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).]
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green
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).
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.
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: