Outlet on Furnace

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Old 05-03-14, 12:55 PM
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Outlet on Furnace

Every furnace I ever seen in our area usually has a standard outlet mounted next to the switch on the side of the unit.... in unfinished space none the less. Perhaps could be used with a condensate pump or maybe if a hvac servicer needs power at the unit.

Is there something I am missing here in regards to code?... seems to me that violates both the GFCI rule for unfinished space and also the dedicated circuit rule for furnaces?
 
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Old 05-03-14, 02:09 PM
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The condensate pump would be considered part of the furnace so it can be on that circuit.

Those types of split devices were installed mostly for service use.
Being an electrician I have never installed a switch/receptacle combo on the furnace. I've only just installed the disconnect switch and there would be a GFI receptacle mounted elsewhere in the basement.

Technically... now.... it would appear to be against code in having a non GFI receptacle present in the unfinished space.
 
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Old 05-03-14, 03:21 PM
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Those types of split devices were installed mostly for service use.
FWIW, The one in my basement is just a standard outlet and a standard switch mounted on a raised cover on a 1900 box mounted along side the furnace housing. The installation is less than a year old....

The outlet is not used but if I were to install a condensate pump there (which was probably the intent of the installer) I wouldn't be using a GFCI anyhow.
 
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Old 05-03-14, 03:30 PM
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The furnace is a dedicated circuit required by 422.12, therefore is not required to be a GFCI or AFCI. The receptacle is allowed (per Exception #1), as its purpose is to facilitate present and future connection of other external plug-and-cord devices that are still permanent, integral parts of the HVAC system, and need to have simultaneous disconnect via the breaker and Emergency Switch.. Such allowed devices are condensate and circulation pumps, electrostatic air cleaners, humidifiers, ducted (not portable) dehumidifiers, etc.

422.12 Central Heating Equipment. Central heating
equipment other than fixed electric space-heating equipment
shall be supplied by an individual branch circuit.

Exception No. 1: Auxiliary equipment, such as a pump,
valve, humidifier, or electrostatic air cleaner directly associated
with the heating equipment, shall be permitted to be
connected to the same branch circuit.
Now if it were an actual SERVICE receptacle (like the one required within 6' of the outdoor AC unit) on a different circuit, THAT would need to be GFCI if the basement is unfinished. Why would you need a separate service receptacle? Because the auxiliary equipment receptacle is controlled by the switch (or it's supposed to be anyway), and will be turned off during servicing. So you can not have an actual SERVICE receptacle on the same breaker as the furnace.
 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 05-03-14 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-03-14, 03:38 PM
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Just checked, mine is switched as well. That explains it.

I bet the installer used the outlet to feed thru to the furnace....

what would be the best way to wire this?
 

Last edited by cws05; 05-03-14 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 05-04-14, 09:30 AM
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I guess what I am asking is if

power comes into the box and then goes to the switch and then it was fed thru the outlet to the furnace that wouldn't be very good...

Its best to pigtail that connection

Power in to switch then switch leg pigtailed with outlet and furnace hot. And neutral for furnance, outlet and power out all pigtailed.

Im hesitant to mess with it since I know those control boards are very finicky about grounds and static.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 11:06 AM
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The connection between the switch and the receptacle is inside the unit.
No external jumpering is required.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 11:20 AM
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The connection between the switch and the receptacle is inside the unit.
No external jumpering is required.
please rephrase, I am not sure what you mean here?

I assume the outlet is wired between the switch and the furnace in the box with the two devices. And likely power is just feeding thru the outlet where pigtailing would be preferable?
 
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Old 05-04-14, 12:32 PM
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The diagram may explain it better. The two screws on the right side are tied together.

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Old 05-04-14, 01:26 PM
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PJ, perhaps I wasn't clear... Im not referring to a single device with an outlet and a switch.... instead, a duplex receptacle and a single pole switch. Mounted on a 1900 box with a RACO 906C.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 01:55 PM
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There's no reason to pigtail...you are just adding more wires and connections in the box. Feeding through the device is fine, why mess with it?
 
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Old 05-04-14, 03:07 PM
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I guess your right. Just was thinking the heat is dependent on a 59 cent outlet and that an electrician would likely pigtail in that situation (or maybe not?).
 
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Old 05-04-14, 03:29 PM
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Doubtful he would, since there is only one cable in and one cable out. Why add any more? Don't know whether pigtails count in box fill calculations or not, but why make more work and another connection that could fail?

Since the outlet is rarely used (I mean plugging and unplugging), whats going to fail? As long as the wires are properly wrapped around the screws and tightened correctly, no heating issues to mess things up, internal "buss bars" to carry the current.

You could always upgrade to a $3 outlet...lol.

Hey, one thing not mentioned, I don't think. What color is the switch or the faceplate on it? Seems like they are supposed to be red? Mine was back in VA.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 06:08 PM
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Just was thinking the heat is dependent on a 59 cent outlet and that an electrician would likely pigtail in that situation (or maybe not?).
The heat is also dependent on a 59 cent switch and a $3 circuit breaker, are those problems? A pigtail would be dependent on a 6 cent wirenut, is that a problem. The bottom line is there is nothing wrong with feeding through the device, but if you'd rather have it pigtailed, knock yourself out.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 02:30 AM
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If it were anywhere else I'd say pigtail it. But in this application it's really not going to cause any issues. As long as the wires are on the screw terminals and not the back-stabs, just leave it alone.

As for the red plate Vic, apparently they are mandatory in some places but not others. When I lived in NJ they were required.. In fact that was something the fire marshall dinged us for and made us fix before we were allowed to sell the house. Here in Kansas they are not - and like you can't even GET them here.. I'm not talking hard to find at the local mom and pop hardware stores, you can't even get them at Home Depot/Lowes/Menards. They just don't carry them. Apparently there's also no requirement to have a switch at the top of the basement stairs or outside the furnace room here either. But I wanted them when I rewired my house so I just picked them up when I visited family back in NJ.

 
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