Upside down breakers

Energized breakers in a subpanel are in the down position rather than the up position. Any data available to back up this call?
(Photo isn’t the sharpest.)

HPIM1897 (Small).JPG

Yeah, those 6 and 8 circuit panels must be mounted so that the breaker is “up” when on, and “down” when off. Most panels don’t have a “right side up”, since the breakers work side to side, but the small one’s sure do. Checking to get the code citation right now…

240.81 Indicating. Circuit breakers shall clearly indicate
whether they are in the open “off” or closed “on” position.
Where circuit breaker handles are operated vertically
rather than rotationally or horizontally, the “up” position of
the handle shall be the “on” position.

Thanks Marc.

GE made some panels that will make this hard to do. If you mounted it so the breakers went horizontally there wouldn’t be any KOs on the top and bottom.
If you install it with the KOs top and bottom half the breakers are upside down. I am not sure how they got them listed but I inherited one in this house.

There are some FPE’s and some old square D’s that are the same way. They have two rows of breakers. One row is always upside down. These are old panels, though.

I am not sure how old this GE is. The garage was built in 79 and I suspect that is when it was put in.

I have '71 and a '78 code books. Some time between those two books, the requirement of being in the up position came into being. So, it has not always been in the code and that is probably how some panels were made and do not conform to the requirement.

It is in the 75 so we narrowed it down

Those panels that always have one row of breakers upside down should have been rotated 90°.

If one doesn’t know the code section at the site, one can always explain to one’s Clients using common sense:

"See these breakers that are upside down? Well, when they are in the ON position, the simple fact of them being upside down makes the ON read NO. No, what? No the breaker is in the wrong position?

The problem with rotating this panel 90 degrees is there wouldn’t be any KOs in the top and bottom then. Most resi electricians do not carry KO punches around here.