on, just awful design.

    • @teaser6089
      @teaser6089 23 dias atrás +1

      The Type E and Type F plugs are most common in western Europe.
      Luckily we invented the Type E/F plug that will fit in both sockets and has 3 ground connections to work grounded in both sockets :D
      And the nice thing is that the designs aren't that intricate, at least not to produce, the costs of mass production of Type E/F plugs and their sockets compared to American counterparts will be at most a couple cents more, whilst being a superior product in safety, ease of use and well in my opinion looks.

    • @johnwang9914
      @johnwang9914 13 dias atrás

      It's really the UK plugs where a lot of thought to safety was given except for the an unplugged plug acting as a caltrop. The plugs in most of Europe are really no better.
      Unfortunately, the current plug in North America is very well entrenched in the market and regardless of the fact that better alternatives exist, we're unlikely to change now. Just the conversion from two prong plug to the three prong plug was remarkable. Now, maybe adding an insulated sleeve near the plug might be doable as contact would still be made deeper in and later outlets can be updated with such that by the time the conductors are actually exposed, electrical contact has been broken. A small step to being safe but something that can be done with backwards compatibility. Rotating the plug so the ground pin is up may help but you're dependent on people and the wide variety of plugs so just rotating is only a partial and intermittent benefit. Of course local regulations and consistency or rather inconsistency of enforcement is an issue. My parents tried having the electrician install the basement plugs sideways and the city inspector would have none of it despite the electrician thinking it was within code (which was probably wrong too). That usually applies to the ground pin too, an inspector may object to ground pin up.
      I'd like to see the insulated sleeves and deep electrical contacts in the receptacle but the ground pin up doesn't seem like enough of a benefit and a lot of variable trouble with inspectors. Now the UK also uses the ground pin to even open doors to the other two connectors, that seems a bit complex and prone to broken plastic doors so I don't see all the good features of the UK plug making their way across the pond and I think we'll be very lucky if the insulated sleeves comes over.

  • @Blamoo2
    @Blamoo2 Mês atrás +7

    Also, in the event of a flood, having the ground pin pointing down gives you some millimeters of additional safety before water touches your precious hot wires.

  • @7tkh
    @7tkh 2 meses atrás +567

    For an Austrian engineer like me, your wall socket videos are always so entertaining!
    I constantly go back and forward from "wow, how crappy and dangerous are these" to "well, it´s only a 110 volts" :D

    • @migueldelmazo5244
      @migueldelmazo5244 2 meses atrás +70

      For an American like me, I'm just happy to know that your country doesn't have kangaroos and Foster's beer.
      Man, my countrymen suck at geography. :)
      Bitte habt ein tolles Oktoberfest

    • @angelbear_og
      @angelbear_og 2 meses atrás +18

      Ha! As an American electric consumer I do the same! (dangerous/only 110v) 😆

    • @renakunisaki
      @renakunisaki 2 meses atrás +25

      @@migueldelmazo5244 I actually read it as Australian and got confused

    • @snik2pl
      @snik2pl 2 meses atrás

      Exacly this but in europe. Only 110v

    • @DerHeitzer
      @DerHeitzer 2 meses atrás +6

      I couldn't care less, I live in Europe.

  • @KismetBP
    @KismetBP Mês atrás +10

    Right angle plugs is the first thing I thought of at the start of this video. Nailed it. I use a ton of them. When I first moved in to my house I noticed all the plugs where “upside Down” from what I was use to as a Kid. So I had them all swapped. Now I learn ground up actually has a purpose. Still super annoying when plugging in a nightlight for the family or using right angle plugs. 😂 Great video. ❤🤘

    • @Kythyria
      @Kythyria 13 dias atrás +2

      In britain, *all* plugs are right angle, I suspect so that you can't yank them out by the cord, which of course is not advisable for any sort of cable.

    • @lukasg4807
      @lukasg4807 2 dias atrás

      I actually have a portable AC unit with a right angle plug where the ground is at the top

  • @theletsplayer9503
    @theletsplayer9503 10 dias atrás +1

    Honestly, outlets to the side along with right angle plugs seem to be the best scenario.
    Not only is it a bit harder for the plugs to dislodge, but their wires would hang downwards AND you can plug multiple in at a time without them bending around each other

  • @MistyMikes
    @MistyMikes Mês atrás +5

    Ooh, thanks for covering this! The guys at various jobs I've worked have debated this endlessly because everyone has been told by an electrician at some point that one or the other is "code." Nice to know that there isn't actually any code related to this.
    I hadn't thought about right-angle plugs (probably because they just don't seem to be that common on devices I own, with the exception of extension cords and power strips), but I do prefer them. Especially the 45-degree angled ones.

    • @kevinmalone4341
      @kevinmalone4341 Mês atrás +2

      It's not code, but some specifications may have the desired orientation listed by the owner or electrical engineer. One way or another, it should be consistent across all plugs on the site.

    • @MistyMikes
      @MistyMikes Mês atrás +2

      @@kevinmalone4341 The sites where this has come up were largely 70-year-old apartments in areas of Texas where code enforcement has always been spotty to begin with. We're lucky if everything is grounded correctly. It's just guys mansplaining shit that doesn't matter because they don't have anything better to pretend to be knowledgable about. :)

  • @NephiylusBaphson
    @NephiylusBaphson 22 dias atrás

    Furthermore, I think the outlets should be side by side horizontally rather than one on top of the other vertically. That way it would be easier to default to 90 degree plugs and would be so much nicer to organize and even lable.

  • @JeSuisNerd
    @JeSuisNerd Mês atrás +12

    While it certainly wasn't life-threatening or even particularly messy, I've had a dime slip off a ledge behind a night light, where it landed perfectly and made a huge arc that charred the cover plate and a bit of wall. Of course the breaker did its job but that was a good scare.

  • @RobBulmahn
    @RobBulmahn 2 meses atrás +1159

    15:12 Not only does the 45° angle mean you can put two plugs in adjacent sockets in an outlet, it also works if those two sockets are side-by-side instead of stacked! I really wish more plugs came like this; it makes things so much tidier.

    • @Mr.Morden
      @Mr.Morden 2 meses atrás +53

      Me too, I really appreciate a 45 degree angle plug. I can move my furniture closer to the wall without having to worry about smashing a cable and starting a fire. It should be the default plug style without question.

    • @maxhalsall2323
      @maxhalsall2323 2 meses atrás +22

      Side by side is pretty much all you see in the uk due to the nature of the cable coming from the plugs extending below them.

    • @DreamingCrare
      @DreamingCrare 2 meses atrás +14

      or buy 45° degree angle outlets. So you don't need to care so much about who manufactures the cord.

