2

It bothers me that in-sink food waste disposals usually have an on-off switch that looks identical to a light switch and is often within a set of light switches sharing a single wall plate.

How could I label the disposal's switch in an elegant way that:

  • warns everyone not to flip the switch (even people who don't know what a disposal is)
  • lets people (who know what a disposal is) know that this switch controls the disposal
2

I'd go for a simple colour differentiation. Anything other than white is clearly not a light switch. People generally understand that a Big Red Switch should not be used unless you know what it's for. And this kind of switch is easily purchased.red switch

  • 1
    Depending where you live, a switch like that means turning the water heater on, so after pressing it, you expect to have water on the closest sink or shower. – PatomaS Apr 7 '14 at 7:24
1

The biggest impact would be using a completely different switch style, one that says "I control heavy, violent machinery, not a little light bulb".

A big, round spring-loaded momentary-on switch with a safety cover and an icon indicating something being hacked to bits (not unlike the standard safety icons for "corrosive", "sharp", etc) would do the job.

  • I like it! Good idea! – Ryan Dec 5 '16 at 23:14
0

I'm pretty impressed with these pictorial labels: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/307982546/switchid-know-which-switch-is-which/description

And for switches like a disposal (which involve a safety concern), I might also add a cover / guard like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:13815

  • 1
    At least as important as any other feature would be to require a spring-loaded "dead-man" switch that shuts off the motor when the switch is released. – MMacD Dec 2 '16 at 10:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.