National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Re: CQD answer published Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 2020 NEC Emergency Disconnects

1) AGREE with KEN.. it’s a Stupid idea some engineer came up with brought it to other engineers and over thought the process and added it to the 2020 code. WE ALL Still have time to voice out public objections on the 2020 NEC Bill Schell

2) "The concerns you express about burglary and mischief can be dealt with by locating the disconnecting means outside and locking it in the on position but locating the panelboard inside the building. The really evil people will find a way to defeat everything. The benefit to having the disconnecting means outside is for emergency responders so they can deenergize the interior wiring before entering the building." If it's locked in the on position, how do 1st responders deenergize it? Dave

3) Thanks for all your hardwork keeping us all on track. The poster that responded to the Nov 8 discussion on placing of breaker boxes on the exterior may be failing to understand what I believe to be the best reason to do so. The main breaker being accessible from the exterior favors when the fire department is dispatched to the building. First thing they do is to shut power down for safety reasons that I don't think needs to be explained. As you said, those "bad guys" will access a panel if they are in or outside the building if there intent is to disconnect security. Happy Thanksgiving to all! Jeff Frishof


Hey All y'all thanks for your comments.

1) There were several Public Inputs to add this new requirement to the 2020 NEC, from NEMA, Fire Fighter organizations and others based on safety reasons. Keep in mind that each Code making panel has representation from many parts of the electrical industry and they are balanced so that no one membership classification has more than 1/3 of the votes. To make a change a 2/3 vote is necessary so more than one interest group needs to vote in the affirmative. You can see the different classifications in the 2020 NEC directly following the index. The time has long passed for submitting comments for the 2020 NEC but the 2023 NEC is open for Public Input so you can share your thoughts if you don't like the rule.

2) Based on the definition of Accessible, Readily in Article 100 locks can be used and the equipment is still considered readily accessible. From the emergency responder standpoint they can use "bolt cutters", saws, axes or other equipment to remove a lock. That is much safer that trying to remove a meter or cut energized conductors

3) You captured the essence of the reasons - emergency responder safety as opposed to vandalism or other unintended uses.

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