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Working space in front of Disconnects and Max Height requirements #80362 04/02/02 08:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 46
ZR600 Offline OP
I need to find out when two codes were put into effect. 110-26 and 380-8. I have a old install of several disconnects and a transformer that was done 10 years ago and was in direct violation of these two codes. I don't know where to find out the date these codes went into effect. The contractor installed disconnects over a large transformer and over 7 feet off the ground to the heighest part of the disconnect handle. A insurance agent for the industrial plant told the plant to just put longer handles on the disconnects so you can reach them from the ground without climbing on the transformer. They did that but it is very scarey if the handles will work or break off, and one of them will not even move now all the way to the off lockable position because the handle extension now hits the transformer. Some of us make bad judgement calls but this was just plain stupid on the previous electricians part. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

[This message has been edited by ZR600 (edited 04-02-2002).]

[This message has been edited by ZR600 (edited 04-05-2002).]

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Re: Working space in front of Disconnects and Max Height requirements #80363 04/03/02 12:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 11
sparks55 Offline

These two codes were in effect before 1975. That is the earliest code book I have.

Article 110-26 used to be 110-16 until 1999 when it was reorganized. The distances in table 110-16 were increased in 1978 and have remained the same through the 2002 code. The words "work space shall be clear and extend from floor or platform to the height required by this section" was added in 1996 to address locating transformers and other equipment above or below disconnects. Sounds like in your case that the transformer located below the disconnects met the code at the time it was installed.

Article 380-8 was 6'-6" before 1975 until it was changed to 6'-7" in 1996. That is measured from the floor or platform to the center of the grip of the operating handle in its highest position (ON). It must also be readily accessible, which means no portable ladders, steps, etc. to reach the handle. This definition has been in the code before 1975. If the transformer is large enough to require a step to reach the handle, this is definitely a code violation. Sounds like the disconnects must be relocated.

I find it amazing that these codes have been around for so long and are some of the most ignored and violated safety codes there is! [Linked Image]

Good luck, [Linked Image]


Re: Working space in front of Disconnects and Max Height requirements #80364 04/03/02 08:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 46
ZR600 Offline OP
Sparks55, thank you very much for the info! That was exactly what I needed to know. If I can figure how to get pictures of this posted in the picture violation area I will. The other neat thing about this is the industrial plant it is in pushes a 4 1/2' tall desk up with in a 1 1/2' of the transformer so you have to squeeze in just to get in front of the transformer. One of the disconnects is a 400 amp disconnect. I don't want to be around if something ever happens. The industrial plant "may" decide to do something about this. Thanks agian!


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