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#48447 - 02/11/05 08:41 PM OCP on firebell  
scameron81  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 75
Healdsburg, ca, USA
I was working on the job today and the fire marshal was there doing his sprinkler inspection. He came up to me and asked me if the flowswitch was on a breaker. I told him of course. He proceeded to tell me that the flowswitch CANT be on a breaker. Usually we use a breaker and put a lock on it to keep it on, but he said it had to be directly connected. So to make him happy I put a fork on it and screwed to the bus. Has anyone ever been required to do such a thing? I find it a little ironic considering the NFPA publishes the NEC.

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#48448 - 02/11/05 08:44 PM Re: OCP on firebell  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
To put it politely he is out of his mind.

There are some rules about breaker locks and GFCI protection.

I would go back and put it on a breaker.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#48449 - 02/11/05 08:56 PM Re: OCP on firebell  
Roger  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
This guy is going to burn down the building he is trying to protect.

The conductors must be protected at their ampacity, or as modified by applicable code articles and sections.

You should ask him to provide a code reference.

I would also make note on your final billing that the Fire Marshal has instructed you to install this wiring without OCP in violation of the NEC and in protest you have complied, or better yet, do as Iwire says and go back and put it on a breaker.

If something were to happen in the future, I wouldn't hold my breath thinking he would come forward and say he instructed you to do this.

You would be standing alone.


[This message has been edited by Roger (edited 02-11-2005).]

#48450 - 02/11/05 09:48 PM Re: OCP on firebell  
Ron  Offline
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 582
White Plains, NY
The fact that the fire marshal told you to do something has almost nothing (well sometimes something) to do with the fire alarm code (NFPA 72) or the national electric code (NFPA 70).
There must be overcurrent protection. The code even requires overcurrent protection for a firepump.


#48451 - 02/11/05 10:50 PM Re: OCP on firebell  
scameron81  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 75
Healdsburg, ca, USA
I agree with you guys a 100% I went in circles with the guy for 30 minutes. He said that he wouldn't pass the inspection without it. I know that I have to have OCP on it. The whole thing is just so frustrating. They actually want the flow switch connected before the meter but we told them that is totally out of the question. Well I guess when the forklift hits the pipe shorts its out and starts a fire, the sprinklers will put it out right?? I like the idea of going back and intalling a locking breaker.

#48452 - 02/12/05 09:31 PM Re: OCP on firebell  
luckyshadow  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 307
Maryland USA
This is where your local inspector can be your best friend ! Give the inspector a call and ask him what he thinks about this. I'm sure he will not allow it, thus ask him to talk to the fire marshal. Let the powers to be sort it out.

Be Smart and Do It Right

#48453 - 02/12/05 11:32 PM Re: OCP on firebell  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,261
Fullerton, CA USA
Are you sure that you both understand what he wants?

We sometimes make a tap ahead of the service's main switch or C/B to a fusible disconnect within 10' of the tap. (usually the disco is painted bright red, & marked "FIRE BELL")
This is used to power the fire (flowswitch, bell etc.) system

Maybe this is what you guys are after?

#48454 - 02/12/05 11:39 PM Re: OCP on firebell  
sierra electrician  Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 219
North Fork, CA USA
Electure nailed it. Circuit ahead of the main WITH protection.

#48455 - 02/13/05 06:02 AM Re: OCP on firebell  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
That sounds a little better, now you need to apply this code section.

2002 NEC
230.82 Equipment Connected to the Supply Side of Service Disconnect.
Only the following equipment shall be permitted to be connected to the supply side of the service disconnecting means:

(4)Taps used only to supply load management devices, circuits for standby power systems, fire pump equipment, and fire and sprinkler alarms, if provided with service equipment and installed in accordance with requirements for service-entrance conductors.

I have never been asked to do that, but most of the buildings I work in will have the electric sprinkler bell and a water driven sprinkler bell, no power needed for the latter.

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 02-13-2005).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#48456 - 02/13/05 10:38 AM Re: OCP on firebell  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,261
Fullerton, CA USA
The connection should be made after the meter, but before the main (often you'll find a tapped 1/4-20 hole on the bussing right before the main in a "larger" service).
I've had some engineered jobs that specified a #8 maximum size for the tap conductor. Be sure to keep the tap conductor length <10'.
A C/B in an enclosure can be used instead of a disco, but be sure it's "suitable for use as service equipment", capable of interrupting the fault current at the service. (that's why we use exo/fuses), and has provisions for padlocking in the ON position.
Bond the nipple/conduit to it like it were service equipment (bushings), and you should be all set.

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