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#77522 06/20/01 10:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
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A "money is no worry" customer doesn't want a gaudy disconnect mussing up his view whilst enjoying his hot tub. It will be installed in a screened-in porch.

680-12 states that "...A disconnecting means shall be provided and be accessible, located within sight from all pools, spas and hot tub equipment..."

100-A says that "Disconnecting Means. A device, or group of devices or other means by which the conductors of a circuit can be disconnected from their source of supply."


My idea, not yet suggested to the customer, is perhaps to install a 15A SP switch that controls a contactor (50A) that switches the supplied power. (The switch will be in a WP box and cover). I believe my customer would be willing to pay the extra for the unspoiled view, and I'll go along as long as I'm not breaking code doing it.

Are 50A 2 Pole contactors available and are they rated for any type load, other that motors? (They're rated higher for non-motor loads, aren't they?)

Any problems with this idea?


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
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#77523 06/20/01 10:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
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I'm not around any of my books right now, but 60 amp rated contactors are easily gotten; not sure on 50. Will you have to put a lockable cover on your switch?

#77524 06/20/01 10:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
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60A contactor would be fine... I should have said at least 50A..

As far as the lockable cover for the switch, for LOTO purposes? This is a residential situation, any difference there? Can the LOTO be used for the panel breaker instead?

[Linked Image]


-Virgil
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5 Star Inspections
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#77525 06/20/01 11:01 PM
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I am pretty cold to that idea. I would not trust the contactor to disengage and remain disengaged. To me a disconnect is a manual switch on the circuit itself.

I could say, hey, browse to www disconnects.net and uncheck the box for your circuit and my computer will de-energize and lock it out for you.


Yeah, perhaps in a hundred years.

But I think a disconnect is a switch that I physically open and lock open, not some remote control button.


Now don't get me wrong, and emergency switch like this is okay. But if the in sight disconnect is for me to work on it, I want to see that the contacts are physically open.

Was that Scott who once shut down a power plant by accidentally shorting a control wire?

#77526 06/20/01 11:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
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I would, personally, shut off the breaker in the panel before working on the hot tub, and I would not rely on a contactor to cut off the circuit for maintenance purposes either...

I suppose I assumed that the intentions of 680-12 is to provide a means of shutting down the hot tub for the "consumers", not entirely unlike an E-switch; although 680-38 gives exception for residential for actual E-switches.

The switch will not even remotely resemble a disconnect, so I see no danger for confusion where a maintenance shut off is required. I would bet that any maintenance man would shut-off the 50A GFCI breaker marked "Hot Tub" in the panel and not even notice the lowly switch on the wall.

This is simply my opinion, and any NEC quotes to thwart this idea will render this idea as useless.

Dspark, your good points and opinion has not gone unnoticed, however.


-Virgil
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5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
#77527 06/21/01 01:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
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Virgil,

As far as I know, the main purpose of the disconnect within sight is to protect the repairman. They can turn it off and because it is within sight, can watch to make sure that no one turns it back on. In the past I've been able to avoid the "within sight" requirement (for the same reasons) if it is capable of being locked in the open position. Why don't you pass it by your AHJ.

Bill


Bill
#77528 06/21/01 06:34 AM
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can the 'within sight' clause consider you moving said disco up to 50' away ?

#77529 06/21/01 06:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
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ya know, this brings another point to mind, no one likes to see our work! carpenters build stuff , everyone says OOOH!, we build stuff and they think it's ugly!

well i think my craft looks good!

( insert french accent here)

I am an arrrtissst!, I canno' wok likea dissss!

[Linked Image]

#77530 06/21/01 07:30 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
R
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Could you mount the disconnect on the unit on the opposite(yard) side of the home. It wouldn't spoil his view because he won't be able to see it.

#77531 06/21/01 07:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,289
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I don't think I've ever seen a contactor close on its own without some power being applied to the coil. Anyone working on the spa should check for live wires whether they have a disco or not. Wouldn't this be something like the EPO switch in a gas station, which shuts the power down to the turbine pumps?

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