Electrician talking(l+r), Finger touching light switch(c)

Sharpshutter/Shutterstock @bisonreno/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Better go check your wall plates’: Electrician shares ‘secret’ he says electricians probably don’t want homeowners to know 

‘This is how we know.’


Nina Hernandez


An electrician shared a “secret” he says other electricians probably don’t want homeowners to know. And that’s how they spot signs that a non-professional meddled in your electrical—potentially voiding your warranty.

TikTok user Bison Renovations (@bisonreno) is a contractor based in Florida’s greater Tampa Bay area. Yesterday, Bison posted a video featuring one of its contractors with a piece of advice for homeowners. “Just so you know, this is how we know,” the contractor says. “Because we’ve got a warranty—I prefer to use the word guarantee—but we put all our screws up and down vertical.”

He gestures to a light switch on the wall and points to the screws. The grooves are horizontal, not vertical. “Because at an angle it will actually catch dust,” he says. “And it just makes your house dirty. So we as electricians put them up and down every time.”

This also helps him identify when somebody’s been meddling with work he’s done that is under warranty. “We come into your house because you say something’s not working, and I walk in, and the screws are different?” he says. “How do I guarantee something that you’ve played with? Or that your uncle that thinks he’s an electrician has played with? It’s just a sign that not an electrician installed this.”

The video has amassed more than 536,000 views as of Wednesday morning. In the caption, Bison writes, “Better go check your wall plates.” In the comments section, users unsurprisingly made light of the situation.

One user wrote, “It’s a light switch not rocket science.”

A second user said, “Or they painted the wall and put the cover back on.”

Another user said, “Electrians always acting like we can’t do basic switch changes.”

@bisonreno Better go check your wall plates 😂 #bisonrenovations #electrician #electricianlife #homerenovation #homereno #homeremodeling ♬ original sound – Bison Renovations

Despite the skepticism from some viewers, this is actually sort of a thing. On Mike Holt’s Forum for electricians back in 2005, a user brought up this very subject. “I was wondering how many installers take the time to line up the plate screws? We always line them up vertically. I’ve seen many 4 gang switch plates with the screws in 8 different directions. IMO it doesn’t look professional if they’re in a random pattern. This is right up there with installing the plate level. Does anyone else do this?” the user wrote.

Another user responded, “If the screws are in the right position, I know it was one of my guys installing crooked covers. If they’re in the wrong position, I know it was someone else, usually the painter doing touch up, who removed the plate and reinstalled it sloppy.”

In a Reddit post to r/MildlyInteresting three years ago, a user posted photos of their kitchen outlets. “Our electrician left all of the screws in a vertical position in our new kitchen.” Another user replied, “It’s a sign of craftsmanship. Since most people can’t see what’s behind the wall in terms of how meticulous some electricians are whether it be how they run their wires or how they support their wires while always making sure their work is up to code. At the end of the day it just shows the customer and other electricians that you take pride in your work and your craft.”

Update 8:34am CT, July 15: When reached for comment, Joe Caito, owner of Bison Renovations, told the Daily Dot that the company appreciates “the lively discussion sparked by our recent TikTok video. At Bison Renovations, we take pride in our attention to detail—even something as minor as how the screws on a wall plate line up. It’s our way of ensuring our finishes stand out from the average contractor. If we spot any issues in our client’s homes, especially those from previous work done by others, we’re on it—fixing it right up for our clients. A big thanks to everyone who’s watched and chimed in. We love hearing your thoughts!”

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