    • @Xerofyt
      @Xerofyt 2 meses atrás +24

      Here in schuko-land it's common for power strips to have 45° angles for their sockets so you can use 4-8 right angle plugs without interference. Wall sockets are usually vertical, unlike the UK with their giant fuse box/plug hybrids, but it's less of an issue since neither socket or plug has an up or down orientation and the plugs are much more securely held than the US ones (sockets that actually use the retaining bar holes excepted, not that I ever encountered one when I lived in California).

    • @ImDemonAlchemist
      @ImDemonAlchemist 2 meses atrás +11

      But then it's annoying to use when the cord points away from where you want it to go.

  • @alyssa2796
    @alyssa2796 Mês atrás +2

    All of the outlets in my house are installed upside down, because my dad installed them and he thought about the little stuff. It keeps loose plugs from falling out and has actually been really helpful in some awkward plug situations. I appreciate it and found it inconvenient when they’re right side up in other house I’m in.

  • @OrdinaryWorld
    @OrdinaryWorld Mês atrás +1

    I have less of an issue with the socket orientation, and more of a problem with straight plugs in preference to the superior right-angle plugs. That said, although it's too late now, I do wish that manufacturers had supported the ground-at-top socket when designing their plugs. But then I'm originally from the UK where they have quite simply the best plug-socket design combo ever ;) Now there's a video for you... Large format, ground at top, insulated pins, switched outlet, fused plugs... you'd have a field day, Alec!

  • @cliff0889
    @cliff0889 Mês atrás +6

    The amount of stuff you have gotten to care about and passionately watch your videos is a testament to your awesomeness. Thank you, sir.

  • @tooltime9260
    @tooltime9260 17 dias atrás +1

    The shorting out problem if the plug wiggles away from the wall a tiny bit was solved with UK used plugs. Those have a section next to the body that's (black) insulated, so if it does wiggle out, there's still no chance for shock. I like their plugs. They're robust, sturdy and eliminate any guesswork as to if they're in all the way or not. The body is large enough to grab securely and they're right angle too, PLUS they have a switch on the plate. Nice!

  • @TheOtherDave
    @TheOtherDave Mês atrás +8

    A little off this topic but... I'd love to see your ideas on battery charging (Cell phones, laptops, AA's) and the best tactics for battery longevity. :) I do not know where else to put this request/notice. I love your channels and I hope you enjoy making these as much as we enjoy them. :)

    • @tomcline7530
      @tomcline7530 Mês atrás +3

      For Lithium, you want to stay as close to nominal voltage as possible (50-60%) for storage and reducing max/min charge can make a big difference on longevity. For instance, 90%-10% instead of 100-0 is supposed to provide a lot more cycles at the expense of a little capacity. Voltages further from the nominal voltage will cause more chemical degradation and accelerate battery wear. Heat likewise accelerates battery breakdown and loss of capacity.
      Decent Nimh rechargeable cells will benefit from the same basic principles but they're less prone to wear and sudden failure than Lithium in my experience. LiPo cells found in modern cell phones and laptops are all trash anyway and will die in 2 years or less no matter what you do. Lead-acid only really degrades at low charge so the goal is minimize their time spent below 50%.

    • @marcusborderlands6177
      @marcusborderlands6177 Mês atrás +1

      In the case of modern phones, ignore the pipe who say to not use fast charging, the manufacturers solved that issue ages ago. Mkbhd has a video on this if you want more info.

  • @jeffreyrodman
    @jeffreyrodman Mês atrás +315

    Electronic engineer here, 50 years experience. This is an excellent video and explains a number of questions I've had about why plug designs are as they are. Suggestion: clarify what shocks are uncomfortable vs. those that could be life-threatening. If a momentary shock is across one finger or between two fingers on the same hand, it's educational. If it's between two hands and so passes through the chest, that could be a more terminal education.

    • @matthewarmstrong3678
      @matthewarmstrong3678 Mês atrás +24

      I'm stealing the term "terminal education" 😂😂😂

    • @nancylindsay4255
      @nancylindsay4255 Mês atrás +2

      I was told that the ground prong should be on the bottom because when the plug tilted down the ground would still be fully in, preventing shock. Is that correct?

    • @pt8306
      @pt8306 Mês atrás +7

      @@nancylindsay4255 ground pins don't prevent shock. They only trip the breaker when the shock does occur.

    • @Eargesplitten-Loudenboomer
      @Eargesplitten-Loudenboomer Mês atrás +8

      @@nancylindsay4255 A common misconception is that the ground prevents shock, it's more of a "signal wire" that detects potential to ground. Let's say your toaster is damaged, the metal body shouldn't become electrified because it's grounded. So if you plug it in the breaker should trip.

    • @mattc.542
      @mattc.542 Mês atrás +6

      My impression is that the ground pin is typically grounds the metal chassis. So, if there is a short, it has a lower resistance connection to ground vs., for example, a human body touching the outside of the metal toaster.
      This has the effect of tripping the breaker, only because the lower resistance connection to ground causes the amperage draw to go beyond the rating of the breaker... however, the idea of the separate ground is to given the AC power lower resistance path to ground than the human body.

  • @brianbbrianbrian
    @brianbbrianbrian Mês atrás +3

    Often by the engineer's specifications for a building, ground up are standard in utility rooms and institutional environments, except where the device requires it to be ground down. This is to keep the cords from falling out, cause the ground is a longer pin and helps hold it in. If this was the cord to your ventilator in a hospital you'll be happy to have them plugged in ground up. Ground down is standard in homes, and public living spaces because of aesthetics, and right angle plugs reflect that aesthetic in low clearance appliances (like behind the fridge). People like ground down cause it looks like a little face. People don't want to buy homes if the plugs are "upside down". People are weird.
    Loose metal face plates falling on the prongs is a reason I have heard to keep the ground or neutral up. The hot up configuration that is your apparent standard makes no sense to me.... but nor does ground down.
    Only code rule in the CEC is that the plug can not be facing up, like mounted in a floor or countertop where it can collect dust. That's why countertop plugs on islands are tucked away under the countertop.

    • @coolsnake1134
      @coolsnake1134 24 dias atrás

      That's interesting, is there an exception in the Canadian code for the floor outlet kits that have those? Usually brass spring loaded or screw in protector covers? Or are people just stuck running extension cords across the room for putting the lamp at the opposite end of the sofa?

    • @coolsnake1134
      @coolsnake1134 24 dias atrás

      Because in the US we are allowed to put outlets in the floors. They just have to be installed with a cover that's designed for use on a floor in order to protect the outlet from dust and more importantly cleaning products. You see him a lot, usually in large open living rooms where you would not want to run a cord for a lamp that's next to the couch all the way to the wall and in commercial you might encounter them in retail environments. So that way the cords can be tucked away under the shelves and you don't have to run the wire mold towers up to the ceiling in order to plug in displays or display lighting, think the Apple store you don't see towers going up from the tables to the ceiling to plug in the chargers and networking

  • @winteringgoose
    @winteringgoose 25 dias atrás

    YES! I've said this for years about the right-angle plugs. The electrician who did our house put them all "right-side up" over my very loud protestations, with him insisting it was in the electrical code when I knew otherwise. Now I'm dealing with droopy wrong-way cords all the time....

