Equipment Disconnects

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transman2

Senior Member
Location
Brooklet,Ga.
I have a few questions.

1. Does equipment have to be on a disconnect that has the same AIC rating or higher as the Panel circuit breaker?

2. If an appliance such as an wall mounted exhaust fan comes with an cord/plug, is it leagal by code to cut the plug off and hard wire it?

3. Is it legal by code to use switches, receptacles/plugs or breakers as a means of disconnect for various pieces of equipment such as fixed exhaust fans, fixed space heaters, wall mounted emergency lights, mini split ac units.

Thanks,
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired)
I have a few questions.

1. Does equipment have to be on a disconnect that has the same AIC rating or higher as the Panel circuit breaker?,

Each (the breaker and the disconnect) must have an AIC rating as high or higher than the available AIC. Both have to be determined (calculated).
Industrial control panels must be marked with a withstand rating (409.110)
2. If an appliance such as an wall mounted exhaust fan comes with an cord/plug, is it leagal by code to cut the plug off and hard wire it?,

Many inspectors consider this "altering listed equipment"
3. Is it legal by code to use switches, receptacles/plugs or breakers as a means of disconnect for various pieces of equipment such as fixed exhaust fans, fixed space heaters, wall mounted emergency lights, mini split ac units.

Thanks,

You have to look at the applicable Code sections in Art 422,424,430, etc.
Often times it is legal on smaller equipment. Location is often of primary importance such as noted in 430.102.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
1. Does equipment have to be on a disconnect that has the same AIC rating or higher as the Panel circuit breaker?

The disconnect must have a rating to handle the available fault current. The available fault current will be lower at the disconnect then at the breaker but you would have to do the calculations to determine the fault current or just use a disconnect rated the same or higher than the breaker.



2. If an appliance such as an wall mounted exhaust fan comes with an cord/plug, is it leagal by code to cut the plug off and hard wire it?

No, Article 400 comes close to preventing hardwiring of cords, 400.8(B) requires cord caps and receptacles for most common applications.


3. Is it legal by code to use switches, receptacles/plugs or breakers as a means of disconnect for various pieces of equipment such as fixed exhaust fans, fixed space heaters, wall mounted emergency lights, mini split ac units.

Usually yes as long as the switch is marked 'on' and 'off' that rules out Decora switches along with three and four way switches.
 

Volta

Senior Member
Location
Columbus, Ohio
...Usually yes as long as the switch is marked 'on' and 'off' that rules out Decora switches along with three and four way switches.

Good point regarding Decora switches. Usually a disconnect for a garbage disposal is not given any thought even when hard-wired, as the controlling switch is more or less "in sight from the motor location" 422.32 > 430.102(B)(2).

If a Decora switch is used, an additional disconnecting switch must be installed which plainly indicates 'on' or 'off' 430.104.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Usually yes as long as the switch is marked 'on' and 'off' that rules out Decora switches along with three and four way switches.
430.104 doesn't exactly say the words "on" and "off" must appear, just that the switch must indicate its position. I would think a pilot-lighted Decora switch would suffice.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
...
3. Is it legal by code to use switches, receptacles/plugs or breakers as a means of disconnect for various pieces of equipment such as fixed exhaust fans, fixed space heaters, wall mounted emergency lights, mini split ac units.

Thanks,
Most of these items are fixed equipment and the use of cords would not be permitted by 400.8.
 

Volta

Senior Member
Location
Columbus, Ohio
430.104 doesn't exactly say the words "on" and "off" must appear, just that the switch must indicate its position. I would think a pilot-lighted Decora switch would suffice.

I disagree that a pilot light meets the requirement to be indicating.

Or at least plainly indicating, especially as the pilot-lighted switch, say a Leviton 5628-2, may be used in the same building as an illuminated switch, say a Leviton 5631-2, which look indentical.

I would allow as that could be made to plainly indicate the position with the use of additional labling, but that may not easily work with the Decora 'look' one is seeking.
 

e57

Senior Member
I have a few questions.

1. Does equipment have to be on a disconnect that has the same AIC rating or higher as the Panel circuit breaker?

2. If an appliance such as an wall mounted exhaust fan comes with an cord/plug, is it leagal by code to cut the plug off and hard wire it?

