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  1. #1
    Andy G's Avatar
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    Default Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Home with inground pool. 240v pump served on dedicated circuit from panel via 12/2 (NM) in PVC conduit to Intermatic timer mounted within 5ft of the motor/pump. PVC again from timer to pump unit. Asthetically / cosmetically it looks 'professional' however I am curious if the ON / OFF tab within the timer can serve as a dedicated means of disconnecting.

    Thanks
    Andy

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy G View Post
    Home with inground pool. 240v pump served on dedicated circuit from panel via 12/2 (NM) in PVC conduit to Intermatic timer mounted within 5ft of the motor/pump. PVC again from timer to pump unit. Asthetically / cosmetically it looks 'professional' however I am curious if the ON / OFF tab within the timer can serve as a dedicated means of disconnecting.

    Thanks
    Andy

    Hello Andy,

    The timer cannot be used as a disconnect.

    Sincerely,

    Corey


  3. #3
    Andy G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Didn't think so. It can be immediately *after* or next to a disconnect, but a straightforward ON/OFF must be first, correct? Something covered under 680.12 or thereabouts?

    Andy


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    A automatically operated device being the means of disconnect??? Think about it, bloody scary,IMO.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy G View Post
    Didn't think so. It can be immediately *after* or next to a disconnect, but a straightforward ON/OFF must be first, correct? Something covered under 680.12 or thereabouts?

    Andy
    Before, after, it doesn't matter, as long as it is near (within sight of) the motor.

    680.12 Maintenance Disconnecting Means. One or more means to simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors shall be provided for all utilization equipment other than lighting. Each means shall be readily accessible and within sight from its equipment and shall be located at least 1.5 m (5 ft) horizontally from the inside walls of a pool, spa, or hot tub unless separated from the open water by a permanently installed barrier that provides a 1.5 m (5 ft) reach path or greater. This horizontal distance is to be measured from the water's edge along the shortest path required to reach the disconnect.




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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy G View Post
    Home with inground pool. 240v pump served on dedicated circuit from panel via 12/2 (NM) in PVC conduit to Intermatic timer mounted within 5ft of the motor/pump. PVC again from timer to pump unit. Asthetically / cosmetically it looks 'professional' however I am curious if the ON / OFF tab within the timer can serve as a dedicated means of disconnecting.

    Thanks
    Andy
    One thing I forgot to mention. I hope this installation is really old, because UF cable has not been allowed for a pool motor in a very long time. I especially hope it is not regular NM, because that would have never been legal. Even in conduit.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    One thing I forgot to mention. I hope this installation is really old, because UF cable has not been allowed for a pool motor in a very long time. I especially hope it is not regular NM, because that would have never been legal. Even in conduit.
    12/2 Romex, of course. The manufacture date on the pump motor is 5/95 but that's irrelevant. What year NEC disallowed UF for outdoor pump circuitry? Would THHN be the only allowable style?


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy G View Post
    12/2 Romex, of course.

    Andy,
    Romex is a Brand Name of NM cable.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Andy,
    Romex is a Brand Name of NM cable.
    Pete opined that he hoped it wasn't NM.. I elucidated even further by stating brand.

    Regardless, this is a no-go.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy G View Post
    What year NEC disallowed UF for outdoor pump circuitry? Would THHN be the only allowable style?
    For t least as long as I have had a clue, which is around 25 years.
    The code is that the equipment ground be insulated, so conduit and conductors are the rule. We can also use a certain type of direct bury MC cable but this is pretty hard to find in the US. In Canada I believe it is called Tek cable and is pretty common.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    NM (Romex) cable is a rated assembly. The conductors are rated for "open air" installation. Installing such cable in PVC where both ends are closed is a raceway. You cannot install a rated assembly in raceway which is located on the exterior of a building because: 1) NM cable is not permitted in a damp or wet location. (Yes, even though it is in conduit, it is none the less a damp or wet location, exposed to condensation via temperature changes.) 2) If exposed to sunlight, the temperatures inside the raceway would be greater than allowable for NM cable which would be cause for derating except for reason #1.

    And....even though I would personally not reccomend a timer as a means of disconnect......it does meet the requirement of the code as previously posted.

    Is a cord and plug an acceptable disconnect?

    Let's see where that discussion leads us.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post

    And....even though I would personally not reccomend a timer as a means of disconnect......it does meet the requirement of the code as previously posted.

    Is a cord and plug an acceptable disconnect?

    Let's see where that discussion leads us.
    Your joking I hope. A time switch is NOT a suitable disconnect, any automatically operated device will only cause a unsafe condition to anyone servicing said equipment, not even going to comment on a cord & plug as disco....


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    You cannot install a rated assembly in raceway which is located on the exterior of a building ...
    Actually ... you can.

    You just need to use a properly rated cable.

    Added with edit:
    Not only *may* you, but in some cases you *are required* to.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 01-12-2012 at 05:45 PM. Reason: added last part
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    not even going to comment on a cord & plug as disco....
    Is that an inside joke?


