What is an emergency switch outside a utility room supposed to be for?

Page 1 of 3  

The switch has a red plate with the words EMERGENCY SWITCH on it. There are 3 gas appliances in the room: a gas heater, a gas water heater, and a gas dryer.
Is the switch for a particular one of the appliances in the room, or is it for the whole room? Under what circumstances should the switch be used?
Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

offer a WAG that it cuts all power to circuits within the room, to reduce chances of sparking in case of a gas leak? (You don't wanna flip switches if you smell gas.) Either that or it sets off the alarms, and puts the room under negative pressure to outside the building?
If I smelled gas, I'd be more inclined to pop the main breaker, unless it was within the smelly zone, and shut the gas off at the meter, and call the fire department from my cell outside or from the neighbors. FD and Gas Company respond very quickly to gas leak reports. I've seen the aftermath of basements filled with gas lighting off. Usually no fire, since the fumes burn so quick, but when you pick the entire house up a foot or so and then drop it, it is pretty much a writeoff.
aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would guess, if it is a push button, it shuts down all gas usage in the room. These are typically required in commercial code settings. It is a bit unusual for the heater and hot water tank, as I would think they are a bit unusual in a typical setting. The buttons are seen most often in kitchens, school science labs, etc.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DanG
A live Singing Valentine quartet,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DanG wrote:

It's not a push button; it's a toggle switch. It looks like just another typical wall switch except for the red plate and the words on the latter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mtco wrote:

That switch is required for an oil burner but I have never seen one used for gas.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

to rewire?
aem sends....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

It's not a retrofit. As far as I can tell, the gas furnace was installed when the house was built.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
George wrote:

If the furnace were an oil furnace, what would be the purpose of the emergency switch?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As others have pointed out, the purpose of the switch is to have an obvious and easily accessible shut off switch in case the furnace or boiler is malfunctioning. I don't know the specific code that requires it, but as RBM pointed out, they are required here in NJ for a furnace/boiler, regardless of fuel. They have a red plate that says Emergency Furnace Shut Off. I've seen them in homes in NY state for sure as well. They only shut off the electric to the furnace. And I don't know what code says about where they have to be located, but everyone I've seen has been in a location well away from the furnace. Typical is in the stairwell leading to the basement, just inside the door. The essential idea is, if the furnace goes nuts and is rumbling, smoking and making strange noises, you want a way to shut it off without having to go near it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If what you're calling a "gas heater" is in fact a furnace or boiler, and it is enclosed in a room(as opposed to sitting in the middle of a basement), it's typical to have an emergency switch on the unit as well as outside the door in case of a malfunction

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RBM wrote:

Yes, it's a gas furnace, and yes it's in a room. So under what circumstance should the switch be flipped?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You still haven't told us what the switch is connected to. How do you expect anyone to be able to tell you when you should flip it?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


you'll have to relight everything. It isn't a starship- there is no self-destruct circuit.
Me, I'd poke around and see where the wires lead.
aem sends....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Miller wrote:

I don't know what it's connected to. I thought it's required by code in some places. I was hoping that someone would be able to tell me what it's for based on it's placement.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I did. It's a furnace emergency switch. You turn it off in case of a furnace malfunction


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, we can't see it. You can. _Find_out_ what it's connected to, for Pete's sake. Nobody can possibly tell you what it's for, or when and how it should be used, without knowing what it's connected to.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Miller wrote:

For cryin' out loud!
It has a SIGN on it.
It's for EMERGENCIES!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Did you try the switch? Usually emergency switches are only required for oil burners. There might have been a conversion at one time.
Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Berkshire Bill wrote:

No, I was hesitant to try it until I know what it's supposed to do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't know where or why a burner or boiler emergency switch would ONLY be required for an oil burner. In NY, NJ, and Conn. at least they are required regardless of the type fuel

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.