Light swithes

I recently inspected a home and the light switches were installed upside down, home handy man. I verbally mentioned this to the new buyer, should I include this in my report?


What did the rest of the electrical system look like?

If that were the only electrical issue I found I wouldn’t bother, and just tell the buyer verbally.

However it is a clue that there have been “handy man” repairs, and if that was just one of several indication of unprofessional work, I might reccomend a thorough electrical evaluation.

PS. It’s beyond the SOP, but it might also be worthwhile pulling the cover off of one of them and making sure that they are wired correctly.

I agree

I agree IF you have experience in electrical and you’ve consulted your attorney as to the ramifications of exceeding the SOP.

Always CYA! :slight_smile:

Wouldn’t it be a safety issue? Almost like reversing the hot and cold lines on a shower. I am not sure I understand how pulling off an outlet/switch cover would require a call to my lawyer? Would it be that if I only pull one and not everyone in the house that I have opened my self up to liability for suspecting something and not verifying it through out the house? I am not objecting to what you say but just trying to learn.


If it is a toggle switch, the UP position will be the correct position for proper operation of the outlet it supplies.It is a Defect.

Not being a smart a…, nor am I arguing, but am honestly inquiring…

What is the harm if on is down, and up is off?

To me it’s like saying the top of a map is always north. (Usually, but who says it has to be that way.)

Well, if it is “on” when down it is saying “no”.

It would certainly go in my report. It is an unconventional installation - call for further evaluation.

Go to the big box store and read the instructions on the sides of various single pole switches, and then think about the time when you were in a strange place and found that the switch was about 6 feet away from the door and after entering discovered that the room was pitch black, and you tripped trying to find that lousy stinking single pole switch, the conventional wisdom in the USA is that the UP position is the ON position.

An Indicating general-use and motor-circuit switches, circuit breakers, and molded case switches, where mounted in an enclosures, must clearly indicate whether they are in the open (off) or closed (on) position.

*I hope you will add this as a defect in future reports, as simple as it may sound it will cover your *** if someone trips and breaks a leg or arm in the future.

Sorry Joe, I’m still not convinced. Your argument is more to the location of the switch, not for if the switch is in one position or another. And I am only referring to light switches. After all, in a three or four way switch configuration, some of them are going to be up/on, some are going to be down/on, and even then it’s not consistent.

You walk into a room and reach for a switch in the dark, you’re going to flip it. You don’t even think about if it’s in the right position or not. So is there really any harm in all of them being reversed? Other than it’s unusual, and implies Harry Homeowner has been at work, I don’t see the harm. Once again, I’m not trying to argue, just trying to understand where the problem lies. :smiley:

Thanks in advance. I really do appreciate your input.

I agree with you. Just because it is *customary *does not make it wrong.

How would this type of switch fit into your aforementioned statement?

I am sure that you are not pleased hearing that what you see as no problem is really a problem in the eyes of many in the inspection community, and for those who have been including this issue as a defect.

Three and four way switches are installed and operate up or down, and with no problem seem to be acceptable.

If I was called to make a final inspection, and I have for thousands of dwelling units, I would leave a red tag when I found the single pole switch up side down!

Too bad we have to waste our valuable time arguing about this issue, again I am right and you are wrong and must begin to remember the subject of safety, and that’s what its all about.

The push button switch is simple “pusha da butone Guido”


Everyone here is safety oriented. Don’t call this **discussion **something it’s not.

If I am to declare this issue as a defect in my report, I want to be 100% certain it is based on fact. Not the opinion of someone who consistantly advises HI’s to go way beyond the scope of an inspection.

Is there code that substantiates your statement? No, I don’t inspect to code, but as we all know, code (and safety) is the basis for our findings.

BTW… “flippa da switch, Vern” !!!:stuck_out_tongue:

**Practical Safeguarding.
**The purpose of the NEC is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.

Here’s a member that was not happy with the answers he received elsewhere and decided to ask the electricians!

Let me throw this into the mix.
When you look at a breaker panel does the breaker flip on to the left or the right…hmmmm

… and when the breaker is installed with the handle operating as a light switch, UP is on and down is off, since we don’t do code I will not mention where this rule is in the CODE, what about a switch of this type where the red light will go on when the switch it pushed UP

No one is disputing this.

What does this have to do with the question that you are skirting around?

Don’t need to…have one in my hands. It states how to wire it, says nothing about which way the switch is to be mounted.

Again, what makes this an **electrical **hazard? Also, I would discover that the room is pitch black before entering it, and use caution when I could not reach the switch. And when I did find the switch, if the throw was in the up position, I would throw it anyway!!! I would not keep looking for another switch that had the toggle in the down position!!! Even a child knows to flip the switch, no matter what the position it is in.

Again, assuming the switch is wired correctly, where is the electrical hazard?

Using your example above…pitch black room…how is one to see the indicator in the dark?


And in a fused panel… does the fuse thread in clockwise or counter-clockwise:p :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Correction…the light goes on when it is energized…not pushed up. :stuck_out_tongue: If the switch was mounted the other way…or even sideways…it would still turn on. :smiley:

I will repost this issue and I will add this to the electrical forum here asking the a similar question.