First, I'll admit that this is kind of silly, but I'm having a
difference with my wife and if there's any chance at all that I can
win, I want to!
We used to have a vertical toggle switch in our bathroom that
controlled both the lights and the exhaust fan. The fan annoyed my
wife so when the switch died recently, I replaced it with two switches
in a duplex housing and wired one switch for the lights and the second
switch for the fan. The new switches are horizontal so they'll fit
into the original circuit box. (Yes, I cautioned my wife to be sure to
run the fan when she was showering to exhaust the high humidity.)
Anyway, I positioned the switches so that the toggles were to the left
when the switches are OFF, and to the right when they're ON. My wife
says that's backwards, that the switches should be to the right for
OFF and to the left for ON.
Is there a right and wrong to this? Is there a code or something? Or
even a wiring convention (like it is conventional to position
vertical switches so they're in the up position for ON)?
I'll appreciate any comments or suggestions.
This is one of those times that you back to your wife and tell her, "Dear, I
thought about it a bit, and decided that it is not that important to me
which way the switches go, but it seems to be important to you so I will
change them for you".
My bet's he wont end up doing this......after all--why did he did come here
to try and get others to help back him up on this ???
FWIW: I agree with him in that the 'ON' position should be to the right....
I don't remember hearing about any code for switch etiquette. I'm still
arguing with my wife about which way the toilet paper should hang. With the
loose end on the outside or the inside. I think it's the outside. Are we
talking about the switches left or the left of the person looking at it.
Generally you refer to right and left of an object as if it had its own left
and right. So it's left would be your right if you were facing it. Like
the right side of the car would be the passengers side even if you were
standing in front of it looking at it. We have to agree on this first.
Speaking in terms of the switches right and left I feel that the natural off
position would be on its right side (your left). If anything follows the
rules for switches it would be a breaker in an electrical box. I just
checked my breaker box and there are two vertical rows of switches. The row
on my left switches off to my left and the row on the right switches off to
my right. I'm thinking you better ask her and do it that way or you will
be paying for this in other ways even if you are right (who's right?) It
isn't worth it.
It is on the outside. Just consider how ugly it will look when you have
the printed stuff and you see that plain white layer showing if you put it
on the inside.
However, for the married man, there is a code SOMBO.
Hah! Funny you should mention the toilet paper thing because it's one
of the few things on which my wife and I agree. We like the loose end
on the inside. In all fairness, however, I must point out that most
toilet paper with printed designs is printed so the design is
displayed when the loose end is on the outside. And, I can tell you
after more than 30 years of working in hotels, they put the paper in
so the loose end is on the outside. Then they can fold those pretty
The right and left I referred to was from my point of view looking at
the switch. So you and I agree on the natural position of the switch
when it's OFF; my left, the switch's right.
Thanks for the comments.
On Tue, 1 Mar 2005 21:36:26 -0800, "cc0112453"
As noted the SOMBO code applies. Make it a big thing, and tell you that
you are not only going to Change the switch positions, but you are going to
replace the very noisy fan with a good quality quiet one.
I can see a fresh baked cherry pie and a great night ahead. Well worth
the cost of the fan and effort.
Here's how I see it: if the switch is near a door, it depends on how
the door opens.
If the switch is inside a room that you are entering, & the outside
doorknob is on the right, you're going to open the door with your right
hand, & reach for the light with your left. That means your thumb will
be in position to find & flick the switch on, so the switch should be
set so that pushing AWAY from the door turns it on.
When you leave the room, you're facing the switch head-on, and it's
easier to push it off (toward the door) using your fingertips.
In both cases, you're pushing the switch in the direction that you are
traveling through the door.
And while everyone else is apparently married to wives who are always
right, I must be the only one who is not. Consquently, I agree with my
wife when she's right, & disagree when she's not. Always giving in to
her view in every dispute is a sure way to end up with every room in
the house painted "Victorian Garden Pink".
Thanks to everyone who responded to my switch position inquiry,
including those who simply advised keeping peace in the family. My
wife and I have been married nearly 51 years so we've found ways to
disagree without being disagreeable, and to find some humor wherever
Now, as to the switches, I dug out the installation sheet that came
with them. While it certainly isn't official on the matter of
position, the illustrations DO show the switches installed the way I
put them in. So there!
And the Eagle brand switch I have here (still unused) has OFF to the
left and ON to the right (as I look at it) when the switch is held so
that the wording on the metal bracket is the right way up.
HOWEVER, if your beloved insists on having the switch the other way,
just do it. You'll get used to it.
On 03/02/05 04:02 pm LenS tossed the following ingredients into the
ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
FWIW: I looked at a ganged switch/receptacle. I think everyone would agree
that in that case, under normal circumstances,the receptacle is meant to be
below the switch so that the plugged in cord does not hang over the switch.
Installed this way, OFF is to the viewers left.
"Percival P. Cassidy" < snipped-for-privacy@NotMyISP.net> wrote in message
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