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Locking "On" a Service Disconnect #188274 07/28/09 12:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
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George Little Offline OP
Member
We have a bank that has the Service Disconnect located outdoors and they are concerned about tampering. The question comes up- Can I install a padlock on the Service Disconnect to prevent unauthorized persons from turning off the power to the bank. I see the words Readily Accessible in Article 230 and need a second opinion.


George Little
2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: George Little] #188278 07/28/09 02:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,233
HotLine1 Offline
Member
George:

IMHO, a 'breakaway' padlock has been acceptable here. That is, after a courtesy call to the local Fire Official usually.

The breakaway lock is acceptable on sprinkler main valves. Again, blessed by the FO

Basically....judgement call time.






John
Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: HotLine1] #188279 07/28/09 03:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,569
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gfretwell Offline
Member
Little things like padlocks do not slow down the fire department. If they want in something they have the tools to get in. In this case, the point of a fire axe.
I have seen firemen bust the seal off a meter, pick the ring off and pop out the meter from 4 feet away with an axe.
It is really a couple quick flicks of the wrist.
I bet Trumpy can do it wink

They don't stand in front of it!


Greg Fretwell
Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: gfretwell] #188283 07/28/09 07:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Tom Offline
Member
George,

The definition of readily accessible does not have any prohibition against locks.

As Greg said, padlocks do not slow down the Fire Department. Having the disconnect outside so they don't have to pull the meter is probably safer for them anyway

Tom


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: Tom] #188289 07/29/09 12:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member
I would not have a problem with a FUSED disconnect. That would still provide overcurrent protection.

A non-fused disconnect would be a problem.

Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: gfretwell] #188296 07/29/09 03:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,379
Trumpy Offline
Member
Originally Posted by gfretwell

I have seen firemen bust the seal off a meter, pick the ring off and pop out the meter from 4 feet away with an axe.
It is really a couple quick flicks of the wrist.
I bet Trumpy can do it wink


Power Company has fusing outside of the building boundary here (ie before the metering gear), these fuses are normally pulled in the case of a building fire.
BTW, the PoCo is responsible for the removal of the fuses and are often responded at the same time as the Fire Service (as part of a pre-determined plan).

Having said that, you also have to think of other systems like sprinkler pumps and other fire control equipment.

Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: Trumpy] #188377 08/03/09 09:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 315
L
luckyshadow Offline
Member
Locks on the disconnects outside of commercial buildings are the norm around here.
I would say about 1/2 of them have some old rusted up master lock on them.

Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: luckyshadow] #188387 08/04/09 07:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
L
leland Offline
Member
Originally Posted by luckyshadow
Locks on the disconnects outside of commercial buildings are the norm around here.
I would say about 1/2 of them have some old rusted up master lock on them.


All the time here as well. All types of occupancies.
Commercial, the land lord/owner never has keys.
Not to worry.
I vote to allow.

BTW: I don't think it is any thing (regardless of the quality of a keyed lock) That a $100 (USA) cordless and 1/4" bit could not defeat in under 90 seconds.Ya know, Hard steel and soft brass for the important stuff! smile

Last edited by leland; 08/04/09 08:10 PM.
Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: gfretwell] #188435 08/08/09 02:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 361
M
mbhydro Offline
Member
I think that most fire trucks have bolt cutters on them as standard equiptment. That should be able to take care of the problem quicker than trying to break the lock with an axe.

Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: mbhydro] #188444 08/08/09 10:45 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 169
C
ChicoC10 Offline
Member
Bolt cutters will go through it like butter.

I had a pair of small Chinese bolt cutters and offered to go cut the lock of of a friends (a very paranoid friend) gate to his undeveloped property some years ago.

As this pair of cheap cutters dispatched the lock with minimal effort the look on my friends face was priceless.

"What good are locks !?!"

"Not much really :)"

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