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  1. #1
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    Default AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    See photo. This is new construction. Section of fence separates the two, however there is a gate there. In my view, this disconnect switch is "not readily accessible" and should be flagged.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    See photo. This is new construction. Section of fence separates the two, however there is a gate there. In my view, this disconnect switch is "not readily accessible" and should be flagged.
    I believe I would write it as, not within sight if the gate is closed.
    It will be interesting to see what others say.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 01-10-2013 at 10:08 AM.
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  3. #3
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    If those are the disconnects to the left of that partition thingy, they would not comply w/ the code. The reason for within sight is to insure some fool does not turn on the power while you are working on it. However; that looks like a disconnect to the right. It would not be legal either because of inadequate working clearence.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    There is no disconnect on the right side of the photo near the condenser. Only a window, a black colored area where the AC lines enter the wall, and a spigot on the right side of the photo. The AC disconnects are on the left side of the photo, near the electrical meter.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    The HVAC was installed and inspected long before the fence was constructed, and no one was thinking 2 steps ahead.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    The HVAC was installed and inspected long before the fence was constructed, and no one was thinking 2 steps ahead.
    Yep ... that just means that it met code "at the time of the inspection", and that the installation of the fence now creates a "non-compliant installation which does not meet code".

    Ignorance by builders, contractors, fence installers, etc., of the code is no defense or excuse to allow that to continue to be non-compliant - the disconnect can easily be moved down to the other side of the fence where it is within sight of the condenser unit.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Where is the servicing receptacle it must be w/in 25 ft of each of those compressors, and be readily accessible.

    The left-most condensor's functioning clearance and working clearance appears compromised on the left.

    I am concerned as to the location and proximity of the hose bib and the panel for the second condensor on the right.

    The pair of disconnects to the left of the meter are not "within sight of" (unobstructed vision except for Superman and those with x-ray vision, etc.) of either compressor/motor control (while working on same). They (the disconnects) do appear to be "readily accessible". Dan H. was spot-on.

    The partition/fence/retractable gate thingy likely also appears to be encroaching (as the disconnects are projections and are current limited, to the POCO working space (projecting more than meter pan) to both the meter and the lateral as the fence/retractable gate/partition now limits access from the right.

    440.14 Location. Disconnecting means shall be located within sight from and readily accessible from the air conditioning or refrigerting equipment.

    110.26(F)(2) Outdoor. Outdoor electrical equipment shall be installed in suitable enclosures and shall be protected by accidental contact by unauthorized personnel, or by vehicular traffic, or by accidental spillage or leakage from piping systems. The working clearance space shall include the zone described in 110.26(A). No architectural appurtenance or other equipment shall be located in this zone.

    HTH.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    HG, with the exception of the disconnect location, I was more concerned about the sloppy mortor on the bricks

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  9. #9
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    There is no disconnect on the right side of the photo near the condenser. Only a window, a black colored area where the AC lines enter the wall, and a spigot on the right side of the photo. The AC disconnects are on the left side of the photo, near the electrical meter.
    So on the second unit to the right with a yellowish label, what is the enclosure that the sealtight flex goes into that is shaped like a disconnect ?


  10. #10

    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    I have come across this exact situation a number of times & have reported it as a deficiency. In each situation the builder has moved the fence to bring the disconnects within the line of site of the condensers.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Just to play a bit of the devil's advocate, when the code states 'Within Sight" what does that mean exactly? If one were to stand a few feet back of the a/c units, then the disconnects would clearly be ''within sight". I understand the intent of the requirement but does this really violate it? Does it mean to be within sight one must be standing on top of the unit, right next to it, down from it, behind it or in front of it a few feet? I can see where the fence clearly blocks the view but only if you are standing right on the unit. Once again, I understand the intent of the requirement. However, the requirement does not state " the disconnect shall be within sight from and readily accessible.....with a view that is completely unobstructed by all objects or possibilities when one is standing right in front of the unit''. OK, open the flood gates...


  12. #12
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Michael,
    How about just cutting out a 12"x12" or larger piece of the fence and put in a piece of plexiglass?
    Thereby allowing a sight line and making it within sight.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Gary,

    I thought of just that reasoning as soon as I posted my response. it would then be within sight through the fence's viewing hole..


  14. #14
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    So on the second unit to the right with a yellowish label, what is the enclosure that the sealtight flex goes into that is shaped like a disconnect ?
    That is the unit itself. The yellow label is the energy use label.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  15. #15
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    I agree with most of the comments, however I personal would not write it up as a deficiency, I would put it in the report and label it FYI. I would verbally mention it to my clients, explain the situation and move on.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: AC condenser on other side of gate from disconnect switch. See photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bronner View Post
    Just to play a bit of the devil's advocate, when the code states 'Within Sight" what does that mean exactly? If one were to stand a few feet back of the a/c units, then the disconnects would clearly be ''within sight". I understand the intent of the requirement but does this really violate it? Does it mean to be within sight one must be standing on top of the unit, right next to it, down from it, behind it or in front of it a few feet? I can see where the fence clearly blocks the view but only if you are standing right on the unit. Once again, I understand the intent of the requirement. However, the requirement does not state " the disconnect shall be within sight from and readily accessible.....with a view that is completely unobstructed by all objects or possibilities when one is standing right in front of the unit''. OK, open the flood gates...
    If you are down by the electrical access panel and servicing, working on, or inspecting the unit, you need to be able to see the disconnect.

    Is standing out a few feet from the condenser unit so you can see both 'within 50 feet straightline sight of the unit'? There is nothing in the code which says you can 'stand back far enough to be able to see both'. To me, the code is pretty specific about what it says and means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    How about just cutting out a 12"x12" or larger piece of the fence and put in a piece of plexiglass?
    Thereby allowing a sight line and making it within sight.
    That would be okay if you enlarged the hole, say to about ... from ground level to the sky, and ... oh ... about the width of the unit ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Garton View Post
    I agree with most of the comments, however I personal would not write it up as a deficiency, I would put it in the report and label it FYI. I would verbally mention it to my clients, explain the situation and move on.
    Not have the required disconnect is not a deficiency? Is not having a filter at the air handler also not a deficiency? How about not having the proper size overcurrent device, say having a 60 amp when a 20 amp is specified as the maximum allowed? What would be a deficiency?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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