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-   -   Switches - Is Up 'On' or 'Off'? (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f14/switches-is-up-on-or-off-27812.html)

Wotname 26-06-2009 23:47

Switches - Is Up 'On' or 'Off'?
 
I am just in the middle of making my new switch panel and became interested to know what CF members thought of the rationale of toggle switch positions with regard to ON & OFF.

In Oz, it is customary to move the lever DOWN to switch the circuit ON.

What direction do you move the switch on your boat (or your country).

I am comfortable with either direction as in my field (avionics), it is customary to move the lever UP to switch the circuit ON and correct me if I am wrong but I understand this is the norm. in the USA.

GeoPowers 27-06-2009 00:23

Here if it is unlabeled, then up is ON and down is OFF, just like a light switch!

bobsadler 27-06-2009 00:52

gp: just like a light switch in the u.s. you mean

in a lot of the rest of the world - and certainly most of the former british empire - down is ON

clearsea 27-06-2009 02:12

Canada: up = on.

Annoying to buy a toggle switch that is not labelled. Only option is to test it before installation in a panel.

Wotname 27-06-2009 03:30

All the more reason to buy only "Double Throw" switches :)

GordMay 27-06-2009 03:37

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by clearsea (Post 297944)
Canada: up = on.
Annoying to buy a toggle switch that is not labelled. Only option is to test it before installation in a panel.

North American (up = "on") SPST switches will have the terminals on the right hand side, when viewed from the front.
A single raised dot (braille ?) indicates the up (on) position on otherwise unlabelled switches.

This is just a matter of convention, so it doesn’t really matter which way you orient your switches; provided you remain consistent, and it makes sense (intuitive) to you.

SPST = Single Pole Single Throw

Note the missing (green) safety ground, in the picture. Tsk, tsk.



mesquaukee 27-06-2009 05:00

"Note the missing (green) safety ground, in the picture. Tsk, tsk."

And you won't, it's house wire in the picture. In Ontario it'salled NMD-7 wire. The ground is a bare wire that is attached to the ground screw on the box.

GordMay 27-06-2009 06:01

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by mesquaukee (Post 297964)
... it's house wire in the picture. In Ontario it's called NMD-7 wire. The ground is a bare wire that is attached to the ground screw on the box.

Right.

A single-pole switch has two brass screw terminals. Both are hot leads for one incoming and one outgoing line (black). Those are all the wires that connect to the switch.

The neutral wires (white) tie together separately and the ground wires tie together separately in the box.

Many new switches include a (green) ground screw; others may not have one. If you have the choice, get a switch with a ground screw terminal. That's where the bare copper or green wire connects (& box gnd).

I can't see a (bare) ground wire in the first picture I posted.

Inkwell 27-06-2009 09:17

In the great state of Georgia. On = Up.

captain58sailin 30-06-2009 02:17

If you use the down = on for your panel, then you will confuse all the north americans and slow them down if they try to steal your boat.

phatch 30-06-2009 06:10

Down is on
 
Yup, you have all resolved it. My visits throughout Africa, UK, etc. have all light switches down for on, whereas in the USA, the opposite applies. Wait until you try and sort out which plugs fits for what country's electrical outlet. That's fun.

rtbates 30-06-2009 06:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by GordMay (Post 297977)
Right.

A single-pole switch has two brass screw terminals. Both are hot leads for one incoming and one outgoing line (black). Those are all the wires that connect to the switch.

The neutral wires (white) tie together separately and the ground wires tie together separately in the box.

Many new switches include a (green) ground screw; others may not have one. If you have the choice, get a switch with a ground screw terminal. That's where the bare copper or green wire connects (& box gnd).

I can't see a (bare) ground wire in the first picture I posted.


Hey Gord:

I believe that I see the bare ground wire connected to the box's right side mounting screw.
I feel better. How about you??

James S 30-06-2009 10:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wotname (Post 297931)
I am just in the middle of making my new switch panel and became interested to know what CF members thought of the rationale of toggle switch positions with regard to ON & OFF.

.

If something falls against the switches or sweeps the face of the panel would you prefer that the switches be turned on or off!

Wotname 01-07-2009 01:43

Ahh... I knew if I waited long enough, someone would bring this up.

So if I fall against the panel, I want everything to turn ON. That way, I will know from all the lights, strobes, pumps kicking in etc that I have "done" something. As none of the circuits are life threating, then it is a sort of "failsafe" mode.

