Is it ever legal to padlock a service disconnect in the "on" position? I reviewed Article 230 and could not find an exception. I personally don't think it's legal. The problem is every so often a mischievous person will turn the main switch off at one of our public facilities. The switch is located outdoors to public access. Is there any accepted practice to solve such a problem.
[This message has been edited by Frank Cinker (edited 01-09-2003).]
That's a real p.i.t.a.. Camera seems like a good solution. Locking it could be a problem in emergency situations. Wondering if the AHJ and fire dept. would allow a lock box mounted next to the disco with a key to the pad lock like they use for fire alarm. The F.D. carries the key to the lock box. I beleive it's a standard key to fit all lock boxs in that same city.Might be worth asking the ahj and f.d. to find out. Tell them the situation your in. Hope this helps. ~Ange
Re: Padlock on Service Disconnect#20139 01/09/0310:17 AM01/09/0310:17 AM
I think the camera's a good idea. I think a lock on the disco's not. (240.24?) A frangible lock might be OK, but it's as easy for a vandal to break it as the FD. Put one up in an obvious position, and have another that's hidden. Scott 35, the "Bank Man", is probably the best guy to answer this Q. Hey, Scott, you around?
[This message has been edited by electure (edited 01-09-2003).]
Re: Padlock on Service Disconnect#20140 01/09/0310:32 AM01/09/0310:32 AM
230.70(A)(1) only requires that the disconnect LOCATION be readilly accessible. Where accessible to the public it is logical to lock the disconnect to avoid vandalism. Most commercial buildings have the service equipment in a locked room. Nothing wrong with that. 230.92 recognizes that the service disconect may be locked.
Re: Padlock on Service Disconnect#20141 01/09/0310:41 AM01/09/0310:41 AM
Forgot to mention that even with the switch handle locked, or the circuit breaker handle locked on, the fuses will still blow, and the circuit breaker being trip-free will open, so there is little sacrifice of safety involved.
Re: Padlock on Service Disconnect#20142 01/09/0312:51 PM01/09/0312:51 PM
These days, there are cases where absence of power creates a greater hazard, such as loss of area lighting. A trade magazine in the eighties discussed litigation involving a disconnect switch serving a bilge pump that was turned off by a vandal, causing flooding and significant property damage.
Some externally operable switches have an index mark on the handle flange/lockplate for field drilling a shackle hole for “on” padlocking.
It seems as if the AHJ rules absence of power creates a greater hazard a service disconnect can be locked in the on position. Just the fact some Square D disconnects have provisions for such a padlock installation makes me believe it could be legal. I plan to call our Public Safety Department tomorrow morning to get a ruling. Thank you for the excellent information.
Re: Padlock on Service Disconnect#20144 01/09/0306:37 PM01/09/0306:37 PM
Frank: Have had the same situation a few times here in NJ. OK to lock on with a "breakaway Padlock". Same type used on exterior sprinkler system valves. Yes, this is a PITA. Your local AHJ should not have a problem. As stated above OCP will still function, and in an emergency, the breakaway lock is acceptable. John
Re: Padlock on Service Disconnect#20145 01/10/0307:52 AM01/10/0307:52 AM