Locked panel


Old 02-01-07, 05:33 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
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Locked panel

I was channel surfing last night and came across one of the DIY shows that was renovating what I think was a bedroom. In the room was what appeared to be a subpanel although it could have been a SEP. The video showed an electrician closing the panel door and installing a padlock.

Does the NEC address locking residential electrical panels? It seemed to me that it was a safety issue i.e. how long would it take to access the panel in an emergency?
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Old 02-01-07, 06:55 AM
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Probably a lock-out---tag-out situation. I can't imagine why, in a residential setting, anyone would want to install a padlock.
Old 02-01-07, 09:25 AM
jn is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
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That's an interesting question...
I know we use a system ,at one business, where you check out a padlock and key set (both have big matching colored tags hooked to them). When you need to work on a circuit, you can turn off a breaker and padlock the panel to remove to possibility of anyone else turning it back on while you are working on it. You wear the associated key and color tag around you neck while working on the circuit.
For some reason, I never thought about how this could pose a safety issue because someone can't access a different breaker, in the same panel, to kill power in an emergency.
Maybe the positive safety factor for the normal situation far outweighs the negative safety issue that rarely would occur....
Old 02-01-07, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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In area of the country where the electrical panel is outdoors people padlock them all the time. The reason is because it's a common practical joke to go and turn off someone's breakers.

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