But I like Capt58's reasonong also :).

drew.ward 01-07-2009 07:02

Either direction is perfectly ok, but you should choose one way and stick with it throughout. Also, some of the reasoning for up being on is that it's more difficult to accidentally flip a switch upward than it is to accidentally hit it downward.

Cheechako 01-07-2009 08:37

mount the ones you want no one else to turn on the opposite way... :>)

redcobra 01-07-2009 08:55

The switches on my panel (Blue Sea) go left right. Left=On

Greg S 01-07-2009 10:07

...and all the switches on my Tartan are - Right=On. So much for standardization.

Wotname 02-07-2009 01:57

Dare I ask about latching push switches - IN is ON or OFF ?

James S 02-07-2009 02:24

I'm think'in in is on.

Wotname 02-07-2009 02:30

Well, that is how I think it should be, but............

GordMay 02-07-2009 03:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by James S (Post 299682)
I'm think'in in is on.

I'm thinkin' Jim is right - in most cases in is "on".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg S (Post 299389)
...and all the switches on my Tartan are - Right=On. So much for standardization.

Circuit breakers are typically “on” to load side, “off” to bus supply side.
Hence a parallel double row of breakers (flanking the supply bus), will be "on" to outside - right row "on" to left, left row "on" to right.

Otherwise, unpolarised devices, such as SPST switches (no specific supply-load), should be oriented consistently.

Wotname 02-07-2009 03:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by GordMay (Post 299694)
Circuit breakers are typically “on” to load side, “off” to bus supply side.

Thanks Gord, I just learnt something new.

delmarrey 02-07-2009 11:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by phatch
Down is on
Yup, you have all resolved it. My visits throughout Africa, UK, etc. have all light switches down for on, whereas in the USA, the opposite applies. Wait until you try and sort out which plugs fits for what country's electrical outlet. That's fun.


Electrical braker boxes are all down for off in the US of A. I'm courious, how about you.

GordMay 02-07-2009 12:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by delmarrey (Post 299837)
Electrical braker boxes are all down for off in the US of A. I'm courious, how about you.

Which sounds a lot like Up is On (North America).
What are you curious about?

Wotname 03-07-2009 01:13

Aussie Breakers usually UP is ON, on the other hand, Aussie Switches DOWN is ON. We must buy switches from the UK and breakers from the USA :):)

chala 03-07-2009 08:58

On a boat I would install CB’s subject to shock tripping horizontally. This will prevent nuisance shock tripping in heavy weather.

Cheechako 03-07-2009 09:00

Right is on, left is off.... what's this up and down crap??? :>) The reason that up is off "down under" is because everything is upside down down there. So really, they are the same in the US and OZ....

Lodesman 03-07-2009 09:20

No way, up is on
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by phatch (Post 298877)
Yup, you have all resolved it. My visits throughout Africa, UK, etc. have all light switches down for on, whereas in the USA, the opposite applies. Wait until you try and sort out which plugs fits for what country's electrical outlet. That's fun.

Since electricity was discovered and the light-bulb invented in North America, ours it the "right way" and the rest of you are backward:D

Generally with valves, open is toward the direction of flow. Similarly, as Gord stated open or on is toward the load. Lights are generally on the ceiling, so up for on

s/v Jedi 03-07-2009 19:40

That switch on Gord's photo: when you close the contacts it creates a short between hot and neutral. Both wires should have a color coding pointing to a hot wire, not one hot and one neutral.

We say "phase" instead of "hot". The color of this wire is brown. When you switch it, the wire often goes down in diameter (from 2.5 mm2 to 1.5 mm2) and changes color to black. Neutral is always 2.5 mm2 and is blue. Ground is green+yellow.
So, a switch should have a blue and a black wire in all of the EU now I think and the US... I guess black is hot so two black wires?

ah... electricity was discovered in Holland of course and Edison was of Dutch ancestry too ;-)

Dutch: first real capacitor (leading to battery) Leyden jar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German: George Ohm: Georg Ohm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
French: Ampere: André-Marie Ampère - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Italy: Volt: Alessandro Volta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So let's make that European. But the big name in AC was Tesla. Hey, he's from Croatia... what's US in all that? Ah Franklin with his dissipators (again ;-)

For switch panels I think the new low profile toggle (operated by pushing) types are superior as they won't be activated by accident.

cheers,
Nick.

delmarrey 03-07-2009 23:00

This is ironic
 
Today on the radio a guy started he knew that "righty is tighty & lefty is loosey" but wanted to know what was up & down. :rolleyes: :D:D:D

Lodesman 04-07-2009 06:34

Nick,

I don't really believe any one country can claim the discovery of electricity. I wonder why you didn't mention the Brits (Faraday, Watson et al)? But you can't possibly dispute the fact that the first practical application of electricity for power and lighting were American. BTW, Tesla did all his work in the US and even worked for Edison.