3. Is it legal by code to use switches, receptacles/plugs or breakers as a means of disconnect for various pieces of equipment such as fixed exhaust fans, fixed space heaters, wall mounted emergency lights, mini split ac units.

Thanks,
  1. Assumes there has been a calculation of the AIC of the breaker combination.
  2. I do it - as many products are available with a cord whip lacking a plug at the end - but share the same listing.... :confused: Many of other products are also available with or without a cord - but share the same listing.... But some would disagree... And see the cord as becoming part of premise wiring.
  3. I would say yes - except for 'wall mounted emergency lights'... That would have addition requirements to observe in 700.20 - otherwise rating and location would need to be observed depending on what type of item it was - i.e. motors, and appliances might be handled differently.
 

e57

Senior Member
What comes that way?:confused:

And how would that get around 400.8(B)?
Some things from the European market repackeaged for the states - and UL listed.... ;) Smaller pumps meant for connection and control via small MCC's (Hydronic etc.) a few Asian manufacturers of AC equipment. A few sump pumps... And recently - a range hood...

I don't seem to have that one.... I'm still on the '05... (The on-line version changed for me and a super big PITA to check - but whats it say?)

As I said - some inspectors will point to the item in red below - but I get to try to explain how I don't think it is - and part of the equipment. The fixed wiring being premise wiring in the wall before the Jbox feeding it a short distance away. Then they say "it comes like that?" A: 'well yeah - I don't like it either - but what do I do? I looked up the listing it's the same, and it's the same - the instruction say to do it that way....'


400.8 Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted
in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the
following:​
(1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure
(2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings,
suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors​
(3)​
Where run through doorways, windows, or similar
openings
(4) Where attached to building surfaces

Exception to​
(4): Flexible cord and cable shall be
permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance
with the provisions of
368.56(B)

(5)​
Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located
above suspended or dropped ceilings

(6)​
Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise
permitted in this
Code

(7) Where subject to physical damage

If you step back to 400.7(B)

(B) Attachment Plugs. Where, used as permitted in
400.7(A)(3), (A)(6), and (A)(8), each flexible cord shall be
equipped with an attachment plug and shall be energized​
from a receptacle outlet.


It only applies to 3,6, and 8 of 400.7A

400.7 Uses Permitted.
(A) Uses. Flexible cords and cables shall be used only for
the following:
(1) Pendants
(2) Wiring of luminaires (fixtures)
(3) Connection of portable lamps, portable and mobile
signs, or appliances
(4) Elevator cables
(5) Wiring of cranes and hoists
(6) Connection of utilization equipment to facilitate
frequent interchange
(7) Prevention of the transmission of noise or vibration
(8) Appliances where the fastening means and mechanical
connections are specifically designed to permit ready
removal for maintenance and repair, and the appliance
is intended or identified for flexible cord connection
(9) Connection of moving parts

(10) Where specifically permitted elsewhere in this Code
Note most of the items I mentioned were motors ot contain them - see #7...

Anyway not saying I 'like' it - but can't find anything (Specifically) wrong with it...
 

e57

Senior Member
Heres an example:
The single ball switch has only one float that controls both the on and off function of the​
pumping range. Single ball switches can be direct wired by cutting off the plug.
[/QUOTE]Ref:
http://www.aermotorwindmills.com/zoeller-pumps-page17.pdf

Another:
When a pump needs to be connected in a watertight junction box, the plug
can be removed and spliced to the supply cable with proper grounding.
Ref:
https://app.qleapahead.com/rtp/libraryget.aspx?asset=92494,63
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Not to me...the lamp could be burned out.

or there could be no power on the line side of the switch/light - and it could return when you thought it should be safe.

failure of a circuit conductor may not illuminate the light but there may still be voltage present on other conductors
 

e57

Senior Member
But that is not why you did it, you did it becuse it came that way. :grin:
Well yeah... Or conversely. It had a cord with a plug - I lopped it off. Are we talking about the same thing???? :-?

From the OP:
2. If an appliance such as an wall mounted exhaust fan comes with an cord/plug, is it leagal by code to cut the plug off and hard wire it?
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Well yeah... Or conversely. It had a cord with a plug - I lopped it off. Are we talking about the same thing???? :-?

IMO you cannot 'lop off' the plug and choose to hard wire it.

If it comes with a cord without a plug I do not think the NEC really addresses it.
 
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