Correct screw orientation ?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Agu, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Agu

    Agu New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Replaced all the outlets and switches in my house with the help of an electrician friend. Could have done it myself but with an older home I wanted to have him confirm everything was done right and up to code. He did find and correct some questionable wiring, for which at some time he'll call in the favor. In the future he'll have me helping him on some really miserable job and I'll have to smile and pretend I'm enjoying myself. ;)

    After we finished I replaced all the switch plates with new plates.

    After a few weeks he came by and informed me all my plates were installed wrong. All the screw slots holding the plates were up and down (perpendicular to the floor). He informed me all screw slots should be horizontal (parallel to the floor).

    So who's right and why?

    The answer that we're both anal retentive with compulsive personalities is not correct btw .
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    They MUST be on a 45 degree angle. This is extremely important. I have seen whole houses fail inspection because of it.

    This can be found in the district code addendum XR7-4Jc.

    Please don't make this mistake again. ;)
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    It has to do with the way that electromagnetic flux lines "leak" off the head of the screw. If you put the screws in wrong, it will cause interference on TV's and computers.
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    And birth defects. Don't forget birth defects!!
  5. Agu

    Agu New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Does that have anything to do with the belief that loose electrons will collect in a horizontal screw slot ?

    ;)
  6. Agu

    Agu New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    BTW, I understand painters have their own rules. Their technique is to tighten the screw until the plate cracks, back off a half turn, and blame the electrician.
  7. Bobelectric

    Bobelectric Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Eighty Four,Pa. 15330
    Balance,We need Balance!
  8. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    amen

    quote; Screw Theory...

    Isn't that the motto of most handymen? As for the original question. Throw the screws away and glue the plates to the wall. The screw holes will allow air circulation to prevent heat buildup in the boxes. By the way, did you check the screw orientation on the ones holding the wires?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  10. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Screws always up and down!
    This allows the dust to fall from the screw to the floor where the cats have something to play with!
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    screws

    Wrong! If the slot is up and down, the dust does not accumulate. Horizontal it will build up until it gets heavy enough to collapse, and then the cats will have a large ball to play with. Why are you still using slotted screws? Phillips will eliminate the uncertainty.
  12. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    No one covered the summer to winter rotation requirements.

    I always do mine late spring and late fall when I change the air in my tires. Makes it easy to remember.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  13. Jeff1

    Jeff1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    So Cal
    What about the Northern vs Southern Hemisphere adjustments for vortex and magnetic differentiation?
  14. Agu

    Agu New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I live in SW Florida, do those requirements also apply in subtropical climates? I thought that only applied in climates where the cold caused shrinkage?
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