Horizontal light switch - which way is on?

Last year when we totally remodeled one of our bathrooms, we had an electrician change the light switch next to the entry door. It used to be 2 vertical switches, one for the light and one for the fan. We replaced that switch with a combination gfi outlet and switch. The new switch has 2 horizontal switches stacked one above the other, and when he installed it, it was positioned so that the 'on' position is flipped away from the door, and 'off' is flipped towards the door. This seemed a natural way to have the switch go on and off. A short while ago, we had a different electrician do some work, in which he split one large looped electrical line into 2. During this process, he removed the bathroom switch, and when he put it back up, he placed it the other way, so that now the 'on' position is towards the door, and 'off' is away.
Is there any standard way to install horizontal light switches by the entry door? I preferred it when it was flipped on by pushing away from the door. Or, is this like toilet paper - rolling off the top or off the back is simply a matter of preference?
BTW, when we first bought the house, yet a different electrician put new slider and flip switches at the entry to each bedroom, and he also positioned them with 'on' away from the door.
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There is no correct way. If you don't like it the way he left it, have him flip it around. Lucky for you, it's not a three way

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kjvand wrote:

I don't believe code specifies a particular orientation. I think it's as you suggest, a matter of personal preference. If I read this aright, though, you now have two switches, one of which has 'on' one way and the other going the other way. I would at least pick one and flip it so that both are oriented the same way. If you have an established pattern elsewhere in the house, as your last para suggests, it would probably be well to ensure that pattern is followed consistently throughout the house.
I have to confess I've never encountered this one; I tend to prefer vertically-oriented Decora switches at home, and onboard ship, we use rotary switches in big brass boxes - gives the youngsters something to polish for morning cleaning stations :-D
Yours aye, W. Underhill
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kjvand writes:

Are you north or south of the equator?
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North... but it's California, and we're not subject to the same laws of nature here ;)
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kjvand wrote:

I take it those switches are inside the john, and while I've never thought about it before, I think "your" way seems more natural.
But you got me thinking...Here in the Boston area bathroom light switches are mostly outside the door, not inside. Adn when I moved here 50+years ago you never saw one inside the bathroom.
I think that may have stemmed from some safety issue about not having anything "electrical" you could touch with one hand while your other hand was on a metal plumbing fixture or under running water. But I guess GFCI circuits probably eliminated that requirement.
Now, if they could only find some way to eliminate the "requirement" that main streets here in Red Sox nation never have strret signs telling you their names, save at town lines or when the strret name changes, while all the cross streets have signs, I'd be able to die a happy man.
Jeff
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Well, I think I have a new, consistent approach to the horizontal light switch problem. I'm going to make sure they all flip 'On' to the right, 'Off' to the left. It turns out that's the way they all used to be (orientation with respect to doors was just a coincidence), until the electrician swapped the bathroom switch.
Thanks for the input. Any electricians out there who can say whether there is a correct 'code' requirement?
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There definitely is not a code requirement. It's not an electrical safety issue in any respect, so the Code doesn't care. Totally a matter of personal preference. My preference is to flip the switch away from the door (i.e. into the room) to turn the lights on as I enter, and toward the door (i.e. out of the room) to turn them off as I leave. Seems to make more sense to me.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Another possibility is to replace the duplex rocker switches with duplex toggle type, which come in standard or decora style. These still say "on" and "off" on the handle : http://cgi.ebay.com/Leviton-White-Double-Switch-Duplex-Toggle-15A-5224-W_W0QQitemZ250144019779QQcmdZViewItem

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"kjvand" wrote: We replaced that switch with a combination gfi outlet and

Yep, that's how I did mine as well. Makes sense; as you enter the room, the switch moves away from you (is pushed on), and as you leave, the switch moves towards you (is pulled off).
Oh, and TP should come off from the top of the roll. ;)
Jon
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On Sat, 21 Jul 2007 17:05:05 -0700, "Jon Danniken"

Yes. I have one of those (horizontal) switches, and it's turned wrong/ One of the things I need to fix someday.

So it's easier to reach, instead of having the loose part hidden in back. I say that because of the assumption the TP is there primarily to be USED, not as an art object.

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http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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alt.home.repair:

In my previous life as a math teacher, I had a section on "Positives and Negatives". It goes like this:     Up is positive, down is negative.     North is positive, South is negative.     East is positive, West is negative.     Big is positive, small is negative.     Clockwise is positive, counterclockwise is negative.     Right is positive, left is negative.     Red is positive (pretty color), black is negative (ugly color).     ... repeat ad infinitum ...
This principle is applied to most things in life, either explicitly or by accident. It seems to be part of human nature. Applying the principle to switches, ON would be either UP or RIGHT, and OFF would be either DOWN or LEFT. This will please most people.
Of course, there are exceptions: red is negative on a stoplight, but positive on a battery; clockwise is positive on a switch, but negative when measuring angles.
--
Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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How did you deal with the fact that the usual way of measuring rotation in 2D Cartesian geometry is positive *counterclockwise*?
    Dave
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wrote:

And please don't tinker with the wiring in your house if you think black is negative...
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote on 22 Jul 2007 in group alt.home.repair:

That was handled as an exception. I mentioned it in a part you snipped. This was for sixth-graders, so it seldom came up, geometry not being introduced for a couple more years.

Mea culpa. It's been years since I did anything with DC current other than replace a battery, so I did a Google search for red/black positive/negative before I posted. The first site I found said black was negative, and I quit there. Stupid me for believing it.
Even though I make my living as a handyman, I tell every new customer I don't do anything that requires a license. In Texas, that's mostly electrical and plumbing installations.
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Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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writes:

Black *is* negative for DC, but in your setting of standards, it is important to know that black is the hot side in AC.
--
Peace,
BobJ



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And so is red.
For the benefit of those who are by now thoroughly confused...
In the US and Canada, the following color codes apply to AC wiring:
Ground: uninsulated, green, or green with a yellow tracer Neutral: white or gray Hot: absolutely anything else, but usually black or red
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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writes:

Black on brass will save your ass...
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