  • @mattbartley2843
    @mattbartley2843 Mês atrás +1

    I did actually once (that I remember) troubleshoot a receptacle that got zapped by FOD (foreign object debris).
    It was a receptacle built in to the floor, and it being in a messy industrial control room, a piece of wire got kicked around until it found its way into the receptacle.
    I don't remember if it was because of a cord being loose, or because the wire found an empty receptacle.
    Given that there are *never* enough receptacles, I'd guess it wasn't an empty receptacle.
    BTW, I gather the proper term is "receptacle", but I usually hear them called "outlets" or "plug-ins".

  • @mooncowtube
    @mooncowtube 25 dias atrás +6

    Here's something else you guys could work on, along with making right-angle plugs the default: make including a ground pin the default too! The plug could have a ground pin even when the flex doesn't have a ground wire in it -- it'll help make the plug hold in the outlet more robustly, and would enable outlets to have shields over the live contacts that the ground pin pushes away. You know, the way we make them in countries where the plugs always DO have a ground pin...

  • @johnp139
    @johnp139 11 dias atrás

    Yes, that actually happened to me…ONCE, IN OVER 55 YEARS!!! When I was around 10 years old, a pair (is it really a pair) of scissors fell off of my bed headboard and hit the plug that was slightly exposing the prongs of the plug, causing a momentary arching. I can’t remember if this broke the breaker, since it was like 45 years ago, but I remember seeing grooves in the plug due to the “welding effect“. Very improbable event, but quite fascinating!

  • @Sprchkn
    @Sprchkn 2 meses atrás +255

    This reminds me of my dorm room in college where a horizontal metal shelf hanger was installed right above an outlet. If my roommate and I weren't careful, the plug blades would short out on the support and trip the breaker for our side of the hall. Inevitably it happened one evening when one of our hallmates was typing up a paper he inexplicably hadn't saved in over an hour. We could hear him screaming two doors down.

    • @watashiandroid8314
      @watashiandroid8314 Mês atrás +20

      From experience, I bet the paper turned out better the second time around anyway.

    • @rjgaynor8
      @rjgaynor8 Mês atrás +14

      Lol. You just reminded me when I had something similar happen in my old dorm back 20 years ago (fuck it’s been that long). Our dorms electricity could barely handle a toaster let alone a microwave. The electricity was set up that a block, which is 6 dorms, all shared 1 circuit. And it was known that if you wanted to use a real microwave in your dorm and to a refrigerator microwave, you had to be sure no one else was using anything with a high draw. Enter finals week, which for my school meant coffee, coffee and more coffee, did I mention there was a lot of coffee. Almost every room had a coffee maker going because we had no place to buy a cup of coffee. 1 guy had brought in a smallish microwave. The stars aligned one night as his entire block had turned on their coffee makers and computers (desktops were very common then) and he turned on his microwave. 2 guys were working on their final papers and lost a lot of progress. The situation devolved and the guy with the microwave got hurt pretty bad.

    • @bustergundo516
      @bustergundo516 Mês atrás +2

      ​@@rjgaynor8 oof.

  • @manabouthome
    @manabouthome 13 dias atrás

    Great job! This is the most comprehensive video I've seen about this topic. However, it didn't address code making, product manufacturing, or standards committees influence on these questions. All of these products are also subject to manufacturing process limitations. And the astronomical costs of making even small changes to these designs. The best idea may be to provide GFCI protection for every receptacle circuit. And the NEC has done a lot toward making that happen.

  • @jamesphillipsjr
    @jamesphillipsjr Mês atrás

    A while back I finished my basement and oriented those outlets ground-up for the same technicalities mentioned. The rest of the house was built with ground-down outlets. Basement looked weird but it was usable. UNTILL as you pointed out... As soon as I added my first right angle plugged power strip I knew this was not going to last. I switch every basement outlet back to ground-down orientation.
    Personally I find another outlet feature MUCH more frustrating. Tramper Proofed outlets typically yield the most explicative language from me. Oh you have a video on that too :)

  • @DaWrecka
    @DaWrecka Mês atrás +1

    Fun fact; here in the UK, *all* of our plugs are, compared to USA plugs, upside-down and right-angled. That is; according to BS 1363, our ground pins are always at the top of the socket, and - assuming it's not a brick or similar, in which case all bets are off - pulling downwards, perpendicular to the wall. Some appliances that don't need to be grounded don't have a metal ground pin - but they still must *have* a ground pin, even if it's just plastic, because unless there's something in the ground pin's slot depressing the mechanism, the live and neutral pin slots are closed by shutters. Oh, and our live and neutral pins are always sleeved. All of these are statutory requirements, to the point where you literally can't sell any electrical appliance that doesn't meet these criteria - even if you're a second-hand charity shop handling a donated appliance that pre-dated the standards. You either have to replace the plug or you can't legally sell the appliance.
    On the other hand it's also more important for our sockets to be safe, because our mains standard is 240V compared to the US's 120V. Bad as it might be to get shocked by 120V mains, somehow I think the results are more likely to be catastrophic at 240V.

  • @the_psychedelic_lucario

    I have experienced the exposed blades issue first hand. A power strip was plugged into an extension cord on the floor. The power strip was metal with edges that stuck out on the bottom. It got moved slightly and a large flash of electricity and smoke came out of the contact point, and the lights went out from circuit breaking. It scared the crap out of us!
    Also outlets with ground on top are ugly! They look out of place.
    You are totally right about right angle cords! I like how you can back furnature up to them also. The only thing is, power strips need to be made with sideways outlets to accommodate them and some wall worts.

  • @cetomedo
    @cetomedo 3 dias atrás

    The problem with right-angle plugs is that if their directions are universalized (like how its usually downwards from a "face" oriented plug for you guys) putting two is impossible if they aren't facing sideways or a 45 degree angle. Right now, that's most right angle plugs, and they do block things quite badly. That 45 degree plug you showed seems like a great idea though, I must say.

  • @JoshZanders
    @JoshZanders 2 meses atrás +301

    As a remodeling contractor, I can confirm that the tape-measure scenario is a.) real, and b.) will scare the pants off you. 😅 I almost welded my tape to an uncovered live outlet once, and it still has a sharp notch in the blade that I have to watch out for.

    • @VUQuadrophenia
      @VUQuadrophenia 2 meses atrás +19

      This was my introduction to this issue as well. Scared the heck out of me at the time.

    • @nyanpasu64_
      @nyanpasu64_ 2 meses atrás +2

      Is it worth covering the notch with packing tape?