GordMay 04-07-2009 07:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lodesman (Post 300385)
Nick,
I don't really believe any one country can claim the discovery of electricity...

How about ancient Greece?

The GREEK, Thales of Miletus, is the earliest record I can find of experimentation with (static) electrical properties. He made a series of observations on static electricity circa 600AD.

The word electricity comes from the Greek word "electron", which means "amber". Thales noticed static electricity from polishing amber with a piece of wool or fur. After rubbing the amber, which created a static electric charge, other light objects such as straw or feathers stuck to the amber.

Though others may likely have previously notices these effects, Thales is apparently the first to have recorded his findings/observations.

s/v Jedi 04-07-2009 07:36

Lodesman,

I think the discovery of electricity goes much further back. It was the Egyptians and Arabs that described it first (read that on wikipedia I think).

Tesla and Edison: You must read that book about Tesla (don't remember the title but must be easy to find). Edison tried to destroy Tesla and probably succeeded. Tesla was so much ahead of his time that most people thought his demonstrations were magic and tricks. When Marconi was still trying to understand "wireless" (radio), Tesla demonstrated a radio controlled submarine model during the world fair in Chicago.
The hydro power plant at Niagara was build by Tesla and the first AC plant, while Edison was still running DC for city-power.

I do not agree with you that the "first practical application of electricity and power and lighting" was in the US. The first mass scale implementation of it was in the US. In Europe, electricity wasn't just science. For example, the first electric elevator was build in Germany by Ernst Werner von Siemens. There were big generating plants in Europe too incl. the use of Parson's first megawatt generator. But all that wasn't used for lighting up the streets and homes like in New York. It was mostly used for industry.

The Brits?? don't they live on that silly and stubborn island that hides in mist and rain? ;-)

cheers,
Nick.

olepedersen 04-07-2009 08:14

On my boat the former owner had mixed them up deliberatly through the boat,to discourage theft. it took a long time to figure it all out, and longer to change it . up is on
Ole

GordMay 04-07-2009 12:00

Although Werner von Siemens built the first electric elevator in 1880; this was merely an application (& marriage of) of pre-existing technologies, akin to Edison's "tinkering" inventions.

American Elisha Otis demonstrated a steam-powered freight elevator, equipped with a safety device* to prevent falling in case a supporting cable should break (the essential breakthrough), in 1853.

*"Improvement in Hoisting Apparatus."
Although Otis didn't actually invent the elevator, he invented the brake used in modern elevators. His brakes made skyscrapers a practical reality.

Hungarian Ányos Jedlik demonstrated the first experimental electric motors in in 1828, and British scientist William Sturgeon built the first “working” motor in 1832. In 1888, American emmigre Nikola Tesla invented the first practicable AC motor. Nobody from Thunder Bay has ever been demonstrably prominent in this field, though the City had Canada's first Electric Street railway..

drew.ward 04-07-2009 14:14

I used to laugh when I worked for Siemens that, in the headquarters buildings in Erlangen, Germany every building had elevators, but all were either Thyssen-Krupp or Otis -- not a single Siemens setup.

mesquaukee 04-07-2009 15:54

Simple to understand. It is all about personal safety issues.
Should anything go wrong there is someone else to blame.

GordMay 05-07-2009 02:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by drew.ward (Post 300490)
I used to laugh when I worked for Siemens that, in the headquarters buildings in Erlangen, Germany every building had elevators, but all were either Thyssen-Krupp or Otis -- not a single Siemens setup.

I don’t think that Siemens builds elevators.

Hoists and Cranes

I recall working as an estimator for a major electrical contractor, who tendered the electrical installation on their own new headquarters building. We were third lowest bidder, and didn’t get the contract.
The President (a Rothschild) assured me that our firm intended to make a profit on every project we undertook, and that the low bidder on our new building was welcome to the project - his low price being OUR bargain.

James S 05-07-2009 07:22

We have Siemens elevators in Lebanon.


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