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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 785
B
BigB Offline OP
Member
The situation is an outdoor, in ground spa. The equipment is located remotely. There are three motors, each one 240 volts. There is a two pole switch at each motor which disconnects all the ungrounded conductors for service. In addition, the subpanel for the equipment is within sight and only four feet away. The customer wants switches located inside the wall (15 feet from the spa) as the old pneumatic system has failed somewhere underground.

Now, opinions aside, does the 2002 code require these user controls to disconnect all ungrounded conductors? What I read says "One or more means to open all ungrounded conductors". So there already exists two means to disconnect both ungrounded conductors at each motor, I can't see where the user controls would be required to do the same.

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 177
J
Member
Since you've already got proper disconnecting means, the switch(es) are "motor controllers" per 430.81(A).

Per 430.84: The [motor] controller shall not be required to open all conductors to the motor.

However, the switch must also be rated for the motor load -- see 430.83(C).

Disclaimer: I'm not an electrician. I just read a lot.

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 212
G
Member
The pertinent article is 680. If this is a single family home and you have other proper disconnecting means, the switch you are referring to isn't required at all. If you put it in however it must comply with 680.41. It is not required to open all ungrounded conductors, merely to stop the motors that provide power to the recirculating and jet system.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 785
B
BigB Offline OP
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Thanks guys.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
G
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I think we need to look at the code in 404.15(B) and maybe you would re-think you answer. I say that the switch needs to break all ungrounded conductors.


George Little
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 177
J
Member
George,

Excellent point. Darn, I crawled all over 404 before answering, but I didn't expect to find the answer under a paragraph titled "Marking"! I believe I stand corrected.

So the only switch (as a motor controller) NOT required to open all conductors would be one that has no OFF label???

In that case, 430.84 would only apply to magnetic or automatic (e.g., pressure) switches, and not to manual switches, which would obviously have to be labeled with an OFF position.

But what about a 240-volt air compressor having a pressure switch that breaks only one conductor? If the On-Off "switch" is just a lever that disables the activation of the pressure switch, doesn't this violate 404.15(B)?

Anyway, back to BigB: Given that (1) both ungrounded conductors have to break, and (2) there are three motors that probably all want to run or stop simultaneously, and (3) those motors are probably upwards of 1 HP anyway, it sure looks like the snap switch wants to be the 120V pilot circuit for a group of contactors, hey?


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