What is the NEC disconnect requirement for permanently connected appliances rated at not over 300 volt-amperes (watts) or 1/8 horsepower?

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Small motorized appliances such as a ceiling fan or a gas tankless water heater formerly required a disconnect device, but it was not required to be within sight of the appliance. The disconnect could be a switch or the branch-circuit overcorrect device (circuit breaker). 

    But the 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code at 422.31 added wording that the switch or circuit breaker must be “within sight from the appliance or is lockable in accordance with 110.25.” We added the underlining to “from the appliance” because that is significant. It is possible that an appliance like a ceiling fan may be visible while standing at a wall switch or panel, but the disconnect device itself is not visible from the appliance, like in the photo above—which is what the code now requires, unless there is a locking device at the breaker.


    While the year that the NEC added a new requirement like this is easy to define, each local juridiction’s building codes don’t necessarily adopt the latest edition of the NEC immediately. The state of Florida, for example, did not make the 2011 NEC effective until mid-2015. Other jurisdictions have sometimes waited even longer to adopt a newer NEC edition and, to complicate things further, they might make amendments that exclude parts of the newest requirements. 

    The last we heard, HUD still uses the NEC 2005 standards for mobile home construction. So the year when the NEC first issues or changes a requirement can be several years before your local building department adopts that edition of the code and begins enforcing it.

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:

Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit?

Can a short circuit cause a high electric bill?

What is the maximum spacing requirement for securing NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable)?

Is it alright to just put wire nuts on the end of unused or abandoned NM-cable or wiring?

What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?  

What are typical aluminum service entrance wire/cable sizes for the electrical service to a house?

Why is it unsafe to bond neutral and ground wiring at subpanels?

Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house?

Why is a strain relief clamp necessary for the cord connection to some electric appliances?  

Does a wire nut connection need to be wrapped with electrical tape?

What is the minimum clearance of overhead electric service drop wires above a house roof?

What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?

What is the color code for NM cable (Romex®) sheathing?

Why is undersize electric wiring in a house dangerous? 

What causes flickering or blinking lights in a house?

Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?

How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?

Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall? 

What is an open electrical splice?

What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection? 

What is the life expectancy of electrical wiring in a house? 

What is an "open junction box"? 

How dangerous is old electrical wiring? 

What is a ground wire? 

I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. How do you check for aluminum wiring?  

    Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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