Furnace safety switch question


I just bought a new home in NE Pa. It's about 4 years old. Just inside the kitchen coming in from the door of the attached garage is an on/off switch with a bright red cover plate. I'm assuming it's the safety switch for the furnace to turn it off in an emergency. The furnace is gas/hotwater.
When the furnace is running and I flip the switch, nothing happens. The furnace keeps running. I checked in the basement and just below where the switchplate is located, exiting from the corner of the base stud plate is about 10 feet of coiled 14/2 wire just hanging there. On it in ink is written "furn safety". But it's not connected to anything.
Was this an oversight on the part of the builder/electrician? Or did it suddenly become a non-code item? I find it hard to believe than an inspector would miss it.
If this must be hooked up, how do I go about doing it? Just finish the run to the power near the furnace and splice it in so that power runs to the furnace only when the switch is turned on and the circuit is complete?
Or just forget the whole thing?
Thanks.
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You do want an emergency switch for the furnace. It may be possible that another switch was installed at a different location? There should be one on or at the furnace and another outside of a room that the furnace is enclosed in or if it's in an open basement, you may find one at an entrance to the basement. If it needs to be connected , you can break into the circuit at the disconnect that's near the furnace. It should be connected in series with the other switch, so both must be on to power the furnace

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On Sun, 3 Dec 2006 19:08:15 -0500, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

There is a switch a few feet from the furnace, right at the power entry point. Aside from that, there is no other switch.
Again, I find it hard that this would be overlooked, especially if somebody took the time to write on the wire what it was for.
Hmmmm

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Kinda makes you wonder what else you should be looking at

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wrote:

All it takes is a scheduling conflict, so that the person who normally does the job sends a lackey instead.

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wrote:

Can't you get hold of the seller? If no longer local, get the real estate agent stirred up about a possible safety element.
Worst come to worst, is there some kind of municipal oversight that can help you answer the q?
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aspasia spake thus:

Wrong approach, I'd say: at this stage of the game, I don't think stirring up the local authorities and bringing an adverse inspection situation down on their head is what the O.P. wants or needs.
If anything, the services of an electrician would be helpful. They might not charge much (or anything) to come out and look at your setup and tell you what's what. As someone else here says, it's not rocket surgery. And not likely the house is going to burn down in the meantime.
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You said 4 years old, so I presume there was a previous owner.
I find it hard to believe the previous owner would have missed that. Assuming that is what the switch is for, there's no way of knowing that by the way, unless you could get the previous owner to confirm that.
If it were my furnace, I'd have it inspected thoroughly and ask about the cost to have the switch installed assuming there isn't another one already hooked up elsewhere. 14/2 is pretty thin gauge wire, so it sounds right for a shutoff switch. The builder may have just changed his/her/it mind while locating the switch and put the functioning one elsewhere.
Mine's right next to the furnace, probably not the best place for it if there was an emergency.
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wrote:

I too live in Pa, ABE area. I was told that some local communities want 'emergency' 'service' switches relocated to right next to the furnaces. One, the NEC requires a in-sight switch, and two, home owners have blown up their homes flipping the switch. They smell gas, and rather than leave and call the fire dept, they hit the switch, and boom.
Just saying what I've been told.
later,
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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46erjoe wrote:

Around here the breaker itself can serve as the furnace switch, as long as it's between the furnace and the exit.
Would that apply to your case?
Chris
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