    • @SmallSpoonBrigade
      @SmallSpoonBrigade 2 meses atrás +8

      Yes, but with changes to circuit breaker design, is that even a problem that's going to exist in 50 years? Even today, I don't see this being a particularly common problem to have. Between the GFCI and AFCI being mandated, Fresh Princing the outlet doesn't really do anything that the advanced features don't do better. Then there's AFCI that's likely to be incorporated in every single circuit at some point, rather than just the relatively long list of rooms that it's currently required for.
      You'd likely get far more safety out of making it easier to replace loose outlets that can't retain the items plugged into them any more than flipping them upside down.

    • @currentsitguy
      @currentsitguy 2 meses atrás +3

      Did it myself several years back. To this day I've got to fiddle with that tape to get it to fully retract.

    • @TheLordNemesis
      @TheLordNemesis 2 meses atrás +19

      Most circuit breakers take a couple milliseconds to open, enough time for nasty sparks and welding if it's a dead short. Most electricity related injuries are caused by secondary events, like falling off the ladder when instinctively retreating from the loud bang.

  • @irreleverent
    @irreleverent Mês atrás

    "Outside of boston, nobody plays throw the knives at the wall" I legitimately choked on air at that. I heard so many stories of my dad growing up just north of Boston playing so many stupid games of exactly that variety. I'm honestly shocked he didn't win more stupid prizes.

  • @SF-tb4kb
    @SF-tb4kb Mês atrás +1

    Also, unless it's a GFCI/AFCI outlet or main breaker (95 percent of mine are not) the hot wire is the only one on the circuit breaker, and shorting hot to either neutral or ground has the same effect. Actually, shorting to earth ground could be worse if you are barefoot, wet, and touch the metal case of an appliance.

  • @greatestunknown
    @greatestunknown 3 dias atrás

    I've always noticed that power strips always have the ground hole up when the cord is oriented in the downward position, which is naturally the way they are normally oriented. I always wondered why. It seemed to be an "upside down" configuration, but why? I think you have finally answered that question for me. Thanks for that! Thumbs up!!!

  • @stevenhorton8604
    @stevenhorton8604 Mês atrás

    I definitely have right angle plugs long enough to act as a funnel if they're loose and don't use ground pins, so the likelihood of something falling onto those and ending up in between seems higher than any benefit; I've actually had this happen at my last apartment where all of the plugs were ground-side up.

  • @mtacoustic1
    @mtacoustic1 Mês atrás

    The ground connection is correct to be on the bottom. When you plug in, the typical action is to orient the bottom of the plug slightly upward (in order to see what you're doing) which will result in the ground plug being inserted first. The same for unplugging; the ground pin comes out last. This is also the reason the ground pin is longer than the power pins.

  • @Leron...
    @Leron... 2 meses atrás +297

    I'm STILL chuckling at Steve Mould's homage to your presentation style and for you to now be directly addressing him in your blooper reels is making it even better.

    • @ed26i0
      @ed26i0 2 meses atrás +6

      What video was that again?

    • @Leron...
      @Leron... 2 meses atrás +27

      @@ed26i0 it happens just after the one-minute mark in ​ *This "perpetual motion" device is really clever*

    • @Ron-rs2zl
      @Ron-rs2zl 2 meses atrás +1

      Absolutely hilarious!

    • @barongerhardt
      @barongerhardt 2 meses atrás +33

      @@Leron... You can get the joke by the power of watching two videos

    • @x--.
      @x--. 2 meses atrás +4

      Yes and weirdly hostile. Either some great acting or the homage by Steve was unappreciated. Everyone loves a good BRclip creator beef. I hope we can see the escalation increase in a subtle but definite "Those who know, know" kinda way.

  • @icedcoffeecatstudios8398

    Just so you know, when I was a kid, I knocked a metal ruler (T-square to be specific)off the shelf and it fell parallel with the wall and landed almost centered on the top gap of a 3 prong outlet that had the ground in the downward orientation.
    It triggered the gfci (im assuming) and burned two lines above it where the ruler sat. Parents didn't notice and I was the one who pulled it out without knowing if it had or hadn't tripped the gfci, and i was too young to know what that was at the time.

  • @rosyc9250
    @rosyc9250 28 dias atrás

    My only known phobia was made worse watching this video. I was comforted at know the orientation didn't really matter but that was quickly offset when I saw the measuring tape and ruler demonstrations. I use them both for home projects. The ruler is next to an outlet now. Time to throw them away and probably some other things around the house!

  • @spyone4828
    @spyone4828 Mês atrás

    The house that I grew up in, which was built just after WWII, mostly had outlets that would not accept a three-prong plug. In fact, the only three-prong outlets that I can recall were the one the refrigerator was plugged into, the one the TV and antenna rotor were plugged into (opposite side of the same wall and on the same circuit as the fridge), ... and every single light fixture in the basement had one built into it. They were ceramic fixtures screwed to an electrical box attached to the floor joists that had a pull chain for on/off, a single 3-prong outlet, and a socket for a single bare bulb.
    And yes, if the fridge happened to turn on while you were moving the antenna it could blow the fuse.
    There were a lot of dubious decisions in the design of that house.

  • @stevea1025
    @stevea1025 Mês atrás +1

    The Chicago horizontal outlet orientation was very strange to us when we moved here 20 years ago. However, now I see several benefits such as neither plug is drooping over the other and it does just look nicer. I’m sure you’re right that it is probably due to the conduit requirement but now anything else seems strange.

    • @ghost307
      @ghost307 Mês atrás +1

      Chicago convention is ground down on vertical receptacles and ground on the right for horizontal receptacles.

  • @andrewn7365
    @andrewn7365 Mês atrás +1

    12:05 I actually have an in-window AC unit with a right angle plug with the ground pin on the top! The GFCI plug itself is a Tower mfg corp. model 30386 LCDI, and the extra weird part is that text about testing the breaker is only upright if the cord is going up from the outlet. Its specifically designed with a ground pin down socket in mind, and to have the cable exit the top instead of the bottom. I assume its like that because the AC will likely be installed somewhere above the outlet.

  • @nikolajblyts1047
    @nikolajblyts1047 2 meses atrás +530

    As a European (Dane, specifically), I am shocked at how easily North American plugs can become partially unseated. Relatedly, I would find it very interesting, if you would do a "compare and contrast" of other plug types from around the world, especially the Euro Schuko type F as well as the Danish type K. Also type C is extremely common.

    • @benanderson89
      @benanderson89 2 meses atrás +55

      Can't forget the Type G as well. It's basically everything he complained about, solved (sleeved, grounded, standardised right angle).
      And, yes, I went to the states with a MacBook charger and it was an awful and dangerous experience. It literally fell out the wall and sparked.

    • @mildlydispleased3221
      @mildlydispleased3221 2 meses atrás +24

      But we all agree that type G is the best.

    • @GamesFromSpace
      @GamesFromSpace 2 meses atrás +4

      It's also a feature, hypothetically (less likely to break when pulled). But it's super annoying when you have a heavy wall wart, or an old cord.

