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Breaker lockoffs


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According to the electrical inspection of existing dwellings, "appliances larger the 1/8 horsepower require a disconnecting means so the appliance can be safely worked on with the power off."

When you find hardwired in appliances larger the 1/8th horsepower with no disconnecting means in sight nor some breaker lock off device at the panel do you write it up?

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

According to the electrical inspection of existing dwellings, "appliances larger the 1/8 horsepower require a disconnecting means so the appliance can be safely worked on with the power off."

When you find hardwired in appliances larger the 1/8th horsepower with no disconnecting means in sight nor some breaker lock off device at the panel do you write it up?

Chris, Oregon

I always flag missing disconnects or lockouts at air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps and whirlpool baths.

I'm less inclined to nag about that one on disposals and dishwashers, particularly on older homes.

I know; it's inconsistent.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Unless it's a hard-wired batch processing disposal the NEC allows the wall switch to serve as the disconnecting means (always assuming I'm reading the code correctly).

I'm with Jim regarding older houses for interior appliances. The NEC wording is "capable of of being locked in the open position". As most breakers are "capable" of being fitted with a lockout device, even if not currently present, I don't see that it's a big deal. If the guy replacing the dishwasher every 20 years is that nervous about homeowners going to the panel and deliberately trying to electrocute him, then he probably carries a selection of lock-outs.

I see a need for them during construction but much less so once everything is installed and the panel is under the control of the homeowner.

I don't think Jim is being "inconsistant". He's just applying common sense to the situation.

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