Circuit Breaker Locks and Safety

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What should I know about circuit breaker locking systems?

Circuit Breaker Locks and Safety

If you are considering installing a padlock system on your Cutler Hammer circuit breakers, there are several safety issues to consider. A padlock system can be handy for securing the circuit breaker system in any area easily accessible to others. Cutler Hammer circuit breakers can be locked in either the "on" or "off" position. If you lock a circuit breaker in the "on" position, this does not prevent the breaker from tripping if there is an overload. This is an important safety feature which can prevent electrical fires and other mishaps, but if you are not available to unlock the breaker once it has tripped, power will remain out until you can reset that circuit breaker.

This has the potential to be a serious problem in cases where people require an uninterrupted power supply for assisted living equipment such as respirators or other health care gear. If you need to lock a circuit breaker system, make sure the keys are available to reset the power in your absence. When installing the lock system itself, use only a UL-rated padlock designed for use with the circuit breakers. Anything short of this can void the warranty of your locking system and the Cutler Hammer circuit breakers.

   

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