    • @napoleonfeanor4122
      @napoleonfeanor4122 2 meses atrás +11

      Danish one looks happy ;)

    • @elia_berti
      @elia_berti 2 meses atrás +7

      ​@@mildlydispleased3221type G is cumbersome and not that much versatile or powerful. I prefer type I (AU/NZ version, with sleeved pins) and J

  • @te8828
    @te8828 Mês atrás +1

    I am thoroughly enjoying your videos and humor. You make me crack up laughing with your intelligent jokes and I find myself watching video after video, liking you more each one. I was sitting here re-watching GOT, enjoying this round with Phillips Hue Entertainment Area using my newly purchased Sync Box. It was quite an expensive addition to my Hue lights but well worth it, as it processes the video inputs and matches my lighting to match what I'm seeing on screen. The left side of the TV can be displaying a sunset while the lights behind the TV on that side shine orange all while the other lights on the other side shine blue matching the clear sky. It also syncs with all lights in my living room , including behind me as well, truly enhancing the viewing experience. You should do a video on how the Sync Box matches light to the picture output!!!!

  • @dananddananddan
    @dananddananddan Mês atrás

    i always thought some of the right angle plugs are even worse and i’m glad you mentioned it since i got a nasty shock unplugging one of those as a kid

  • @ElAirHawk
    @ElAirHawk Mês atrás +2

    I always enjoy your videos. With your full-disclosure-delivery of all views and facts from every angle, you are the Paul Harrell of Technology.

  • @pithyginger6371
    @pithyginger6371 25 dias atrás

    The only reason I can think of for an upside down plug is actually cause I personally find it easier to orient the longer ground pin first, and being able to see it on top makes that easier.

  • @Dark_sparky
    @Dark_sparky Mês atrás

    When I was a kid, I was making one of those DIY AM radios. When I went to tape the wire that acted as the antenna up to the wall it fell and bridged the gap causing a massive spark and the wall receptacle was still charred 15 years later. Thankfully it didn't start a fire, and I wasn't touching it, but it is definitely something that can and does happen....also can't remember for certain, but based on the electronics I would have had in my room at the time (alarm clock, small lamp,...) I doubt it even had a ground pin.

  • @JamesRedekop
    @JamesRedekop 2 meses atrás +135

    I've actually had the "foreign objects" scenario come to pass -- a coin fell down behind a sideboard and shorted out the plug. Very startling when it went off.

    • @somerandomnullpointer6458
      @somerandomnullpointer6458 2 meses atrás +1

      That's your jeton moment.

    • @petermeilstrup9865
      @petermeilstrup9865 2 meses atrás +7

      For me is was a necklace that fell off the nightstand. Since it was flexible chain it would have shorted out in either orientation.

    • @cva1122
      @cva1122 2 meses atrás +2

      Me too!!! Wife's gold necklace fell off the dresser and had a 1/2 inch vaporized.

    • @davidthedj
      @davidthedj 2 meses atrás +1

      Same kinda thing happened to us. Was surely a shocking surprise.

  • @secondmanup
    @secondmanup Mês atrás

    Fireman story time. I went on a call where, behind an electric oven/stove, the plug for it was oriented in the “normal” ground down. It was slightly pulled out exposing the hot and neutral prongs of the plug. Someone in the house dropped a utensil behind the stove. It was caught by the exposed prongs, resulting in electrical arcing. No fire but left a burn mark on the wall and fried the utensil.

  • @eromtap86
    @eromtap86 Mês atrás

    I recently bought a new house and one of the first things I noticed was all the outlets are upside down (ground on top). Plugging certain things in is a nightmare. After researching and coming to the same conclusions as you, I've slowly started going around and flipping them lol.

  • @TrashcatFW
    @TrashcatFW Mês atrás

    I had a partial dislodgment issue recently while at a hotel. The lamps on the beside tables had built in outlets, but they were rather loose fitting, so the weight of my phone charger caused it to hang out a bit. One night I came back to my room exhausted, took off my necklace as I got into bed, dropped it on the bedside table and was quite literally jolted awake when it made contact with both prongs of the charger. Luckily I survived (obviously) and didn't start a fire, but I did need to replace the melted through necklace chain. Being only two pronged, a flipped face outlet likely would not have made a difference - but something more akin to british plugs with the prongs being plastic coated partway certainly would have helped

  • @larryyoung7288
    @larryyoung7288 Mês atrás

    I became aware of what proper outlet orientation should be many years ago. What I understand the reason was had to do with a sad trend of 1980s & 90s. I remember being aware of young children playing with outlets & faceplates leading to more than a few shocks, injuries & deaths. Child cycologists were saying that kids were drawn to the faces they saw on these outlets & would play with them using sticks, pens, etc... In other words, they saw blank faces & started to add stuff to make them happy. Well, that led to problems. Where the parents were is a question never asked. Of course I have not heard of these events in more than 25 years, which I assume has more to do with protective inserts every parent is now required to purchase. But I feel obligated to say that there was a good reason the electrical code tried to change the orientation. I even remember seeing it written in. the code. This obviously failed. But I can say that I have used this inverted orientation on only one job. Drew a lot of comments & bewildered faces. That in itself was fun. But it was newly wed couple soon to expect children. Don''t what happened but never saw them in the newspaper. Yes newspaper, that's how long ago that was. Nice film, but I think you missed the real reason. Not that it matters now that everyone can now buy plastic inserts making someone rich.

  • @KristinaL1698
    @KristinaL1698 7 dias atrás

    The thing that annoys me about the ones in my house installed "properly" is that all of the decorative night lights I have end up being upside down because of that prong that's larger. My hair dryer and several other things end up having to be plugged in upside down with the cord coming off the top rather than the bottom. I'm having all my outlets changed to the "face" orientation so they work with my appliances and night lights.

  • @plasticlobster69
    @plasticlobster69 Mês atrás

    When I lived in Chicago, my kitchen had "normally" mounted plugs (Ground down, not sideways). I had a frying pan lid perfectly fall off of a stack of dishes behind my plugged in can opener. A big fireball came out oft he wall, the pot lid flew upward, and it had welded notches into the lid. It was super scary... I experienced this "one in a million" event, but I still wouldn't mount my plugs with the ground up. It just feels wrong, and in the case of my kitchen, it wouldn't have helped, as my can opener was only a 2-prong plug.

  • @DonaldKronos
    @DonaldKronos Mês atrás

    Due to the fact that laws and regulations about such things are not the same everywhere in the USA, you might have seen something like this coming, but I have actually had to install quite a few with a specific orientation required in order to pass local inspections. Most commonly, in my experience, where there is such a requirement it's generally that the ground pin must be on top if it is a ground fault protected socket. In some cases, there is a requirement that the ground pin not be on top if it's not a ground fault protected socket, so that people can tell them apart by looking at which way they are oriented. Of course, if a person learns to recognize which is which based on how they are oriented, and doesn't know that it's not the same everywhere, incorrect assumptions could be made as a result.

