Position of light switched Up or Down

An inspection of a one family dwellig revealed that all of the single pole light switches were installed upside down in a new dwelling.

I cited this in my defect notice.

How would you handle this, would you let them stay, and consider it to be acceptable, or would it be considered as a safety item and stress that they be put in the correct position UP for ON and down for OFF?

Talk about a loaded question! :stuck_out_tongue:

Here is where Joe’s question is comming from…


Like many others Jeffrey was asking an electrical question so he obviously posted it for Home inspectors to answer a post in the Electrical section.
Seeing as you noticed that there is an Canadian section .
I also hope you saw many of our souther friends post there, and are always welcomed with open arms.
I would make a small notation as how the switches are not in the usual direction.
I had a electrical Friend who change all his as he liked them what we might call back wards as he could turn them on easy when his hand where full.
Some combination sw plugs only go side ways if the box is mounted in the usual position.

I wouldn’t mention it as a problem Joe. In the dark it wouldn’t seem to matter as you can’t see the switich anyway. And if thats the case why not get a lighted switch?

Do you note the upside down switch as a defect?

No I do not report it. I fail to see how its a safety item. The light is either on or off. Besides its not a deal blower in my opinion.


I will stay out of the fray as my opinion is set.
Up is on and down is off.
Better …yes
In the report… no

This is another difference between home inspectors and code inspectors.

Will a code inspector…code book in one hand as he reviews a violation…take issue? Yes. Why not? It’s his job. If the code says it, enforce it.

But will a home inspector complicate the process of selling/buying a home because a light switch is upside down? Will he actually recommend that his client require that a licensed electrician come to the home and turn all of the switches in the house around? No.

How do you report if they are horizontal? I see many like that, especially in newer homes. I’ve never called it a defect, or even mentioned it.

It isn’t an issue with 3-way switches, so why would it be an issue with single pole? More of a “convention” issue than anything. Plust what if it was a horizontal single pole?

Maybe it’s Britney’s rehab house and they’re teaching everyone to, “Just say NO” :wink:

Thanks Barry a good chucle…Cookie
Now if I can just do that too Just say NO!

I just know that if it was my house, I’d have to flip all the backwards switches around, for me and anybody visiting, whether they’re Canadian or not.:wink:


Simple and works for all people with two hands .

Clapp on

Clapp off



I am that age
When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there


Good one Cookie! With any good fortune many of us will be able to view life from your age and we appreciate the tips. :smiley:


Do you note receptacles installed upside down?

… and how are you determining this situation? The standard only has one real restriction, and that is for a mobile home.

The orientation of the grounding pin is sometimes up or down, and the issues and arguments on this are so old they can vote. Some, including yours truly willl look at the orientation of the cord cap.