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Thread: Circuit Breaker Lockout for Exit Signs?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Default Circuit Breaker Lockout for Exit Signs?

    OK, yes I will ask the fireman that wrote this up when I can get ahold of him, but I wanted to ask you:

    The Fire Marshal just inspected a fairly sizable Mall near me, and as fate would have it, I know one of the merchants who got tagged. Apparently almost everyone got the same to-do list.

    Get the exit signs tested by an electrical contractor. OK. Get him to certify what you have works or get it replaced. OK. Figure out which breaker in the panel feeds it. Well, OK. If you insist. Mark it as such. Well, sure, while we are at it, yeah.

    Now. Provide a "lock out". I don't get it. My thinking on lock outs is their utility in a large industrial plant where there is frequent need to shut down power to something that is well out of view of the panel.

    Why would anyone need to "lock out" an emergency exit sign? Why would you ever need to deliberately turn it off. Unless you were replacing it, but the the logic applies to all the circuits in the store, yes?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    He doesn't want it accidentially turned off, i.e. a deliberate action must be required. It's possible that in doing some maintenance, the operator might just turn multiple things off just when they are needed the most.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    He doesn't want it accidentially turned off, i.e. a deliberate action must be required. It's possible that in doing some maintenance, the operator might just turn multiple things off just when they are needed the most.

    OK, I need to find lock-outs that can lock the toggle in the on position. Obviously the breaker can still trip even if the toggle is locked.

    Hmmmm. I wonder how universal lockouts are? I've not needed to install any before. Most of the panels are three phase......

  4. #4
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    You don't need to use the kits for lock-out/tag-out. A breaker lock would work.

    Here is one style.

    http://www.garvinindustries.com/Devi...echanisms/UBL1

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Besides the "universal" breaker lock out, each manufacturer has those specific to their breakers. Exit signs, emergency lights, and "local fire systems" all need lockouts to prevent them from being disabled by flipping the breakers. They do not "deliberately" get turned off, but if someone is looking for a particular circuit, they WILL turn off every breaker and may forget to turn the safety ones back on. The lock out prevents them from turning it off, unless it is the one they are working on, in which case they remove it and hopefully replace it when they are done.
    Last edited by hj; 05-15-2012 at 08:37 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Sounds straightforward.

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    DIY Junior Member marygrace's Avatar
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    what is the purpose of having this circuit breaker lockout? Thanks a lot for all the help then and I love it.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    So an "emergency" circuit which MUST always be on, cannot be inadvertently turned off, and maybe not turned back on.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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