  • @RowanHawkins
    @RowanHawkins Mês atrás

    As somebody that used to throw pennies into there to make sparks and a little bit of welding as a kid having the ground up definitely would have made that more difficult. Of course I wasn't doing this when my parents were home, but we had upgraded to breakers from glass fuses where this silliness wouldn't have worked quite as well.

  • @kyleochoa9004
    @kyleochoa9004 Mês atrás

    I'm a handyman, but I have basic training as an electrician and 5 years of experience now. This is literally the first I've ever heard of this. I don't personally think there's any real danger from a 110 outlet if used correctly, I've even been hit by 110 twice and it's not as serious as a 220 or especially like the bus bars on a breaker panel or something. That said I know people do stupid things and the first thing that I think of when trying to consider how someone COULD mess it I think of more ways to mess up the "new" way than the old.

  • @nickrivera2391
    @nickrivera2391 Mês atrás

    Now I want to see receptacles with the two sets of holes rotated 180 from each other so the two vertical orientations will always result with a ground on top. They would just have to figure out the hot and neutral crossing over each other inside, which should be simple enough.

  • @missingnola3823
    @missingnola3823 2 meses atrás +136

    Your ability to make me interested in something I have never thought nor cared about, and actually provide a sense of enjoyment and education in the process, is amazing. This is one of my favorite channels.

    • @manekdubash5022
      @manekdubash5022 2 meses atrás +2

      Ditto. Especially since I'm in the UK where this just isn't an issue.

  • @EgadsNo
    @EgadsNo Mês atrás

    There is a rule about orientation, but that only applies to vertical mounting, like on a ceiling. Your not supposed to do that- it must be a twist lock type. I've always installed receptacles upside down (you know what I mean) in industrial and hospitals because of metal covers.

  • @tomgymer7719
    @tomgymer7719 Mês atrás

    Here in the UK it's basically always ground at the top, and right angle plugs as standard, and plugs next to each other rather than vertically arranged. It's actually really weird seeing that not as standard. Seeing the two pronged plugs on the other hand is just scary.

  • @jkelley14701
    @jkelley14701 Mês atrás +1

    I'm so glad that somebody finally said it!
    Here's an idea. Design the outlet to do both orientations. The top outlet with ground up and the bottom with ground down. That would allow the possibility of using 2 right angle plugs too.

    • @theclangers8567
      @theclangers8567 Mês atrás +1

      They have already done so.
      Surprise...! It is very expensive compared to normal duplex receptacles.

    • @hotdognl70
      @hotdognl70 Mês atrás +1

      You mean the European standard?

  • @Kisai_Yuki
    @Kisai_Yuki Mês atrás +1

    So I want to mention something. When you note the change in the 2-prong plug at the 6 minute mark, old power strips (I've never seen a power strip before 1980, though I'm sure they exist) were closer together, and when you tried to plug in those flared 2-prongs side by side, they often didn't fit. If you can find some old christmas lights (particularly C9 exterior lights) they will all have these smaller ones, but "minilights" that came out in the 80's all have the flared ends.
    It may simply be that NEMA 5-15 wasn't an issue, and the issue was really about getting people to not "pull" the cord out by the wire, laterally. Those small 2-prong ones could be easily yanked out, and the appliance I remember having this problem the most was the Electrolux canister vacuum (models made before 1978) where the rapid speed at which the power cord recoiling would actually whip around the end of the vacuum and eventually bend and eventually break, which would require replacing the connector. It's not the only thing, but I'd put money on the "flared" design being more about grip and durability than anything. The 5-15 is thick enough that this isn't generally an issue, and it's much MUCH harder to pull a three prong cable out than a 2 prong lamp, which would typically get ripped out of the wall by tripping over the cord.
    To add, I think what is really called for is re-designing outlets to be o: :o (basically so the ground is always away from the center,) and/or to rotate the existing boxes sideways so the neutral (wider pin) is facing up. This of course again goes back to the original point that NEMA-15 is awful. Could we not just adopt the type C Europlug for AC appliances and just use the USB type-c connector for all DC appliances up to 240 watts?

    • @doylerudolph7965
      @doylerudolph7965 24 dias atrás

      Type E >>>>> Type C as far as sockets are concerned. And I’m not sure USB is the correct connector to use… you’d probably want a connector that is able to be standardized so people aren’t running mains current through their $5 24AWG cable.

  • @5teveZee
    @5teveZee Mês atrás

    Believe it or not, some of these things really do happen. I just survived a metal ruler sliding down the wall onto a live outlet with several things plugged into it while I was standing on a stepstool above it! Fortunately, I had all right angle plugs.

  • @lukaszkrebok
    @lukaszkrebok 2 meses atrás +183

    As a EU citizen those plugs are very "exotic" to me and I appreciate what we have here so we don't have such problems :)

    • @jamesgarrard8301
      @jamesgarrard8301 2 meses atrás +15

      Yeah, until you have to have to decide where ground is on a C plug and then you have too many standards to count. E, F, H, J, K, L, and N all work with the C plug, but all have their own ground connections. Thankfully E and F are interoperable, but its pretty clunky in its design.

    • @Anscylla
      @Anscylla 2 meses atrás +27

      @@jamesgarrard8301 Yeah, sure. But europe isn't entire country, and in one of them, you would have at most 2 types of plugs, per country, and in reality most of europe (GB isn't europe) uses C,E,F and mostly E sockets, so you can put there whatever you want. You don't decide where is ground on C plug, since there is no any. Also ground is not on the plug, but on outlet so if it has it, then nice, if not, well whatever. Nobody thinks about these standards, nobody care, you just plug it in and doesn't have to be afraid of burning your house like box of matches

    • @richjhart
      @richjhart 2 meses atrás +13

      As a UK resident, I'm not a fan of European sockets. They often suffer from exactly the same issues as the US ones - far too easy for them to fall out.
      The UK hasn't got much right lately, but plug and socket design is fantastic

    • @marius.1337
      @marius.1337 2 meses atrás +21

      ​@@richjhartnot sure how youve come to think that. While they do wear out over the years, a type f plug usually takes considerable force to get out. Maybe you're talking about the type C ones? For that I could maybe see it

    • @Jehty21
      @Jehty21 2 meses atrás +31

      ​@@richjhartI've never had a plug fall out or even become loose here in Germany. What are you talking about?

  • @czyhorse482
    @czyhorse482 Mês atrás

    As Journeyman Electrician, I've installed duplex receptacle every which way. The scariest thing I seen in the video, was the replacement lamp plug @ ~15:57 was . The plug is not 'polarized'. If the light is plugged in the wrong orientation the 'hot' is no longer the bottom - center of the light socket but the metal threads. The owner could receive a nasty shock buy touching the metal threads on the bulb while changing a light. When the 'hot' is in the bottom - centre of the light socket, the 'hot' is disconnected as soon as you turn the bulb.
    Hard to tell in video, but there is no visible approval agency, ULC etc, on that plug.

