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post #1 of 24 Old 04-13-2008, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know where to find electrical outlets in colors other than the standard white, ivory, gray and brown? I've found a good source for beautiful cover plates made out of marble, bronze, and almost anything else you might want, but what about the receptacles themselves? I'm trying to make them disappear on my dark green walls. They are currently brown and don't look so hot. I'd love to find some green receptacles if they are available somewhere to go with the green marble cover plates I found. I've searched and searched and while I haven't been able to find anything yet, I imagine they are out there somewhere. Painting them just doesn't seem like an option ... or is it?

Getting a little anal I know, but this will be a sweet finishing touch to the room.
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-13-2008, 08:53 PM
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I have several outlets in my dining room that match the room colour. We forgot to mask over them, and my kids were helping to paint. They didn't know not to paint them, and we didn't think to tell them ahead of time. So now they match the rest of the room. The paint has not had any adverse affects on the utility of the plug as near as I can tell. On the off chance that your roller is a bit on the wetter side when you are painting though, I would shut off the breaker for those particular outlets until the paint has dried.
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Seems like the paint would just start coming off the first time you plugged something in?
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 10:20 AM
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I have had success in the past by painting the outlets and here is what I did:
  • * By a good quality spray paint that can be used on plastic.
    * Steel wool (fine steel wool not coarse) the outlet so that all surface areas are not shiny.
    * Use popsicle sticks in the holes where the prongs from a plug would fit to avoid getting paint inside.
    * Tape off the areas where you don't want paint.
    * Do all of this prior to installing the outlet.

This holds up very well and lasts a long time if done properly. Just painting over the outlets will not hold, the key is the rough-up the surface with steel wool as indicated above. Good luck!

Bob
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 10:42 AM
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pick a color any color:

http://www.dimmers.net/receptacles.asp

receptacles and plates to match

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post #6 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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You guys rock. Thanks.
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 11:47 AM
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Dimmers.com has pictures of their outlets with ground prong up. I have always lived in the southeast and we have always had recepticles mounted with ground prong down.

I saw a new house in another part our the country with ground prongs up.

Is this a regional thing or is there a resaon to have ground up or ground down?
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 11:56 AM
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As to the durability of paint on the receptacles, In my case, unfortunately did not come off. BUT, it's an old house, and we had to use enamel (oil based) paints in the kitchen & diningroom. This has added a surprising level of durability to the paint on the receptacles. As to the prongs up or down. I purposely installed a mix of both. My microwave among other items in my house use a very stiff cable, where the cable is attached to the side of the plug rather than the bottom or front, so by the time the cable goes behind the microwave and through the stand to the plug, it's upside down. Much easier if the receptacle faces the same way. I've got a couple of other items as well that are easier to plug in if the ground prong is up.
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post #9 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyjar View Post

Is this a regional thing or is there a resaon to have ground up or ground down?

A friend told me that having the ground up is the new trend on the theory that if you have the plug a little bit unplugged and drop something metal on it, it hits the exposed ground plug instead of the hot/neutral pair.

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post #10 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyjar View Post

I saw a new house in another part our the country with ground prongs up.

Is this a regional thing or is there a resaon to have ground up or ground down?

Believe it or not but this is code in some areas, the philosophy is that the ground prong helps hold the outlet in and also if it does get jarred little kids tend not to hit the hot side since the ground is on top thus protecting them.
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-14-2008, 12:01 PM
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LOL..arict beat me by less than a minute...
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post #12 of 24 Old 04-17-2008, 08:00 AM
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I just bought Lutron recepticles... they had them in every imagnable color.

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post #13 of 24 Old 06-18-2010, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyjar View Post

Dimmers.com has pictures of their outlets with ground prong up. I have always lived in the southeast and we have always had recepticles mounted with ground prong down.

I saw a new house in another part our the country with ground prongs up.

Is this a regional thing or is there a resaon to have ground up or ground down?

