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Old 12-21-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
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Question about light in furnace rm


Hi all;
This is my first post, but I have been doing DIY for a while.

I installed a new light in my furnace room (a while back). I connected it to the same power that runs the 24V transformer on the gas furnace, so if the emergency switch at the top of the basement stair is shut off, the light will not work.
A friend who is more knowledgible told me that this configuration it is OK, but I wanted to get some 2nd opinion.

There is another emergency shutoff switch in the furnace room, but that one does not shut off the light.
The light has its own switch in the furnace room.

Thanks for your help;

Sherpa

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Last edited by Sherpa; 12-21-2008 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:13 PM   #2
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Question about light in furnace rm


In my opinion, I would not have a service light on the same circuit as the emergency switch. If you were to cut the switch due to an emergency you wouldn't be able to see what was wrong with out a flashlight. This (using a flashlight) is not a bad thing but what is the point of the service light if you can't use it in an emergency?

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Last edited by handyman78; 12-21-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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Question about light in furnace rm


This would be a code violation.

The 2005 edition of the NEC states in 422.12 Central Heating Equipment;

"Central heating equipment other than fixed electric space-heating equipment shall be supplied by an individual branch circuit."

It lists 2 exceptions, both of which concern other equipment connected to the central unit.

Nowhere does this section allow a light of any type to be fed from the furnace circuit.

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Old 12-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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Question about light in furnace rm


Haha, when we moved into our house, almost the entire basement was running off the furnace circuit (lights, outlets, bathroom, etc). We just had the furnace replaced a couple weeks ago and we were told that we would fail the inspection with it setup like it is.

We didn't wire it up that way, that's how it was when we moved in. It would mean running at least 2 new circuits to the basement to feed one to the furnace and one to the bathroom and leave what ever else is existing on the current "furnace" circuit. Trouble is the GE panel is nearly completely full, i'd have to move some breakers around but I might be able to get some more slimline breakers to fit in the panel....

Oh, the furnace room light is also connected to the furnace circuit, but at least its a plug-in flourescent shop light so you can easily plug it into another outlet.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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Question about light in furnace rm


Thanks guys. I have plenty of choices for a different circuit, so the move won't be a problem. This was done several years ago, probably even before the 2005 code.

Have a happy!

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Old 12-21-2008, 08:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Haha, when we moved into our house, almost the entire basement was running off the furnace circuit
Oh yeah- reminds me of the house I grew up in- not a very old house, just wired very frugally. I think there were 8 fused circuits for the whole place and this was a 3br house!
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:49 AM   #7
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Question about light in furnace rm


When your panel is "full" chances are all the slots in the grounding bar are used up. You would want to consider installing a subpanel. Just be sure that a separate neutral connects the subpanel to the main panel and neutrals are not combined with grounds in the subpanel.

I have lived in houses that had just two 15 amp 14 gauge knob & tube circuits and no 240 volt service serving the entire house (not an apartment). One house was upgraded to a 100 or so amp 120/240 volt service and some new circuits but the two old circuits were given breakers in the new panel and otherwise kept as-is.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-22-2008 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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Question about light in furnace rm


Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Haha, when we moved into our house, almost the entire basement was running off the furnace circuit (lights, outlets, bathroom, etc). We just had the furnace replaced a couple weeks ago and we were told that we would fail the inspection with it setup like it is.
Why not just run one new circuit to the furnace and leave the rest of it alone?

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