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Furnace120-volt Kill Switch

Jerry Simon

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Chad posted the requirement for a disconnect here:


There is nothing under this section that states what the orientation must be.

Common sense to me says that it shouldn't matter, but an electrical guru will probably come along soon and say for sure.

The reference is 404.7

If the switch is oriented vertically, then "up" has to be "on."

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I got a call one night from the seller of a house I was in earlier the same day. His furnace was dead. The house was only a few miles away, so I said I'd be right over.

You're probably thinking what I was . . . the panels weren't on just so, and the blower kill switch wasn't depressed.

I hopped into the attic and looked around for probably fifteen minutes and COULD NOT figure out what was wrong.

I was about to give up and call my friend the HVAC guru when, through sheer serendipity, my eyes noticed that the disconnect switch was toggled off. No clue, but I assume I unknowingly brushed against the thing with a shoulder or elbow and clicked it off as I was leaving the attic.

And that would be the end of this I-am-a-dumbass story.

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Did the same thing in a crawl space a few years ago, Bain. Elderly seller came home at about 9:30 PM to a freezing house. Erby was out in the snow at about 10:00 PM.

I think most of us, if not all will admit it, have done a dumbass once or twice.

You're not alone!


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Guess who unfailingly checks the garage-door lock before jabbing a finger into the button?

Me. 'Cause there was one time when I DIDN'T check the lock, and got to watch while the screws were ripped clean out of the door by the opener-mechanism bracket.

Something like that happens, and you just stand there, staring at the destruction you've wrought, while thinking, "I am SO f**king stupid."

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We are in the land of basements and that typically is where the cats, rats, and ferrets hang out. They, and Brother Bain, are more likely to turn everything off by moving switch downward than upward. Generally the switch is on the side of the furnace and it is easy to brush against it. Just a regional difference.

Around here a furnace that is switched off, is real trouble five months of the year.

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  • 4 months later...

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