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#82095 - 10/17/02 07:54 AM Switches for furnace, closet  
MJR  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 11
Upstate NY
I have a couple of swich location questions that I haven't been able to find the answer to. For years now, I've always wired switches for clothes closet lights outside of the closet, and for basement furnaces, I've installed a cutoff switch at the top of the stairs of the dwelling. I do this because I was aalways told that you are supposed to, but I haven't been able to find any reference to this in the code. Are these practices listed in there, or do I not have to do this? Thanks!


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#82096 - 10/17/02 05:11 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
Tom  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Shinnston, WV USA
I've heard of the switch at the top of the stairs, but it is not an NEC requirement. Could be it is a local requirement or is in the mechanical code. Keep in mind that the switch at the top of the stairs probably would not qualify as the disconnecting means for the furnace since it will likely be out of sight (see the definitions in chapter 1). If the circuit breaker for the furnace is out of sight, you would need a permanently installed lockout attachment (opinion/interpretation) at the circuit breaker or another switch at the furnace to use as a disconnecting means.

Outside the closet seems like a logical place for the switch. You could tell if you left the light on without opening the door.

Tom


[This message has been edited by Tom (edited 10-17-2002).]


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#82097 - 10/17/02 05:15 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
spyder  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 210
Massachusetts
I do not believe you will find any such code references. Article 210.70 talks about required switches. Location of the boiler emergency shut off switch may be found in other building code type books. You may find that it is required to be in a room other than the boiler room.



[This message has been edited by spyder (edited 10-19-2002).]


#82098 - 10/18/02 08:02 AM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
MJR  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 11
Upstate NY
I always add a switch at the furnace location in addition to the one at the top of the stairs, regardless of the location of the circuit breaker. I figure that in an emergency, no one is going to hunt around in the panel for the correct breaker to turn off. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything in the code.
Regarding the switch outside the closet, I was always told not to do it because as a potential sparking device, it could start a fire.


#82099 - 10/18/02 06:10 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Quote
I always add a switch at the furnace location in addition to the one at the top of the stairs, regardless of the location of the circuit breaker. I figure that in an emergency, no one is going to hunt around in the panel for the correct breaker to turn off. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything in the code.


NFPA's Oil Burner Code calls for the following:

"An electrical service disconnect switch, arranged to stop and start the oil burner, shall be installed at the appliance. It shall be located so that it is within easy reach of the service technician for control of the oil burner while observing the flame."

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 10-18-2002).]


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#82100 - 10/18/02 06:58 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
spyder  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 210
Massachusetts
Joe,

I agree that there needs to be a service switch located within arms reach of the "flame", but I believe MJR was asking about the location of the emergency shut off switch.


#82101 - 10/18/02 10:01 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
spyder

My addition was in the interest of the rules in another NFPA standard, and it was related to the subject.

The emergency switch is often a requirement of the local fire codes and has a been a requirement for many years.



[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 10-21-2002).]


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#82102 - 10/19/02 04:00 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
MJR  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 11
Upstate NY
Thanks for the heads-up Joe. I guess I'd better get my hands on a copy of the oil burner code and brush up.
... just when I thought I knew everything!


#82103 - 10/19/02 05:32 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
MJR: Here the title and scope:

"NFPA 31
Standard for the
Installation of Oil-Burning Equipment
2001 Edition

1.1 Scope.
1.1.1
This standard shall apply to the installation of stationary oil-burning equipment and appliances, including but not limited to industrial-, commercial-, and residential-type steam, hot water, or warm air heating plants; domestic-type range burners and space heaters; and portable oil-burning equipment. This standard shall also apply to all accessory equipment and control systems, whether electric, thermostatic, or mechanical, and all electrical wiring connected to oil-fired equipment.
1.1.2
This standard shall also apply to the installation of oil storage and supply systems connected to oil-fired equipment.
1.1.3
This standard shall also apply to those multi-fueled appliances in which fuel oil is one of the optional fuels."

PS: Thanks spyder


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#82104 - 10/19/02 05:38 PM Re: Switches for furnace, closet  
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,308
The switch at the furnace itself can easily be related to the NEC, as furnaces usually incorporate some sort of motorized blowers or circulators etc..

(exclusive of your NFPA ref Joe...)

Q~ would you consider a furnace a fixed appliance?

The 'switch at the top o' the stairs' seems debatable. I have been told ( by other trades) that it
A) needs to be inside the cellar door
B) needs to be outside the cellar door

so i realy do not know who to believe... [Linked Image]


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