Code Q&A: Switch Accessibility

Your most pressing National Electrical Code (NEC) questions answered

Q. What does the Code specify regarding the maximum mounting height of switches and circuit breakers used as switches?

A. Section 404.8(A) of the 2011 NEC states that switches and circuit breakers used as switches must be capable of being operated from a readily accessible location. They must also be installed so the center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, isn't more than 6 ft 7 in. above the floor or working platform [240.24(A)].

Exception No. 1: On busways, fusible switches and circuit breakers can be located at the same level as the busway where suitable means is provided to operate the handle of the device from the floor.

Exception No. 2: Switches and circuit breakers used as switches can be mounted above 6 ft 7 in. if they're next to the equipment they supply, and are accessible by portable means [240.24(A)(4)].

Note: The disconnecting means for a mobile home must be installed so the bottom of the enclosure isn't less than 2 ft above the finished grade or working platform [550.32(F)].



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