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#134481 - 11/14/02 02:50 PM Up or down?
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
We've covered this point in various other threads before, but I thought it might be interesting to collect together into one place:

What is the normal orientation for a wall-mounted light switch in your country?

U.S.A.: on=up
U.K.: on=down
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#134482 - 11/14/02 06:45 PM Re: Up or down?
Hutch Offline
Member
Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 381
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
R.S.A.: On=down
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#134483 - 11/16/02 05:26 AM Re: Up or down?
C-H Offline
Member
Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1497
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden:

Not really standardized, but usually:

On = Down on old switches
On = Up on new switches
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#134484 - 11/16/02 04:38 PM Re: Up or down?
Trumpy Offline


Member
Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
New Zealand/Australia:
Up=OFF
However, some equipment made for NZ, in Japan, Fuji RCD's use the opposite, thank God they are only used in Commercial or Industrial Installations, I can hear the people ringing up now, to tell us thier RCD is not faulty, but they have got no power.


[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 11-16-2002).]
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#134485 - 11/17/02 01:58 AM Re: Up or down?
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
Circuit breakers are another matter here. MCBs are up=on as are all the modern RCDs. Some older voltage-operated ELCBs were down=on, probably because they were used widely in residential work and the manufacturers must have thought people would be more comfortable with it that way.

Main switches have changed over the years: The old side-handle metal-clad units were up=on, then the post-WWII "consumer units" went to down=on. In recent years they've reverted back to up=on, I assume because MCBs are now so common and it makes sense for the main to work the same way.

But everybody here still always expects light switches to be down for on (2/3-ways excepted of course).
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#134486 - 11/17/02 09:02 AM Re: Up or down?
Hutch Offline
Member
Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 381
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
Paul,

Please could you elaborate on "... old side-handle metal-clad units ...". Museum stuff facinates me.
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#134487 - 11/17/02 09:26 PM Re: Up or down?
Trumpy Offline


Member
Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Yeah,
Paul,with the side handle are you referring to the old cast-steel switch-fuse units, that we used to use for Ranges and various other things?.
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#134488 - 11/18/02 06:20 AM Re: Up or down?
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member
Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2391
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Old light switches in Austria all up=on, newer ones are mostly 3way used as single pole and people can't quite seem to agree about where to hook up the 2nd wire. The design of many switches (especially referring to the Legrand range) invites to connect the wires so that you get down=on.
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#134489 - 11/18/02 11:08 AM Re: Up or down?
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
I probably shouldn't have restricted it by saying metal-clad, as there were also plenty of units in domestic installations that were porcelain with bakelite covers.

Many of these had provision for only two circuits, although the earlier ones contained four fuses as double-pole fusing was common at one time.

I have a couple of these in my junk box -- I'll see if I can post some pictures.
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#134490 - 12/01/02 05:03 AM Re: Up or down?
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
Here are a couple of old units. The first is a 2-way fusebox, procelain base with bakelite cover. The side-handle switch is up=on and when in this position keeps the front cover from being opened. The switch is a spring-assisted quick make/break type suitable for AC or DC.



Next is a similar unit, but this one contains 4 fuses. It's still a 2-way splitter, but dates from the days when it was standard practice to fuse both line and neutral:

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