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    NM (Romex) cable is a rated assembly. The conductors are rated for "open air" installation. Installing such cable in PVC where both ends are closed is a raceway. You cannot install a rated assembly in raceway which is located on the exterior of a building because:
    Instead of telling us why you think it cannot be done, PLEASE provide a code reference.
    We'll wait patiently.

    You also are aware that UF is a type of NM (non metallic) cable. This is one of the reasons I like to use the generic word "romex" as opposed to the term NM.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Is that an inside joke?
    I think he's saying the answer is so obvious it's not even worth commenting.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Instead of telling us why you think it cannot be done, PLEASE provide a code reference.
    We'll wait patiently.

    You also are aware that UF is a type of NM (non metallic) cable. This is one of the reasons I like to use the generic word "romex" as opposed to the term NM.
    SP....it's just my opinion.

    As a youngster, coming up through the trade, I was always told, "You can't install raceway within a raceway."

    I'm still looking for that Code reference 30+ years later.

    NM or as you prefer Romex, is referenced being installed in some form of conduit to protect it from physical damage as it passes through a floor, wall, etc. 2008 334.15(B), 334.15(C).

    It is not intended to be installed in raceway, IMO.

    Remember, I stated "raceway" where both ends are closed as opposed to a chase.

    Many will argue that the temperature rating is compromised when installed in a raceway because the ability to shed heat build up is compromised, much like "bundling" which I will not revisit ever again in this forum.

    Conduit is also subject to temperature variations which can produce condensate and therefore be considered a "wet or damp" location. 2008 334.12(B)(4)

    And as it regards using the term Romex....yes, everyone uses that term universally for all types of NM cable but keep in mind, "All Romex is some form of NM cable but not all NM cable is Romex."

    Universally accepted terminology in the trade is Romex because the first version of such was manufactured by Rome Cable in Utica, NY. The first version was named Rome X. Similar to MC cable that was originally AX and the latter version which became BX.

    There is also NMB, NMC, NMS and UF that are often referred to as Romex but the term Romex does not appear in the Code and some participants in electrical forums are adamantly opposed to utilizing terminology that is not contained within the Code.

    So....to summarize, I haven't done the research to prove that NM does not belong in conduit but I have provided examples which lead me to the opinion that such a practice should not be allowed.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    Your joking I hope. A time switch is NOT a suitable disconnect, any automatically operated device will only cause a unsafe condition to anyone servicing said equipment, not even going to comment on a cord & plug as disco....
    Rollie...2008 680.12 states, "One or more means to simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors.....

    Therefore a timer switch meets that definition.

    A 30A, 125V Twist Lock plug also meets that definition.

    Would I recommend such devices?

    Emphatically....NO!

    As it regards the timer....the obvious reason would be the lack of being able to control whether such will trip ON during maintenance.

    As it regards the Twist Lock Plug...it does meet the definition for maintenance but I envision the scenario where a child is suctioned to the bottom drain of a pool and being held there.

    Do you want to trust that the average housewife is cognizant of the fact that you need to "twist" that plug to disengage it?

    I don't.

    Granted more time I may be able to provide Code reference indicating that a plug and cord as a means of disconnect is for "temporary" motor driven devices such as a portable table saw, etc.

    I've participated in that discussion locally and have been able to provide Code reference to support that argument.

    Just very limited for time lately.

    My apologies.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    A few comments, one UF is not a type of NM cable. NM cables are listed in Article 334. UF cables are listed in Article 340.

    Cables, such as NM or UF are permitted to be installed in raceways. Flat cables such as 2-wire NM would use it's largest width, as if it were a round conductor, to determine the proper raceway size. As mentioned NM cable cannot be installed in a raceway outdoors since the interior of the raceway is considered a wet location. NM cable is not permitted in wet locations but UF cable would be permitted in a raceway outdoors.

    In general a disconnecting means would need have a marked ON and OFF position which would eliminate the timer as a disconnect even if it did simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors. Also a cord and plug would be permitted to be the maintenance disconnecting means. And for a pool an emergency switch is not required as it is for hot tubs and spas..


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    This is one of the reasons I like to use the generic word "romex" as opposed to the term NM.
    "romex" is not a generic word, the proper word is "Romex®".

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 01-13-2012 at 05:29 PM. Reason: found code for the R in the circle
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Rollie...2008 680.12 states, "One or more means to simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors.....

    Therefore a timer switch meets that definition.

    A 30A, 125V Twist Lock plug also meets that definition.

    Would I recommend such devices?

    Emphatically....NO!

    As it regards the timer....the obvious reason would be the lack of being able to control whether such will trip ON during maintenance.

    As it regards the Twist Lock Plug...it does meet the definition for maintenance but I envision the scenario where a child is suctioned to the bottom drain of a pool and being held there.

    Do you want to trust that the average housewife is cognizant of the fact that you need to "twist" that plug to disengage it?

    I don't.

    Granted more time I may be able to provide Code reference indicating that a plug and cord as a means of disconnect is for "temporary" motor driven devices such as a portable table saw, etc.

