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 Post subject: controlling with breakers
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:42 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:37 am
Posts: 4
Are there any rules or standards about using circuit breakers to control area lights? I feel that from a safety stand point nobody should be routinely going into a panel to access power for lights but I am not able to locate documentation that says its wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:52 am
Posts: 110
Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
The breakers need to be "switch duty rated".


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:44 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:37 am
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Great thanks, I will check into which ones are currently installed. Are there any standards or safety regs. that say you shouldn't use the breakers as a switch regularly and instead add a switch outside of the panel?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:52 am
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Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
Not that I am aware of.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:46 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 36
We have run into the same thing at our company. The issue we had was that in order to operate a circuit breaker HRC 0 at minimum should be worn per NFPA 70E tables. This is difficult to enforce is they are general area employees. Leaving the panel open also gives general employees access to other circuit breakers where they may be prone to resetting tripped breakers.

We also found that older breakers (1970's) are not SWD rated.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:35 am
Posts: 523
Location: Wisconsin
cbauer wrote:
The breakers need to be "switch duty rated".


Switch Duty Rating (SWD) breakers are for 1-pole 15A and 20A only. The SWD rating is for fluorescent lighting, and UL testing is similar to that of standard light switches.There is a similar rating for High Intensity Discharge lighting, which includes multi-pole breakers up to 50 or 60A.

Other than these additional tests, all breakers are simply endurance tested for electrical and mechanical operations (with and without current), based on 'frame' size and at .80 PF (i.e. 100A< rated for 6,000 @ 100%, and 4,000 @ 0%).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:37 am
Posts: 51
Location: Tampa, FL
jpc9397 wrote:
great thanks, i will check into which ones are currently installed. Are there any standards or safety regs. That say you shouldn't use the breakers as a switch regularly and instead add a switch outside of the panel?


nec 240.83(d)


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