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jamiedolan 03-09-2009 11:57 AM

Service Disconnect Height
 
At a local store (Menards West) in Appleton, WI. I noticed that there are 3 large (about 16"x24") panels with large knife disconnects on the side of them. They appear to feed some HVAC equipment.

The panels are about 20 feet about the ground. There is no walk way or areal work platform. To access the disconnects, you would need a lift or a long extension ladder.

I know the guy that works there in electrical, and we were talking about if it was legal and safe, I said I thought the service disconnects had to be accessible from the ground without a ladder (5'7") or accessible from a upper floor / permanent work platform.

Is that legal to have a disconnect so high and inaccessible?

Thanks
Jamie

joed 03-09-2009 12:48 PM

If the equipment that it disconnects is mounted up in the ceiling it is probably a good place to have the disconenct, right next to the equipment.

InPhase277 03-09-2009 01:26 PM

The height requirement is 6'7", but like joed said, if it is adjacent to the equipment it serves, it is legal.

Speedy Petey 03-09-2009 01:31 PM

Take note of the exceptions:


404.8 Accessibility and Grouping.

(A) Location.
All switches and circuit breakers used as switches shall be located so that they may be operated from a readily accessible place. They shall be installed such that the center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, is not more than 2.0 m (6 ft 7 in.) above the floor or working platform.

Exception No. 1: On busway installations, fused switches and circuit breakers shall be permitted to be located at the same level as the busway. Suitable means shall be provided to operate the handle of the device from the floor.

Exception No. 2: Switches and circuit breakers installed adjacent to motors, appliances, or other equipment that they supply shall be permitted to be located higher than 2.0 m (6 ft 7 in.) and to be accessible by portable means.

Exception No. 3: Hookstick operable isolating switches shall be permitted at greater heights.

jamiedolan 03-10-2009 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InPhase277 (Post 242230)
The height requirement is 6'7", but like joed said, if it is adjacent to the equipment it serves, it is legal.

Yes, it is fairly close to the piece of equipment that it presumable serves. Glad to know it is ok. It seemed a bit weird that you would have to go get a lift if there was an emergency and they (Hvac / blower) needed to be turned off.

I've noticed other things that I know are violations, like, lots of exposed Flex conduit. I can't see how it meets the Protected from physical damage requirement when I find that stuff down low just hanging around... It's kind of fun looking for electrical violations and really stupid stuff people have done. It is a good learning tool for me.

Thanks guys
Jamie

J. V. 03-10-2009 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiedolan (Post 242642)
Yes, it is fairly close to the piece of equipment that it presumable serves. Glad to know it is ok. It seemed a bit weird that you would have to go get a lift if there was an emergency and they (Hvac / blower) needed to be turned off.

I've noticed other things that I know are violations, like, lots of exposed Flex conduit. I can't see how it meets the Protected from physical damage requirement when I find that stuff down low just hanging around... It's kind of fun looking for electrical violations and really stupid stuff people have done. It is a good learning tool for me.

Thanks guys
Jamie

I am the same way. After 35 years in the trade, I nit pick every electrical installation I come across. Some for their beauty and compliance and some for the hack jobs they are.

Speedy Petey 03-10-2009 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiedolan (Post 242642)
Yes, it is fairly close to the piece of equipment that it presumable serves. Glad to know it is ok. It seemed a bit weird that you would have to go get a lift if there was an emergency and they (Hvac / blower) needed to be turned off.

Thing is, it is not an emergency shutoff. It is a service disconnect.

In an emergency you can go to the service equipment or MDP and shut off the breaker.

chris75 03-10-2009 09:44 PM

Why do some people think that in an actual emergency someone is actually going to shut a piece of equipment OFF? They are just going to run like hell. :)

chris75 03-10-2009 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiedolan (Post 242642)

I've noticed other things that I know are violations, like, lots of exposed Flex conduit. I can't see how it meets the Protected from physical damage requirement when I find that stuff down low just hanging around...

Thanks guys
Jamie


Well Jamie, if you want to define protected from physical damage for me, then we can argue all night long what you think should be protected. :)

rgsgww 03-10-2009 09:50 PM

What about flex conduit whips exposed near furnaces? Its not like I'm going to back a truck up into a furnace....

Lol, yeah, most people would get out of there...

Bocolo 03-10-2009 10:56 PM

Quote:

They shall be installed such that the center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, is not more than 2.0 m (6 ft 7 in.) above the floor or working platform.


Is there a "lowest" position for the main? I have never seen anything on the NEC about this but I have not read the entire NEC book yet. Thanks for your time.

jamiedolan 03-11-2009 02:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 242945)
Well Jamie, if you want to define protected from physical damage for me, then we can argue all night long what you think should be protected. :)

I'll make sure to take photos of some of the worst offenders next time I spot them. Just one example: I submit that bx / fmc whips dangling near a cash register is exposed to physical damage.

Jamie

jamiedolan 03-11-2009 02:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bocolo (Post 242974)

Is there a "lowest" position for the main? I have never seen anything on the NEC about this but I have not read the entire NEC book yet. Thanks for your time.

My understanding is that there is none in a home. But there are in moblie homes.
Jamie

Bocolo 03-11-2009 06:30 AM

Thanks Jamie.


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