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Lockoff locking breaker on?


Chris Bernhardt
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Will Square D breakers still trip properly if the breaker lock off devices are set like this? When they are set like this I can't throw the breaker unless I move the lock-off off of the breaker. Was this intentional? I find the lock off apparently locking the breakers on a lot. This can't be right. Right?

Chris, Oregon

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"Will Square D breakers still trip properly if the breaker lock off devices are set like this?"

Yes...they trip internally. You can't "lock" the breaker on so that an overload won't trip it. Think about an AFCI breaker. When you trip it with the test button it goes to the mid point. You can push the toggle back to the "On" position but it remains tripped. You have to reset the mechanism by turning it all the way off before you can turn it on again. It's the same with any modern residential breaker.

As for the position of the lock-out. It's just the way it sits flat and out of the way when not in use. It's not actually locked without a padlock through the hole.

I don't think what you have pictured is a reportable concern.

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Thanks Richard. I suspected it might be that way but still seems odd. For example lets say it hasn't tripped internally and its an emergency and you go and try and throw the breaker. You can't with out lifting the lock off out the way right?

Chris, Oregon

That's true, but I never considered that to be much of a burden.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

For example lets say it hasn't tripped internally and its an emergency and you go and try and throw the breaker. You can't with out lifting the lock off out the way right?

Chris, Oregon

Well the whole point of the lock off device is so people aren't able to shut the fuse without the key (when it's locked)

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That particular lock-off can be used both ways but, unless there was someone in an iron lung in the house, it's purpose is most likely to serve as "a breaker capable of being locked off". That's the NEC language for an alternative to a disconnect "within sight" of some appliances. In other words, it's there to protect the service guy.

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It is for LOTO (lock out tag out). The purpose for that is to lock out that ciruit to prevent it from being activated while the circuit/component attached to it is being serviced. With the breaker off it will rest inside of the square device and a lock is attached to the hole provided. Yes it can still be manipulated to allow the breaker to be turned on, but not without an intentional effort to bypass the safety device.

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