Author Topic: Furnace Switch Location  (Read 1949 times)

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Furnace Switch Location
« on: September 03, 2016, 11:54:41 AM »
We got a failed electrical inspection on a job with regards to the furnace switch location. I looked through the latest Electrical Code and didn't see the particular code infraction the inspector wrote us up for. I only briefly saw it on the boss' phone.
There seems to be an amendment that states that the furnace switch is to be located on the entrance leading to the furnace room. So this rule basically means about 95% of all furnace jobs we swap out, we'll be needing to make switch changes since they're normally found at the bottom of the staircase or in the furnace room. Where is this rule? I tried looking around but couldn't find it.

Offline Admin

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Re: Furnace Switch Location
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2016, 01:23:26 PM »
You can download the ESA Bulletin 26-15-2 from the Contractor Private Forum.  I attached a picture of the Bulletin below.

Quote
Rule 26-806 - Heating equipment rated 117 kW and less (see Appendix B)
(1) Except as permitted by Subrule (3), all electric power for the heating unit and associated equipment operating in connection with it shall be obtained from a single branch circuit that shall be used for no other purpose.
(2) For the purpose of this Rule, circulating pumps and similar equipment need not be considered as associated equipment, provided that such equipment is not essential for the safe operation of the heating unit.
(3) Subrule (1) does not apply to a water heater using a gaseous fuel.
(4) The branch circuit shall be permitted to be tapped as necessary to supply the various pieces of associated equipment, but there shall be no overcurrent protection supplied in the tap to any piece of associated equipment the operation of which is essential to the proper operation of the heating unit, unless the control equipment is of such a nature that the heating unit will be shut down if the associated equipment fails to function due to the operation of the overcurrent device.
(5) Suitable disconnecting means shall be provided for the branch circuit.
(6) The disconnecting means shall be permitted to be a branch circuit breaker at the distribution panelboard, provided that the panelboard is located between the furnace and the point of entry to the area where the furnace is located.
(7) Where a separate switch is required due to the unsuitable location of the branch circuit breaker, it shall
(a) not be located on the furnace nor in a location that can be reached only by passing close to the furnace; and
(b) be marked to indicate the equipment it controls.

Quote
Rule 28-604 - Location of disconnecting means
(1) The motor branch circuit disconnecting means described in Rule 28-602(1)(a), (b), (c), and (d) shall
(a) be located at the distribution centre from where the motor branch circuit originates; and
(b) where intended to serve as a single disconnecting means for a motor branch circuit, motor, and
controller or starter, also be
(i) located in accordance with Subrule (3); or
(ii) capable of being locked in the open position by a lock-off device approved for the purpose and
be clearly labelled to describe the load or loads connected.
(2) The motor branch circuit disconnecting means described in Rule 28-602(1)(f) shall be located in
accordance with Subrule (3).
(3) Except as required in Subrule (5), the motor and motor starter or controller disconnecting means shall be located
(a) within sight of and within 9 m of the motor and the machinery driven by it; and
(b) within sight of and within 9 m of the motor starter or controller.
(4) Notwithstanding Subrule (3), where a motor or group of motors is fed from a single branch circuit in which the branch circuit disconnecting means is not capable of being acceptably locked in the open position and where the motor disconnecting means is a manually operable across-the-line type of motor starter, the motor disconnecting means shall be permitted to be located beyond the limits defined in Subrule (3), provided that
(a) it is capable of safely making and interrupting the locked rotor current of the connected load;
(b) it is capable of being locked in the open position; and
(c) it can be demonstrated that the location specified in Subrule (3) is clearly impracticable.
(5) The motor disconnecting means for air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment shall be located within sight of and within 3 m of the equipment.
(6) The disconnecting means shall be readily accessible or have the means for operating them readily accessible.
(7) Motor-driven machinery of a movable or portable type for industrial use shall have a motor-circuit switch or circuit breaker mounted on the machine and accessible to the operator.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Furnace Switch Location
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 04:01:37 PM »
Thanks. Those are the ones I'm familiar with. But it seemed like it was written with something extra on the message he had on his phone. Maybe I read it too quickly. I haven't been able to see it again.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Furnace Switch Location
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 01:06:58 PM »
Here I am again! So we received a new failed inspection for this same issue on another job by the same inspector.  He's apparently an older fella. I found it written on page 4 of this document: https://www.esasafe.com/assets/files/esasafe/pdf/Public_Consultation/d3/PWU_Contractor_E.pdf

"The disconnecting switch for the furnace shall be located away from the furnace, between the furnace and entry to the room, and be readily accessible."

Now upon returning to this residence, we didn't have a switch installed at all. I noticed when I walk to the bottom of the stairs and turn to my right and look straight ahead, I see the main panel mounted on the wall. When I make another right turn, I then walk about 10 feet to enter the furnace room where the furnace is located.
Now to me, this falls under number 6 for the panelboard location.  But it's hard to say. I don't have to walk directly by it to get to the furnace room if I'm coming from upstairs. But if I'm at any location left of this basement, I do have to pass by it to get to the furnace room.

By aside from all that sillyness, he keeps referencing this code that implies if a switch is going to be installed, it needs to be between the furnace and entry to the room, but when I look at the latest code book and the same obvious highlighted codes of 5, 6, 7, I don't get that specific requirement his code is implying. 7a basically tells us where the switch cannot be located.