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Thread: 277 Volt Breaker Panels as Switches

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    12

    277 Volt Breaker Panels as Switches

    How do we handle buildings that were built with the 277 volt lighting using the breakers in panels to turn the lighting on and off? No switches. 70E says that you must have PPE to turn the lights on and off unless I am missing something.

    For ever the security guards and janitors have turned the lights on and off, not allowed any more?

    What do I need to do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Oops, could the moderators please put this in the proper forum, I thought it said Lighting......not lightening!!! Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    New Jersey
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    I don't have 70E in front of me, but are you sure that it says that PPE is required when the panel trim is on? Don't people turn on and off 277 volt light switches all of the time?
    Rob

    Chief Moderator

    All responses based on the 2011 NEC unless otherwise noted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Iowegia
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    Are the breakers marked "SWD" or "HID"?

    See 240.83(D).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    12
    I am currently having all panels and breakers replaced to switch rated breakers, but if you read 70E, looks like the average Joe coming in in the morning cant turn the lights on without at least a long sleeve shirt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by hivoltage
    I am currently having all panels and breakers replaced to switch rated breakers, but if you read 70E, looks like the average Joe coming in in the morning cant turn the lights on without at least a long sleeve shirt.
    100% natural fiber LS shirt, and he needs to be trained.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Nobody else but us is using breakers to turn lights on and off in their plant or warehouse? Come on.....I would like to know what everybody else does and what OSHA inspectors think about it.

    We (I) decided to replace our old 30 year old lighting panels when 1 breaker blew up while a guy was turning on lights. It blew a 1 inch hole through the front of the panel and the employee got moderately burned on one hand. These were old GE panels.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by hivoltage
    Come on.....I would like to know what everybody else does
    Well I was unaware of this issue till you brought it up.

    What am I going to do?

    I am going to use it as a sales tool to push contactors and other lighting controls. :cool:

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    massachusetts
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    3,166
    Quote Originally Posted by hivoltage
    Nobody else but us is using breakers to turn lights on and off in their plant or warehouse? Come on.....I would like to know what everybody else does and what OSHA inspectors think about it.

    We (I) decided to replace our old 30 year old lighting panels when 1 breaker blew up while a guy was turning on lights. It blew a 1 inch hole through the front of the panel and the employee got moderately burned on one hand. These were old GE panels.
    thats the reason idont like people using breakers as switches. would it be cheaper to use iwires idea and use a lighting contactor and just use a single pole switch? might be a little safer

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nord'est Wisconsin et Paris France
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    not excatly off topic but just about right on the bat here unless i goof this up but did someone did show a 277v ganged toggle switch on this forum before i try to recall IMO i know it was there but just cant remember where it is now.

    IMO i like Iwire's idea just put in simple toggle switch tied to the contractor to that panel.

    Merci, Marc
    Marc
    master electrician
    Wisconsin and Paris France

    "Pas de problème, il marche n'est-ce pas?" (No problem, it works doesn't it?)

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