NEC sucks

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HeyBub wrote:

I've seen a few pole barns done on the cheap that way, using the breakers as switches. Not recommended, for obvious reasons.
-- aem sends...
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On Sat, 14 Nov 2009 19:22:49 -0500, in alt.home.repair, aemeijers

Switch-rated breakers? They must exist.
In my youth, many centuries ago, I worked at a gas station where all of the exterior lighting was breaker switched. Being too young to know better I never thought anything of it, but I didn't much like the two breakers that would periodically fall out of the breaker panel when you switched them.
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Yes, they are common in industrial and commercial applications.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Would a guy wiring up a backyard pole barn or private horse stable typically be aware of the difference, and where to get them? The ones I saw looked like normal residential breakers, with no visible markings saying they were switch-rated, or the big heavy-duty appearance and feel industrial stuff seems to have. These were not feeding big blowers or heaters, or massive lights or anything. Just typical barn lights and one or two outside floods.
-- aem, always eager to learn, sends....
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wrote in message

The homeowner may not, but any electrician should know about them. Readily available at the supply house. You'd have to pull a breaker and check the model number to be sure of what you have though.
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On Sun, 15 Nov 2009 03:24:44 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@asgard.slcc.edu wrote:

Look for SWD molded on the breaker or printed on the label. Most small breakers are SWD (switch rated)
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I used to attend services in a church built in 1883. The lights in the vestibule, nave, and chancel were controlled from a breaker box in the vestibule. Otherwise, people would have had to look for the right wall switch, walk to it, and perhaps turn lights on or off by mistake. It also simplified wiring in a building with solid walls.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Looking at a recent ordinary SquareD QO 20A breaker, the paper label near the wire terminal is marked "SWD". Probably not readable without a magnifying glass.
The UL "White Book" (DIVQ) says "circuit breakers rated 50 A or less and 125/250 V or less are investigated for use with tungsten-filament lamp loads." "For use with" is not explicitly the same as for routine switching of. But "SWD" is explicitly for routinely switching fluorescents. Do you need a "SWD" mark for routinely switching incandescents? I thought you did, but the "White Book" doesn't seem so clear.
For routine switching of HID lights (mercury, metal halide, high/low pressure sodium) there should be a "HID" mark. I don't remember ever seeing one of them.
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wrote:

Yep that is what it says in the NEC too 250.83 but, generally speaking if a breaker is SWD (or HID) you can use it for a switch. Most breakers from the majors are SWD
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snipped-for-privacy@asgard.slcc.edu wrote:

they won't fall out if the cover is in place properly.
s
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aemeijers wrote:

what's the obvious reason? Many many commercial buildings are switched that way.
s
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Steve Barker wrote:

Learn something every day on here. I never knew such things existed, and they always used to smack me upside the head for playing with residential-grade breakers, using them as switches. And I distinctly remember threads on here saying not to do so. My construction experience was only residential and apartments, not commercial.
-- aem sends...
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HeyBub wrote:

many commercial applications just use the breaker panel for light switches.
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Tony wrote:

The old way had advantages. A switch inside the front door. Otherwise, a string dangling just above head level in the middle of each room.
Less wiring, which meant less installation and maintenance.
If a room had two doors and one switch, I'd rather walk a couple of steps in while feeling for a string than cross the room and feel for a wall switch.
If you go to bed in a room with a switch at each door and have no bedside lamp, you have to walk to your bed barefoot in the dark. If you have a string dangling in the middle of the room, you can be beside the bed when you turn off the light. You could even tie three strings to the pull chain so you could switch the light from the bed or either door.
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E Z Peaces wrote:

OK, that's it! I'm running eye hooks and strings to all of the kitchen, bedroom and living room entrances! Pull one string for on and one for off. Now how to mark the strings... I'll go with the 1 and 0 which is becoming popular. Off has a round loop on the string and on has a straight... something, or nothing.
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Nope, only need one string to each door. The pill chain ratchets on and off.
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Roger Shoaf wrote:

My house was wired in the 1920s. Except at the front door, there's no sign that any switch ever had knob & tube wiring, so most switches must have been added later.
Some of the switched lights were made with chain switches. Finding places to install switch boxes must have been a problem. Two rooms are switched from outside. The switch in one room is not near any of the three doors. There are no three-way switches.
One bedroom still has no wall switch, and I've grown to appreciate it. If you enter a room from a door with no switch, taking two steps and feeling for a string can be easier and safer than crossing the room to find the wall switch. It's a little inelegant because if you touch a string hanging in the dark, you may have to wait for it to swing back to your hand so you can pull it.
Inside the back door and at the back entry to the kitchen, I added lights where I would have had to use surface-mount boxes for wall switches. In each case, I used a couple of eye screws to run a string down the wall at a good location. A tied string is easier than a switch to find in the dark, you can work it with your hands full, and you don't get the wall dirty. With another length of string and two more eye screws, I could operate the light from more than one place in the room. This versatility could be useful in a room such as a bedroom, where rearranging furniture could make a new switch location desirable.
Chain-pull switches can be practical for ceiling lights.
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Code is not the best way to build something.
Code is the worst you are allowed to build something.
When we were in Europe, most lights had multiple switches. Near as I could tell they were all momentary switches with a change of state relay in the panel. It was very convenient to have a switch at the door to each bedroom, and another one you could reach from the bed.
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