Hey wallyjar. According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), receptacles ahould be installed with the ground up. If you get real close and remove the cover you will see that the writing on the receptacle is oriented such that the ground should be up too.
The reason for this is so if a plug isn't inserted fully into the receptacle and something falls on it from above it is less likely to short out on the hot / neutral conductors whereas if the ground is up the thing that falls will be deflected by the ground conductor and would be less likely to cause a short or even worse a fire.
Most people install them upside down because they look like a face and that just seems right to us as human beings.
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post #14 of 24 Old 06-19-2010, 02:39 AM
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I didn't know it was a code requirement.
Can you please site the section number, etc?
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post #15 of 24 Old 06-19-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitboxpicker View Post

Hey wallyjar. According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), receptacles ahould be installed with the ground up. If you get real close and remove the cover you will see that the writing on the receptacle is oriented such that the ground should be up too.
The reason for this is so if a plug isn't inserted fully into the receptacle and something falls on it from above it is less likely to short out on the hot / neutral conductors whereas if the ground is up the thing that falls will be deflected by the ground conductor and would be less likely to cause a short or even worse a fire.
Most people install them upside down because they look like a face and that just seems right to us as human beings.

Someone needs to tell cord manufacturers about this. I have a number of appliances with right angled plugs, and the cord is always molded into the ground side of the plug, with the idea being that this allows the cord to run down the wall closely. If my outlets were installed ground up, the cord would run up the wall and loop back down.

I'm not saying you're wrong about the code - I have no specific knowledge about this either way. I'm just pointing out that there are probably a number of people who have "no specific knowledge about this either way", including designers.

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post #16 of 24 Old 06-23-2010, 07:57 AM
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Lutron has many colors to choose from.

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post #17 of 24 Old 06-23-2010, 10:00 AM
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Just google one shot enamel.. sticks to just about anything including glass
http://www.artsuppliesonline.com/cat...?cata_id=11134
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post #18 of 24 Old 06-27-2010, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitboxpicker View Post

According to the National Electrical Code (NEC)

I did a bunch of searches on this last month. According to various eletrical forums:

- The residential code does not say anything about it one way or the other. Hospital regulations may require the ground pin on top in certain situations.

- There have been several attempts to update the code with an explicit recommendation (I think to mandate ground-on-top). So far they have all failed.

- The diagrams in the NEC tend to have the ground pin on the bottom. The diagrams in the NEMA specifications for the connectors tend to have the ground pin on the top.

- Those favoring ground-on-top argue that having the ground pin as the first contact point will make it safer if something falls on an exposed plug. I saw a few anecdotes of people dropping things like cookie sheets on plugs and getting sparks.

- Those favoring ground-on-the bottom argue that if a cord is inadvertently pulled downward the ground pin will be the last to lose contact. Also as mentioned in this thread some cords are built assuming this orientation.

I usually install new receptacles with the ground on top unless I know it's going to be a problem for whatever I want to plug in there. For example I have some plug-in surge suppressors that are designed to attach to a receptacle and won't stay in place if it's mounted with the ground on the top. Likewise heavy transformers and other plug-in devices. In a couple of cases where I've installed dedicated 2-gang boxes I actually put one gang in each direction.
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post #19 of 24 Old 07-15-2010, 07:36 AM
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Krylon Fusion for Plastic seems to work well. It really sticks, even when first applied.

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post #20 of 24 Old 07-20-2010, 01:08 PM
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Lutron can custom match any color for a price. They charge a setup fee then you can get as many as you want.
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post #21 of 24 Old 07-20-2010, 09:46 PM
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I got all my black outlets at Lowes - black matches pretty much anything (dark).
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post #22 of 24 Old 07-21-2010, 07:45 AM
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one can of Krylon fusion for Plastic: about $8, and you could paint all your outlets, switchplates etc, to match. I did with my coax plate that costs like $10 to get it in black...sprayed it for about 10 cents worth of paint...along with a few others.

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post #23 of 24 Old 07-21-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caper_1 View Post

one can of Krylon fusion for Plastic: about $8, and you could paint all your outlets, switchplates etc, to match. I did with my coax plate that costs like $10 to get it in black...sprayed it for about 10 cents worth of paint...along with a few others.


Now if only smoke detectors didn't all seem to have "DO NOT PAINT" written on them - worried if I did, and had a fire, the insurance company wouldn't pay up.
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post #24 of 24 Old 03-20-2014, 03:47 PM
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