  • @ethanmckibbin
    @ethanmckibbin Mês atrás

    I moved into a new house in 2020 and all the outlets were traditionally speaking upside down, I hired an electrician to replace and turn them all around the correct way because it drove me nuts. The reason they were upside down in my home though wasn't for safety, whoever wired the house used marginally less wiring by putting everything upside down and the wires in the wall were so tight the outlets almost didn't come out of the sheetrock.

  • @maxmeister747
    @maxmeister747 26 dias atrás

    As an Australian, when I went to Britain I was quite suprised to see the ground pin on the top of the receptacle. In all the countries I have been to, most of the sockets are horizontal, like you have in Chicago.

  • @richardbuttner1989
    @richardbuttner1989 Mês atrás

    I wasn't aware of how hugely different these plugs are from those we use here in Germany! Especially concerning safety!

  • @michdem100
    @michdem100 Mês atrás

    I honestly wonder how much of a task it would be to just switch to Type F plugs. Sure, type A is for 110V and type F is 230V, but quite a lot of electronics out there work on both.

  • @fuelgaugeguy
    @fuelgaugeguy 2 meses atrás +154

    I was a victim of the “falling metal wall plate” scenario. I had the room painted and the painter removed the wall plates. Afterwards he forgot to screw in the plate. I went to plug something in and the plate fell down and shorted out. Sparks and a nasty char mark was the result.

    • @sergeant5848
      @sergeant5848 2 meses atrás +5

      Bleach and a good soaking should get the char mark out, otherwise just buy a new pair.

    • @BLKBRDSR71
      @BLKBRDSR71 2 meses atrás +1

      Wow! That could have been a whole lot worse.

    • @fuelgaugeguy
      @fuelgaugeguy 2 meses atrás +9

      I replaced the metal wall plates. They should be prohibited by code.

    • @Denver_____
      @Denver_____ 2 meses atrás

      Is he still alive?

    • @josephgaviota
      @josephgaviota 2 meses atrás

      _... Sparks and a nasty char mark was the result._
      And yet, you're alive to tell the tale.

  • @mkv2718
    @mkv2718 Mês atrás

    I have a right angle adapter that has the wire coming out at 45 degrees instead of straight down like that one at the end…. It’s great. Doesn’t matter which way the outlet is oriented, and it’s grounded for good measure. 👍

  • @jmi967
    @jmi967 26 dias atrás

    I use the ground pin as a guide when I'm trying to plug something in in a tight place or in the dark. This is much easier to do with a finger underneath than a thumb on top, especially when reaching from above like behind a bed.

  • @simonmacomber7466
    @simonmacomber7466 Mês atrás

    I'd love for you to have a video about two light switches that control the same light.
    I lived in an old farm house in New England. Some of the outlets were the shocked outlet face. Some were the upside down shocked outlet face. But all of them had one thing in common. They were _not_ designed to be able to use the plugs with a wider blade. That's right, both "eyes" were the exact same size, and that size was the size of the smaller of the blades. I think these outlets came at a time between transitioning from outlets with only two holes, to outlets having three holes, and they hadn't anticipated that the plugs of the future would widen one of the blades.
    Changing every outlet was the first thing I did when I moved into the place.

  • @huntergibson9359
    @huntergibson9359 12 dias atrás

    I have seen a conductor cross the pins of a plug once. Well, I saw the aftermath. Old worn out plug and socket directly above a bike parts bin. Brake cables were often thrown in there and one of these thin twisted steel cables happened to lay across pins of an angles plug. there was a visible black mark and the prongs of the plug were missing material from arcing. Very scary to see, and I promptly moved the parts bin so it wouldn't happen again. But this is a very specific scenario that is likely just as common as people throwing butter knives at jacked sockets.

  • @jasonmyneni8605
    @jasonmyneni8605 Mês atrás

    If you’ve ever been in a hospital, you’ll notice that EVERY outlet, no matter where it is, up side down. Hospitals have different electrical code that they have to follow (because of course it’s inconsistent) and upside down outlets are a part of it. Because I work in a hospital and interact with the plugs in that orientation so often, ive considered having my outlets installed upside down in a house I build in the future.

    • @MrGeocidal
      @MrGeocidal Mês atrás

      Why wait? You can unscrew them and put them back in upside down right now!

  • @johnburgess2084
    @johnburgess2084 2 meses atrás +187

    In my 70+ years of life, I've been terrified by many things, but I can't remember the "orientation of receptacles" making the cut of scary things worth remembering. In fact, the times I've been shocked by less-than-fully-inserted plugs, and shocked by other things, my dad always reminded that my most recent shock was just one more thing to watch out for. During my following career in electronics I've discovered way more ways of being way more shocked way more often than the errant finger in the socket. The aluminum Christmas tree tinsel falling onto the tracks of the electric train set below was way more interesting!

    • @gnarthdarkanen7464
      @gnarthdarkanen7464 2 meses atrás +3

      Try a houseful of CATS... While none of the electrical nuisances in my childhood turned particularly injurious, there were LOTS of pretty interesting situations... ;o)

    • @tbuk8350
      @tbuk8350 2 meses atrás +1

      A much bigger danger from my experience is the insulation on cheap wires breaking and leaving exposed wires that can easily short.
      Even then, the only time I've been shocked by 120V AC is when a garbage (probably not approved) phone charger/ac adapter quite literally fell apart as I was pulling it out. The whole outer casing came off and when I tried to pull the receptacle and the circuit board inside out from the outlet so I could throw it away, I accidentally touched a component of the adapter and got a nasty shock from it. I stopped buying cheap shit after that, most of my AC adapters now are Anker ones because they're smaller and better.
      Basically, the biggest risk by far is cheap products that are built so poorly they expose 120V AC when they inevitably fall apart.

    • @Jehty21
      @Jehty21 2 meses atrás

      So it is a common occurrence to get shocked by that type of plug?
      If that's the case then I think it's insane that they are still in use.

  • @Majima_Nowhere
    @Majima_Nowhere Mês atrás

    I've shocked myself twice while unplugging things, and both times it was a right angle plug. That's not to say they're bad, they're the best way to deal with our current plugs, but they could use some work in the ergonomics department.

  • @StYxXx
    @StYxXx Mês atrás

    I just watched a video about a plug I probably will never use since it's not common where I live - and I enjoyed it :D Why the pins are not insulated a bit was a question I had on my mind the whole time. Seems so obvious.
    btw: I have square plugs where the pin "base" can be rotated. So every orientation will work. Also very flat ones with a foldout handle to unplug it easily. I don't know if it exists in the US. But then again, you also seem to have only one kind of light switch :D

  • @SevenFortyOne
    @SevenFortyOne 2 dias atrás

    I had the issue mentioned at around 9:41 in the video. A sheet metal cover was dropped off the backside of a workbench and landed directly on the tabs of a plug that was ever so slightly pulled away from the socket. Obviously my situation was an edge case but its not as uncommon as one might think...

