Is it legal to lock a main breaker box?



*You can go ahead and put padlocks on the outside disconnects as long as each tenant will receive a key. There are special padlocks that are made to be cut with a bolt cutter that I have seen on fire sprinkler valves and fence gates to electrical equipment. The locks have a notch cut into them making it easier to cut. I think McMaster-Carr sells them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Grabowski wrote:

Thanks. That's good to know. If I do end up putting locks on, I'll either get cheap little ones that probably aren't even made with hardened steel or I'll look for the type that you mentioned via McMaster-Carr etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What I said was, the contractor who located the main service disconnect outside should have used a more hardened enclosure... Anything made of plastic and exposed outside is not of a durable construction...
Also as to the local requirements to have a means of disconnect located outside, does that requirement actually require the main over current protection device to be that means of disconnect or would a properly sized and rated weather tight NEMA safety switch in the line between the meter can and the main panel also fulfill that provision of an exterior means of shut off...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 10 Jun 2012 08:04:36 -0700 (PDT), Evan

If they require a disconnect a suitably (service) rated switching device will fulfill that requirement,.
They may want to see a statement from the utility for the available fault current to be sure it has the required interrupting capacity.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to TomR, Kristi wrote: Breakaway locks are approved by many local fire departments for locking up areas they need to access without the help a building occupants. however, this is in California and each fire department has their own standards. Some are more strict than others.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 26 Sep 2017 02:44:03 GMT, Kristi

Firemen will get in if they need to. There may be significant damage tho. Usually they just pull the meter. (mort accurately, break the ring and pop it out with an axe)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com posted for all of us...

Heh heh heh
We had a stop and rob (convenience) store meter produce an arc blast when doing this. Major electrical fault. Two sent to ER with minor flash burns due to having the protective gear in use.
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 09 Jun 2012 03:16:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

If it was high voltage, even inside it would be required to have a lock. In this case, code or not, it world be locked.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you may have it backwards. OSHA is concerned about locking electrical items so no power can be applied.
At work there are atleast 100 breaker panels. We put hasps on them to lock them. Later we were told that we could not do this and to take all the hasps off. Seems that it is not legal to lock a breaker in the ON position. We have to lock out each circuit in the panel when we work on them instead of locking some off and some on.
The rules are very 'funny' from one time to the next and maybe even in each city. While they probably will not know, it is best to check with someone in the electrical inspector department of the area you live.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In our TEKTRONIX field service center,we had a master cutoff button in the middle of the shop,easily accessible,that would shut down the entire shop's power,in case of someone getting "connected" while working on an energized instrument.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

we had that at my technical school, a master safety off. the room has been reused for other things but the wood floor and that buttons box are still there unused.....
electronics has morphed into computers, my step son is taking that class......
good old AW Beattie tech school, now renamed career center
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The only code that matters is the one that has been adopted for your area. Enforcement of that code is up to the local electrical inspector. So, call the city or county office in your area and talk to the electrical inspector (no charge) and ask what you should do. If you can get something printed or written from the inspector's office on the subject, that's even better. It would be worth your while to go to the office and talk personally if that's possible.
Once you know what to do and complete the work, you may have to have it inspected and there could be a charge for that -- or you may even need a permit (not very likely) and there is sure to be a charge for that.
Anyway, work with the inspector who has probably encountered the situation before.
Tomsic
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

Having a locked breaker box, and a secured lock-out box, might discourage a/c compressor coil thieves.
A lock certainly won't hinder the fire department. They'll rip the box off the wall in a nonce if they feel like it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You're nutz!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Evan wrote:

If that's the policy of YOUR fire department, it's time to move.
Our firefighters are trained to deal with electrical connections, hazardous or poisonous materials, potential explosive chemicals, and virtually any other obstacle or threat they could possibly encounter.
A responsible fire department certainly will not wait. For anything.
About three years ago, the apartment house across the street from my place caught fire. The first piece of equipment was on the scene, so one of the commanders told me, within three minutes of the dispatch. The fire department, in short order, had FORTY-TWO pieces of equipment on the scene. I'm talking vehicles painted red that said "Fire Department." There were also unaccountably many cop cars, wreckers, and so forth. Moreover, there were - and here I'm guessing - a half dozen or more pumper trucks attached to fire plus up to seven or more blocks away awaiting the call for more water.
A hundred and fifty firefighters are NOT going to be sitting around playing Scrabble waiting for a Centerpoint Energy truck to meander by.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Have you ever heard of a meter?

What if the main switch is in the (locked) basement?

Try talking about something you know something about, if you can.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Jun 10, 11:53pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

A friend had a bad home fire.
Firefiters cut the service drop lines at the side of the house with something resembling a pole pruner. this report from my friends. who had the fire
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the conditions are changing?
First it was a simple padlock on a panel that could be dealt with in seconds, now it's downed power lines?
If you're wrong in the initial discussion, change it to something that might fit your point of view?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Now what total BS. Who should I believe, Evan or my lying eyes? I've been there when a fire department responded to a house on fire. Watched one of the crew members take an axe, break the electric meter seal and pry the meter out. It came crashing to the ground.
That's what real men do. And why not? It's safe and easy to do. If they followed Evans armchair advice, there would be a lot of houses burned to the ground, waiting for the power company to arrive. And what good would the disconnect in a typical house do anyway? The vast majority of them are inside the burning house. Firemen supposed to go inside to turn it off?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

LOL... You want your fire department people playing around like that ? I guess you want your tax money going to fund the 100% disability pensions of those injured on duty doing stupid things in non-OSHA approved ways which would earn the doers a Darwin Award with clusters...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.