    I've participated in that discussion locally and have been able to provide Code reference to support that argument.

    Just very limited for time lately.

    My apologies.
    I still disagree that a timer can qualify as a disconnect, just because it can reconnect the load on it's own, & BTW, how would you disconnect the timer to service it? The mechanical type do at times require maintenance....

    Proper disco's are cheap, too cheap to try to justify a jury rigged install that is a accident waiting to happen.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    OK some Basic NEC info:
    The NEC is written in 9 chapters.
    Chapters 1-4 apply generally to everything
    Chapters 5-7 apply to special equipment, special conditions,and special occupancies. These chapters supplement or modify the general rules.
    So Chapters 1-4 apply except as amended by chapters 5-7
    Chapter 8 is a stand alone chapter and the rules in 1-7 only apply when specifically referenced
    Chapter 9 is Tables and Examples.

    Now then Disconnecting means for a pool motor.
    2011 NEC Article 110.3 (B) reads:

    Installation and Use.
    Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.

    An intermatic timer is not Listed or Labeled to be used as a disconnecting means. It is strictly a controller / switch to automatically open and close a circuits ungrounded conductors.



    Lets look at 680.12 in the 2011 NEC

    680.12 Maintenance Disconnecting Means.

    One or more means to simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors shall be provided for all utilization equipment other than lighting. Each means shall be readily accessible and within sight from its equipment and shall be located at least 1.5 m (5 ft) horizontally from the inside walls of a pool, spa, or hot tub unless separated from the open water by a permanently installed barrier that provides a 1.5 m (5 ft) reach path or greater. This horizontal distance is to be measured from the water’s edge along the shortest path required to reach the disconnect.


    I see nothing in that section that amends,modifys, or supplements any other code code section chapters 1-4 so......


    Lets look at 2011 NEC Article 430 Motors.

    IX. Disconnecting Means
    430.101 General.


    Part IX is intended to require disconnecting means capable of disconnecting motors and controllersfrom the circuit.



    430.103 Operation.
    The disconnecting means shall open all ungrounded supply conductors and shall be designed so that no pole can be operated independently. The disconnecting means shall be permitted in the same enclosure with the controller. The disconnecting means shall be designed so that it cannot be closed automatically.






  23. #23
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Rollie...2008 680.12 states, "One or more means to simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors.....

    Therefore a timer switch meets that definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    The disconnecting means shall open all ungrounded supply conductors and shall be designed so that no pole can be operated independently. The disconnecting means shall be permitted in the same enclosure with the controller. The disconnecting means shall be designed so that it cannot be closed automatically.
    I fully agree with Ken (above) and the others stating that the timer switch is not suitable for the disconnect.

    Now, to play Devil's advocate here, I am going to introduce some more information and see what the answers are (I already know the answer as has been taught to me, I will see if it is the same).

    Let's say the timer as a manual 'On/Off' switch in addition to the timer switch, you've seen those timers with the little toggle switches for manual off override to the timer, is a timer with than manual off switch allowed?

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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    [quote=Jerry Peck;187292]I fully agree with Ken (above) and the others stating that the timer switch is not suitable for the disconnect.

    Now, to play Devil's advocate here, I am going to introduce some more information and see what the answers are (I already know the answer as has been taught to me, I will see if it is the same).

    Let's say the timer as a manual 'On/Off' switch in addition to the timer switch, you've seen those timers with the little toggle switches for manual off override to the timer, is a timer with than manual off switch allowed?[/quote]


    The switch is the same other then the addition of the manual lever, so nope.


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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    The switch is the same other then the addition of the manual lever, so nope.
    Rollie,

    I'm referring to timers which have that manual lever, but also have a separate manual 'on'off' toggle switch (not a residential wall-switch toggle switch, but a small toggle switch like you could buy at Radio Shack for projects).

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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    I will say no because
    1) The timer is listed and labeled as a time clock/automatic switch. Not listed and rated as a disconnecting means. Is that timer listed and labeled to used as a disconnecting means and for what ? Is it approved to use as a pool timer ?
    2) Motor disconnect switches must be Horsepower rated unless one is using the exception for stationary motors 2hp or less.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    It is an over ride and still has the potential to turn it self on . thus an automatic means
    When the manual 'on/off' toggle switch is in 'off' the timer cannot override it.

    I am intentionally not addressing your other items ...

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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    When the manual 'on/off' toggle switch is in 'off' the timer cannot override it.

    I am intentionally not addressing your other items ...

    PM sent


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Timer Switch as Pool Disconnect

    A few points:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "romex" is not a generic word, the proper word is "Romex®".
    In the real world romex most certainly IS a generic term. Just like band-aid.
    Romex® is a brand.

    Uf is a non-metallic cable. I never meant to imply it was NM-B or other wise.

    A timer switch ABSOLUTELY CANNOT serve as a means of disconnect. To imply as such is simply foolish, or not knowing a very basic part of the code.
    Unless of course it has a separately functioning disconnect switch, built on or otherwise.


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