  • @234fddesa
    @234fddesa Mês atrás

    the ikea right angle 45 degree cable makes sense and is kind of omega pog, I would say, but also a good solution might be to just take both sockets and make it so they both face the opposite direction, and ground always faces out. Top socket is upside down, bottom one is the classic smiley face. Bam, two 95 degree cables in one socket, even though the top one kinda sucks. I don't think this would be quite as good for your chicago sideways outlets, though. You might also be able to put the plugs themselves at a 45 degree, so your right angle cables work without having to rely on manufacturers building that into the cable.

  • @triinrainboot4779
    @triinrainboot4779 Mês atrás

    that exact scenario with the metal yardstick happened to me when i was in high school. it just sat there sparking until someone figured out a way to dislodge it without electrocuting themselves

  • @ethstring
    @ethstring 2 meses atrás +199

    I went on holiday to America recently, and i was really surprised at how loose the plugs were compared to other places I've been. Living in the UK, plugs will only expose pins if you VERY deliberately pull it from the wall, at which point, the connection is already broken.
    Edit: Also almost all plugs are 90 degree plugs.

    • @KeyDx7
      @KeyDx7 2 meses atrás +33

      Don't leave out the possibility that the building(s) you experienced this in were old and had worn out receptacles which were looser than average. Your plugs are likely more tight than ours , but there is quite a spectrum between a brand-new receptacles and 50-year old receptacles that should have been replaced years ago. Some of the old ones will barely hold a plug at all.

    • @Halinspark
      @Halinspark 2 meses atrás +24

      @@KeyDx7 Also, frequently used plugs. If they stayed in a hotel where people were plugging and unplugging things everyday, then it would be more surprising if they werent worn out

    • @johannesgutsmiedl366
      @johannesgutsmiedl366 2 meses atrás +17

      @@KeyDx7 yeah but no matter what no one can argue that UK and EU plugs aren't superior to US ones in every single way... it just makes sense since they could look at everything wrong with the US one and improve on it.

    • @mapesdhs597
      @mapesdhs597 2 meses atrás +15

      @@KeyDx7 But then, perhaps that's an additional point, even old plugs and outlets in the UK still work fine, they don't wear out in such an equivalent manner.
      I know what ethstring means though, when I visited NYC in 2000 I was surprised at how iffy the wall sockets & cable connections were.
      About 20 years ago I began seeing UK plugs with a chunky switch and LED indicator already included, which are totally awesome (perfect for extension leads that don't have their own switch for each socket). They were very cheap, 45p at the time from B&Q. I bought a whole box, so useful for devices such as soldering irons. But then after a few years they vanished from stores, returning some years later in basically the same design but a lot more expensive, needlessly so I would presume. Marketed as 'new' of course, but the idea isn't.
      In the UK I reckon the only reason why wall sockets get replaced is if they physically break somehow (very rare), as part of a full rewiring or just for cosmetic reasons, such as vintage brass outlets tarnishing. Funny thing, when a property is rewired, all the existing sockets are replaced even if there's nothing wrong with them. Great opportunity to nab some free sockets for future use. The place I rent was rewired a few years ago, so now I have a whole bag of spares. It doesn't take much to clean them up so they're good as new.
      A bigger issue perhaps with UK sockets (and indeed plugs) is more of a hidden one, namely the quality of the actual wiring connections inside the socket or plug. A lot of electricians have pretty shoddy wiring abilities, grud knows why, and many home users have little clue either. When I've removed cables from plugs or worked on wall sockets, encountering less than ideal stripped ends is all too common.
      Some decades ago it was common for products to be sold with no plug attached at all, one bought them separately, which at least provided some aesthetic choice at the expense of a little hidden cost, but it meant that as a child in I'd say pre-80s Britain it was common to be taught how to wire a plug, whereas as nowadays I bet few parents bother, or even know themselves.
      As for standing on the pins of a loose plug, that's just a clever extra design feature intended to pretrain future parents to the evils of loose Lego pieces. :)
      Lastly, many UK plugs are separate to the cable, so they can at least be reused, but as mentioned this means the wiring needs to be decent, so one could argue the moulded plug has an advantage there even if it lacks reuse. That's an oddity I've noticed of some very old plus, the way the cord is gripped can be a little odd.

    • @freedomfighter22222
      @freedomfighter22222 2 meses atrás +14

      @@KeyDx7 The spectrum is part of the problem, that spectrum doesn't exist on the standard UK/EU plugs, if you find one that is 50 year old here it is still perfectly safe to use unless damaged by something else than everyday use.

  • @goforvendingtofu
    @goforvendingtofu Mês atrás

    Hit the nail on the head. I use right-angle power strips nearly everywhere. Otherwise I prefer the 🙃 orientation. (1) easier to plug things in blind/behind a desk using the ground as a soft, less paint scraping guide to the right hole for the rest of the plug. (2) when reaching down behind the squared corners of the two-pronged top becomes easier for the knuckles bends of my fingers to wrap around than the round side of the grounding.

  • @TimTVOfficial
    @TimTVOfficial Mês atrás

    Psychologically, I would think the "Ground is Down", you know what I mean? But I still prefer it facing up if it's connected to a light switch so I can identify which ones are on a switch easier, and lights don't typically have a ground pin. When I got my old house, the outlets had the ground at the top, and almost every time, the ground pins broke off of my cords in that orientation. It was getting too expensive to keep it that way, so I had to flip them around, not to mention the angled plug problems.

  • @RealBLAlley
    @RealBLAlley Mês atrás

    Ground towards ground unless it's a half hot (half of the duplex always hot, the other half switched), or if space limitations require it to be sideways. It makes no electrical or safety difference, but we do it that way for consistency and because most devices orient the ground pin downward, as you demonstrated. Many electricians, myself included, base the box makeup on the face orientation as well.
    The North American plug isn't a bad design. There are billions in use and the scenarios you and others apply simply don't happen in significant numbers. A little environmental cognition and common sense go a long way.
    That being said, I'd have no issue with the adoption of blades being insulated for the first 1/8 inch. Just because something is improbable doesn't mean it's impossible. It also wouldn't be difficult since the insulation wouldn't be long enough to reach the contacts behind the face of the receptacle. Frankly that would make more sense than the adoption of tamper resistant receptacles, which were pushed by manufacturers to increase profits.
    In over forty years of residential electrical experience and twenty years of commercial experience I have never encountered a screw backing itself out. It doesn't happen.
    This idiotic push to flip receptacles is another example of the snowflake generation solving a problem that doesn't exist so they can feel relevant. If we designed everything for the lowest common denominator we wouldn't have anything, since every single man-made item is dangerous in the hands of a moron.