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Thread: Application of 404.8(A) Exception No. 2

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Application of 404.8(A) Exception No. 2

    This question concerns installations where a separate switch or breaker is installed to control equipment, not where the switch or breaker in integral to the controlled equipment.

    The basic rule in 404.8(A) (2008 NEC) is that the center of the grip on the operating handle of a switch or breaker in its highest position can be no more than 6 ft 7 in above the floor or working platform. Exception 2 modifies this rule by permitting the handle height to be more than 6 ft 7 in IF the switch or breaker is (a) "...installed ADJACENT to motors, appliances, or other equipment that they supply" AND (b) the switch or breaker is accessible by portable means (e.g., ladder).

    So, if equipment is installed at or below 6 ft 7 in, then the basic rule of installing the associated switch or breaker with its handle grip at or below 6 ft 7 in would apply.

    If the equipment is mounted higher than 6 ft 7 in above the floor or platform, then Exception 2 could be applied (for example, the picture in Mike's NEC book showing the disconnect adjacent to equipment above a dropped ceiling), as long as the switch or breaker is accessible by portable means.

    But, it seems that if equipment is mounted AT or BELOW 6 ft 7 in, then Exception 2 could NOT be used because the switch or breaker would not be "adjacent" to the equipment, even if the switch or breaker could be reached by portable means. Using Exception 2 in this case would essentially negate the basic rule.

    Is this the correction application of this paragraph?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeterBase View Post
    This question concerns installations where a separate switch or breaker is installed to control equipment, not where the switch or breaker in integral to the controlled equipment.

    The basic rule in 404.8(A) (2008 NEC) is that the center of the grip on the operating handle of a switch or breaker in its highest position can be no more than 6 ft 7 in above the floor or working platform. Exception 2 modifies this rule by permitting the handle height to be more than 6 ft 7 in IF the switch or breaker is (a) "...installed ADJACENT to motors, appliances, or other equipment that they supply" AND (b) the switch or breaker is accessible by portable means (e.g., ladder).

    So, if equipment is installed at or below 6 ft 7 in, then the basic rule of installing the associated switch or breaker with its handle grip at or below 6 ft 7 in would apply.

    If the equipment is mounted higher than 6 ft 7 in above the floor or platform, then Exception 2 could be applied (for example, the picture in Mike's NEC book showing the disconnect adjacent to equipment above a dropped ceiling), as long as the switch or breaker is accessible by portable means.

    But, it seems that if equipment is mounted AT or BELOW 6 ft 7 in, then Exception 2 could NOT be used because the switch or breaker would not be "adjacent" to the equipment, even if the switch or breaker could be reached by portable means. Using Exception 2 in this case would essentially negate the basic rule.

    Is this the correction application of this paragraph?
    That would be my take on it. To me the word adjacent means "next to" the equipment. The only thing I could see would be if it created a hazard if the equipment were inadvertently turned off then I could see the disconnect being mounted where unauthorised persons could not reach it. But on the same hand the disco. could be locked in the closed position to prevent the same.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    The idea is if you are working on a motor mounted high that requires a ladder to service, the disconect can be up there next to the motor and reached from the ladder.
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