Requirements for a disconnect - GFCI as Disco?

marmathsen

Senior Member
Can someone point me in the direction of what would be be required for a device to be considered a disconnect?

Could a GFCI receptacle or dead front be considered a disco?

Does it need to be listed as a disco?
 

paulengr

Senior Member
Can someone point me in the direction of what would be be required for a device to be considered a disconnect?

Could a GFCI receptacle or dead front be considered a disco?

Does it need to be listed as a disco?
Under NEC a disconnect is a specific device.

Under OSHA the device must physically lock the power conductors in the open position. You don’t have access to pin the power conductors open in a GFCI unlike a breaker handle so it doesn’t count. It is equivalent to say removing control power on a starter that doesn’t count either.
 

norcal

Senior Member
No way to lock it out, & know it is locked out with either a GFCI deadfront, or receptacle, need to be assured it is locked out just for peace of mind, and to be compliant with codes & regulations.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
For small non-permanently connected loads though, a plug and receptacle is acceptable in lieu of a disconnect in the NEC, i.e. 430.109(F). So if you have a GFCI receptacle and a plug-in machine, it's the plug and receptacle that qualify as the disconnect, not related to the GFCI aspect of it.

Not necessarily acceptable per OSHA for LO/TO however unless you add a pad-lockable cap.
 

marmathsen

Senior Member
Thank you for all the comments. I should have been more clear in my original post. I'm more clear now that the application determines which type of disconnect may or may not be acceptable.

For what it's worth, I found the answers I was looking for (mostly) in 225.36 - 225.39

Thanks again.

Rob
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
For small non-permanently connected loads though, a plug and receptacle is acceptable in lieu of a disconnect in the NEC, i.e. 430.109(F). So if you have a GFCI receptacle and a plug-in machine, it's the plug and receptacle that qualify as the disconnect, not related to the GFCI aspect of it.

Not necessarily acceptable per OSHA for LO/TO however unless you add a pad-lockable cap.
Jraef 100% correct, sample of loto device for plug here:
Plug-Lock-Out-Heavy-Duty.jpg
They make similar devices for valves and switches as well. Get one to keeps kids off the playstation.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
A GFCI that has buttons marked off and on is permitted to be used as a motor controller and as a disconnect, but if you need lockable disconnect, it is not suitable.
From the UL Guide Information for "Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters" (KCXS)
The "TEST" and "RESET" buttons on the GFCIs are only intended to check for the proper functioning of the GFCI. They are not intended to be used as "ON/OFF" controls of motors or other loads unless the buttons are specifically marked "ON" and "OFF." Products with "ON" and "OFF" markings have been additionally covered under Motor Controllers, Mechanically Operated and Solid-state
 

paulengr

Senior Member
Jraef 100% correct, sample of loto device for plug here:
View attachment 2553985
They make similar devices for valves and switches as well. Get one to keeps kids off the playstation.
This is a misread of OSHA regulations. When you take equipment out of service, LOTO no longer applies. For instance if I unplug a vacuum cleaner it is no longer in service. It is not legal to have locks on it and those devices violate OSHAs interpretation of the regulation.


Another classic over reach is leaving locks on draw out breakers after removal on the types that take a lock on the front. Same issue. This is why on long outages it is so much easier to simply remove wiring rather than LOTO.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
A GFCI that has buttons marked off and on is permitted to be used as a motor controller and as a disconnect, but if you need lockable disconnect, it is not suitable.
From the UL Guide Information for "Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters" (KCXS)
I have never seen a GFCI marked that way. What they are describing is a manual motor starter that apparently has a ground fault trip built in. Even with small single phase motors though 3-5 mA to ground is extremely low.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
I have never seen a GFCI marked that way. What they are describing is a manual motor starter that apparently has a ground fault trip built in. Even with small single phase motors though 3-5 mA to ground is extremely low.
The OP asked if a GFCI can be used as a disconnect. My post simply answered that question based on the UL Guide Information. Dead front GFCIs are often marked that way. https://www.leviton.com/en/products/gfrbf-w
 

packersparky

Senior Member
Location
Wisconsin
I would ask your inspector if he would approve it as a building disconnect.

225.36 Type of Disconnecting Means. The disconnecting means specified in 225.31 shall be comprised of a circuit breaker, molded case switch, general-use switch, snap switch, or other approved means. Where applied in accordance with 250.32(B), Exception No. 1, the disconnecting means shall be suitable for use as service equipment.
 
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