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Furnace disconnect - required?


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Had a new furnace the other day in a basement utility room. No disconnect on the unit or within sight. Required?

I guess I've never asked this before because I'd always presumed a disconnect is required and I hadn't run into any new furnaces without them. Just poked around in the codes. Unless I'm reading this wrong, a residential unit doesn't require one in sight - only a receptacle within 25 ft.

Confirm?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike, I don't much feel like getting into my code books at the moment, so I'll try logic instead.

You say this is the first time you have seen a newer furnace without a disconnect or direct line of sight to the breaker. If it wasn't code, then don't you find that odd in this era where most contractors will only do what is required, and no more?

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2008 NEC:

422.30 General

A means shall be provided to disconnect each appliance from all ungrounded conductors in accordance with the following sections of Part III...

Keep in mind that a plug/outlet arrangement sometimes qualifies as 'disconnect'.

Marc

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422.30 General.

A means shall be provided to disconnect each appliance from all ungrounded conductors in accordance with the following sections of Part III. If an appliance is supplied by more than one source, the disconnecting means shall be grouped and identified.

422.31 Disconnection of Permanently Connected Appliances.

(A) Rated at Not over 300 Volt-Amperes or 1/8 Horsepower. For permanently connected appliances rated at not over 300 volt-amperes or 1/8 hp, the branch-circuit overcurrent device shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means.

(B) Appliances Rated over 300 Volt-Amperes or 1/8 Horsepower. For permanently connected appliances rated over 300 volt-amperes or 1/8 hp, the branch-circuit switch or circuit breaker shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means where the switch or circuit breaker is within sight from the appliance or is capable of being locked in the open position. The provision for locking or adding a lock to the disconnecting means shall be installed on or at the switch or circuit breaker used as the disconnecting means and shall remain in place with or without the lock installed.

FPN: For appliances employing unit switches, see 422.34.

422.32 Disconnecting Means for Motor-Driven Appliance.

If a switch or circuit breaker serves as the disconnecting means for a permanently connected motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp, it shall be located within sight from the motor controller and shall comply with Part IX of Article 430.

Exception: If a motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp is provided with a unit switch that complies with 422.34(A), (B), ©, or (D), the switch or circuit breaker serving as the other disconnecting means shall be permitted to be out of sight from the motor controller.

422.33 Disconnection of Cord-and-Plug-Connected Appliances.

(A) Separable Connector or an Attachment Plug and Receptacle. For cord-and-plug-connected appliances, an accessible separable connector or an accessible plug and receptacle shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means. Where the separable connector or plug and receptacle are not accessible, cord-and-plug-connected appliances shall be provided with disconnecting means in accordance with 422.31.

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422.30 General.

A means shall be provided to disconnect each appliance from all ungrounded conductors in accordance with the following sections of Part III. If an appliance is supplied by more than one source, the disconnecting means shall be grouped and identified.

422.31 Disconnection of Permanently Connected Appliances.

(A) Rated at Not over 300 Volt-Amperes or 1/8 Horsepower. For permanently connected appliances rated at not over 300 volt-amperes or 1/8 hp, the branch-circuit overcurrent device shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means.

(B) Appliances Rated over 300 Volt-Amperes or 1/8 Horsepower. For permanently connected appliances rated over 300 volt-amperes or 1/8 hp, the branch-circuit switch or circuit breaker shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means where the switch or circuit breaker is within sight from the appliance or is capable of being locked in the open position. The provision for locking or adding a lock to the disconnecting means shall be installed on or at the switch or circuit breaker used as the disconnecting means and shall remain in place with or without the lock installed.

FPN: For appliances employing unit switches, see 422.34.

422.32 Disconnecting Means for Motor-Driven Appliance.

If a switch or circuit breaker serves as the disconnecting means for a permanently connected motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp, it shall be located within sight from the motor controller and shall comply with Part IX of Article 430.

Exception: If a motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp is provided with a unit switch that complies with 422.34(A), (B), ©, or (D), the switch or circuit breaker serving as the other disconnecting means shall be permitted to be out of sight from the motor controller.

422.33 Disconnection of Cord-and-Plug-Connected Appliances.

(A) Separable Connector or an Attachment Plug and Receptacle. For cord-and-plug-connected appliances, an accessible separable connector or an accessible plug and receptacle shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means. Where the separable connector or plug and receptacle are not accessible, cord-and-plug-connected appliances shall be provided with disconnecting means in accordance with 422.31.

I gotta remember to never post before my 2nd cup of coffee.

Marc

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Had a new furnace the other day in a basement utility room. No disconnect on the unit or within sight. Required?

I guess I've never asked this before because I'd always presumed a disconnect is required and I hadn't run into any new furnaces without them. Just poked around in the codes. Unless I'm reading this wrong, a residential unit doesn't require one in sight - only a receptacle within 25 ft.

Confirm?

The disconnect can be within line-of-sight. Alternatively an out of sight breaker with a lockout is fine.

The blower door switch doesn't count.

Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi All,

Thanks, I'd completely forgotten that I'd posted this.

Chad, I found that but when I studied the requirements it seems like a residential unit didn't require line-of-site, just a disconnect someplace.

Jim, that's what I'd assumed in the end but it would have been nice if it could have been a whole lot easier ot find.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I don't know if the rule's derived from the NEC, but in my area, a disconnect for HVAC or an electrical water heater isn't required if the appliance is in sight of the electrical panel.

Which is what I'd always assumed and that's why I've never written it up in garages or where I could see a panel. In this case, it was in a utility room in the basement a long way from the panel. Can't recall every seeing that done before.

I guess the lesson is not assume things in this business based on other things. Just because one type of device needs a disconnect or needs to be within sight of the panel doesn't mean that they'll all be under the same rules.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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