National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

?
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Question:

Hello, I am a home inspector here in San Diego County. I did a home inspection and the A/C unit did not have an emergency disconnect. The electrical panel with the circuit breaker for the A/C was about 5 feet next to the unit. 
 
Question: Would an emergency disconnect be required to be installed if the circuit breaker for the A/C is in sight?
 
Thank you, Ken Stoermer
A

Answer:

Hi Ken, thanks for the question.
 
First let's clarify the terminology used in your question. The term "emergency" is used here, but the disconnect referred to in the question is not an emergency disconnect as would be covered by the requirements in Article 700 which addresses "Emergency Systems." The requirements for a "Disconnecting Means" for A'C equipment are covered in Section 440.14. The required disconnecting means must be installed insight from the equipment or it can be in accordance with either Exception Nos. 1 or 2 to 440.14.
 
These exceptions read as follows:
 
Exception No. 1: Where the disconnecting means provided in accordance with 430.102(A) is lockable in accordance with 110.25 and the refrigerating or air-conditioning equipment is essential to an industrial process in a facility with written safety procedures, and where the conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the equipment, a disconnecting means within sight from the equipment shall not be required.
 
Exception No. 2: Where an attachment plug and receptacle serve as the disconnecting means in accordance with 440.13, their location shall be accessible but shall not be required to be readily accessible.

ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.

SUBMIT YOUR CODE QUESTION: Click here to submit a question to for inclusion in an upcoming edition of the Code Question of the Day, or email codequestion@necanet.org

CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. NEIS can be purchased in the NECA Store in three formats: a printed or PDF download of a standard or, as an annual subscription service.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS & PUBLICATIONS: NECA produces electrical safety publications and products for the industry including jobsite safety guides, handbooks and resource kits. View a full listing of available resources and products »

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC® and any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, the NEC Correlating Committee any Code-making panel or other electrical technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services. 

UPDATE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION PREFERENCES: Subscribe or Unsubscribe from this list.