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Thread: Breaker Locks

  1. #1
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    Breaker Locks

    OK, I know you can lock a breaker's handle in the "on" position, and it will still trip on overcurrent. We are discussing such locks for the red-painted handles of breakers that serve fire alarm components. It is a large industrial facility. Two concerns were raised over resetting a tripped breaker. First, are the locks easy to remove, intended only to prevent accidentally opening a breaker by bumping into it? Or would it require a device (key, screwdriver, special tool, etc.) in order to remove the lock and allow the breaker to be reset? Secondly, is this the kind of thing that would require getting "someone's" permission, before being authorized to remove the lock?
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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    They are easily removed with a jewelry’s screwdriver without removing panel cover or dead front

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    I am talking about a small circuit breaker panel (perhaps 6 circuits) that serves nothing other than FA components. We are being told that all feeder breakers in the power path to this panel, starting at the service switchboard, need red handles and breaker locks.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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    Are you inquiring about this style?

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    There are a wide range of breaker handle lock-out (or lock-on) devices, but they can be divided into two camps: those that accept a padlock and those that do not.

    The types that do not accept a padlock are typically attached with either a clamping screw or a set-screw; they are easily removed with a screwdriver and are typically used to prevent someone from inadvertently turning the breaker off (or on, although it's rare to use this type for lock-out because they are easily defeated by anyone with a screwdriver, thus not particularly safe for lock-out). The ones made by Garvin are nice because they can be used on any style breaker and they can fit side-by-side without interfering with neighboring breakers.
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    The type that do accept a padlock attach in a variety of ways. But they all have one thing in common: a hole to fit a padlock through to positively prevent someone from moving the breaker handle. This style is most commonly used for safety lock-out because the padlock must be physically removed and the person working on the de-energized equipment typically retains control of the padlock key.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    OK, I know you can lock a breaker's handle in the "on" position, and it will still trip on overcurrent. We are discussing such locks for the red-painted handles of breakers that serve fire alarm components. It is a large industrial facility. Two concerns were raised over resetting a tripped breaker. First, are the locks easy to remove, intended only to prevent accidentally opening a breaker by bumping into it? Or would it require a device (key, screwdriver, special tool, etc.) in order to remove the lock and allow the breaker to be reset? Secondly, is this the kind of thing that would require getting "someone's" permission, before being authorized to remove the lock?
    I agree with Chris K (Hey Chris, glad to see you are still kickn'), the locks are easy to remove but you do need a small screwdriver.

    As to your second question, I don't see any reason for special permission to remove the lock because this is not a lock out tag out scenario.
    If you don't think too good, don't think too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    (Hey Chris, glad to see you are still kickn'),
    Hey Dave, job and wife slowly draggin me into the dirt.

    Wait, those are the things I love.

  9. #9
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    Being that it is an industrial facility with a maitenance staff (hopefully) that would be the responders to a trouble alarm over lost power, they would be able to reset the breaker or address the situation with whatever means is necessary to handle the breaker lock being in place.

    Roger
    Moderator

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