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Electrical Inspections Contains discussions about electrical systems. This includes receptacles, panels, wiring, etc.

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  #1  
Old 11/4/09, 4:14 PM
Kenney Hackworth's Avatar
Kenney Hackworth Kenney Hackworth is offline
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Default Metal switch on a breaker

I am not familiar with this switch that I found today. The breaker is for the dishwasher and has a small metal toggle that appears to keep the breaker from tripping?
The panel box was installed in 2004 when the home was built.
Can someone help me understand this idea? Is it OK?
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11/4/09, 4:22 PM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is online now
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by khackworth View Post
I am not familiar with this switch that I found today. The breaker is for the dishwasher and has a small metal toggle that appears to keep the breaker from tripping?
The panel box was installed in 2004 when the home was built.
Can someone help me understand this idea? Is it OK?
Thanks.
It appears to be a spring not a switch.

The trip mechanism of breakers is internal so I doubt it keeps it from tripping.

It may be some type of lock out device though I have not seen one like your pic.



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  #3  
Old 11/4/09, 4:27 PM
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Kenney Hackworth Kenney Hackworth is offline
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

Thanks for the speedy reply, this device pivots freely on the middle so that the "L" shaped arm could be turned to the opposite side, which would not keep the breaker switch from moving.
When I saw the metal arm it was engaged in a manner that would stop the breaker switch from moving to either the middle tripped position or the off position.
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  #4  
Old 11/4/09, 5:43 PM
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George P. Wells, CMI George P. Wells, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

Locks on breakers are more common in commercial panels than residential but there is nothing wrong with having it there. There may be a circuit (such as emergency lighting) that you don't want anyone to turn off but the breaker still does its job of protecting the circuit. Locks can also be used to prevent someone from turning on a breaker that you may not want to have turned on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khackworth View Post
I am not familiar with this switch that I found today. The breaker is for the dishwasher and has a small metal toggle that appears to keep the breaker from tripping?
The panel box was installed in 2004 when the home was built.
Can someone help me understand this idea? Is it OK?
Thanks.



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  #5  
Old 11/4/09, 8:15 PM
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Kenney Hackworth Kenney Hackworth is offline
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

Thanks for the help, I will note the lock on the report as an FYI for the buyer.
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  #6  
Old 11/6/09, 7:41 PM
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

These are usually used on circuits such as to the dishwasher where the device is direct wired. It is so the person working on the device can shut the breaker off and flip the lock over to prevent it from accidentally being turned back on. Most of the ones now are designed so that a lock can be installed to protect it further.

Many areas are requiring these now.



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  #7  
Old 11/6/09, 7:45 PM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is online now
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsole View Post
These are usually used on circuits such as to the dishwasher where the device is direct wired. It is so the person working on the device can shut the breaker off and flip the lock over to prevent it from accidentally being turned back on. Most of the ones now are designed so that a lock can be installed to protect it further.

Many areas are requiring these now.
That makes sense as I see the other on is a 2-pole breaker and is probably for the water heater.



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  #8  
Old 11/11/09, 1:06 AM
Paul Dickerson Paul Dickerson is offline
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

Just to be clear, a circuit breaker WILL trip and cut power to a circuit even if the breaker handle is held or locked in the "on" position. If it trips in this manner, you have to switch it to the "off" position and back to "on" to reset it.
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  #9  
Old 11/11/09, 1:23 AM
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Mark E. Northrup Mark E. Northrup is offline
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Default Re: Metal switch on a breaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsole View Post
These are usually used on circuits such as to the dishwasher where the device is direct wired. It is so the person working on the device can shut the breaker off and flip the lock over to prevent it from accidentally being turned back on. Most of the ones now are designed so that a lock can be installed to protect it further.

Many areas are requiring these now.
These type of locks are in use here alot and Mr. Sole is correct they are used to keep someone from turning on the breaker and shocking the repairman.





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