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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