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#188274 - 07/28/09 01:50 PM Locking "On" a Service Disconnect  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
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

#188278 - 07/28/09 03:49 PM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: George Little]  
HotLine1  Offline


Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,824
Brick, NJ USA
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

#188279 - 07/28/09 04:44 PM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: HotLine1]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,076
Estero,Fl,usa
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

#188283 - 07/28/09 08:20 PM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: gfretwell]  
Tom  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Shinnston, WV USA
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.

#188289 - 07/29/09 01:42 AM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: Tom]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I would not have a problem with a FUSED disconnect. That would still provide overcurrent protection.

A non-fused disconnect would be a problem.


#188296 - 07/29/09 04:14 AM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: gfretwell]  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,211
SI,New Zealand
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.


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#188377 - 08/03/09 10:41 PM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: Trumpy]  
luckyshadow  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
Maryland USA
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.


#188387 - 08/04/09 08:59 PM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: luckyshadow]  
leland  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Lowell area, Ma. USA
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 09:10 PM.

#188435 - 08/08/09 03:17 PM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: gfretwell]  
mbhydro  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 347
Winnipeg MB Canada
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.


#188444 - 08/08/09 11:45 PM Re: Locking "On" a Service Disconnect [Re: mbhydro]  
ChicoC10  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 169
CA
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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