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#197038 11/05/10 11:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 40
rhiphi Offline OP
So I'm interested in everybody's thoughts on the new disconnects in most new fixtures {is it code yet ???}
I find them to be a nuisance when I'm installing more than one wire they are only giving you one place to connect
when a multi- tap would be better.that means you have to wire nut your wires make tails then hook to the disconnect
inside of an already tight fixture ????

And I find most of my coworkers doing the same thing
snipping them and tossing them to the floor

also this summer my partner and i were mounting some remote ballasts in some 24 x24 boxes and not thinking we wired line to the disconnects for some 300 watt lights and low and behold when we fired them up oops the manufacture put the disconnects on the lamp side of the ballasts so keep your heads up on which side of the ballasts they are on

light disconnects
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 316
Disconnecting means for the ballast in fluorescent fixtures that utilize double - ended lamps are required by code.( in other then dwellings)
This requirement is in the 2005 NEC article 410.73(G). The requirement became effective January 1, 2008.

Last edited by luckyshadow; 11/06/10 02:07 AM.
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 40
rhiphi Offline OP
Ok thanks new york still has not adopted that code
at least it's not where I am

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 764
I think they’re kind of pricey for what they are, but still have to use them on ballast replacements and retrofits. I think I paid like 8-bucks for a three pack of Ideals a while ago.
I’m still waiting for my “free” sample from T&B that I requested like 4-months ago, to see if I like theirs better before I decide to buy any quantity of these.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,462
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
We've discussed these in the past, so please excuse me for repeating myself ...

The NEC has required that there be a 'disconnecting means' at each fixture for a few years now. The industry has taken this to requirement to be met by the use of the little snap-connectors you describe.

I'm delighted that we're seeing new fixtures with the disconnects already in them. Beyond that, the idea has been a fiasco.

Why? Primarily because there is no common connector in use. The ones that come with the fixture are not what you will use with the replacement ballast. So, you're right back to working hot, working in the dark, or having an awful daisy-chain of connectors in the fixture.

IMO, the issue would be resolved were ONE ballast manufacturer supply the connector with every ballast, be it OEM or replacement. Such a move would simply push all the rejected designs into the history books. I'm referring to Advance here, which is very much dominant in their industry.

A less likely approach is for there to be a NEMA-standard design for all to meet.

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273

With respects...

I suspect it will have to become a NEMA standard do to the politics/economics.

When the proposal was accepted, the committee didn't fully comprehend the need for a STANDARD disconnecting means within the fixture.

Because of the possible combinations, don't be surprised if a couple of NEMA standard designs emerge.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
I don't want to keep harping on this issue, but look what happens when the manufactures write the NEC. They promote their own equipment. I feel the only place a manufacture is allowed to sit on a code making panel is when the section of the code refers to the construction of a piece of equipment.

Just my 2 cents.. smile (stepping off my soap box!)

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
Likes: 1
If the manufacturers on the CMP why don't they write it specifically for their product?
Not every luminaire and ballast manufacturer sits on the CMP that wrote this so it would have been a simple matter to exclude all of the other manufacturers.

Take a look at the guy trying to sell the PowerSafe Protector by sticking it in the 2011 Code. Take a look at how long it took for Carlon to get their stuff into the Code.

What we need is a NEMA, ANSI, UL requirement that the manufacturers only use "widget XYZ" for ballast connectors.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,959
Likes: 34
The problem is they write the rule before the product really exists. It would have been better if the industry had settled on the connector before it was written into the law. Part of the problem is patents. They should settle on a connector that is old enough to be off patent so everyone can make them. (like the good old 5-15)
I personally like the old AMP/Tyco mate-n-lok (that is old enough to be in the public domain) but there are plenty of good connectors.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,462
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
There's no doubt that where there's a will there's a way; just look at all the funny plugs your computer uses! Yet, somehow, completely witout governmental or code assistance, the computer industry was able to work things out.

Yet, for all the failings of the various parties involved, I think this topic really illustrates the fact that you can't legislate progress.

Nor can you discount the effect of Murphy's law; the best widget won't work if the installer cuts it off and tosses it on the floor- for whatever reason.

That's the problem with making things 'idiot proof;' as soon as you do, they come out with a better idiot. (A general statement, and NOT aimed at the OP!)

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