+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    27

    Default Secondary Furnace Cut-off Switch

    When I purchased my home I noticed a secondary switch on the 1st floor to turn the entire oil fed boiler on/off. The boiler itself which is in the basement also has an off/on switch. Do I need two switches? Is the upstairs switch for safety/convenience?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Secondary Furnace Cut-off Switch

    Safety, most likely.

    It's required in some jurisdictions, not required in others. No such requirement around these parts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Secondary Furnace Cut-off Switch

    My daughter just bought a house in up state NY and I had to install a 3 way switch for the boiler (adding the second to the top of the basement stairs) as per the mortgage company. For easy access and safety I did it in my house too about 4 years ago.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Secondary Furnace Cut-off Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by lthomps222 View Post
    When I purchased my home I noticed a secondary switch on the 1st floor to turn the entire oil fed boiler on/off. The boiler itself which is in the basement also has an off/on switch. Do I need two switches? Is the upstairs switch for safety/convenience?
    To the original poster, yes some codes require a means to cut off from the living area but there must be a final controlling interuption at the appliance, this is often done by puting the other single throw switches' in line in a single switch loop to a final switch at the appliance - therefore any switch opened can interupt power to the appliance - but ultimately cannot be restored unless all switches are closed (on) therefore the final switch at the appliance maintains the safety requirement at the appliance for the servicer/operator working there..

    Quote Originally Posted by rwhnze View Post
    My daughter just bought a house in up state NY and I had to install a 3 way switch for the boiler (adding the second to the top of the basement stairs) as per the mortgage company. For easy access and safety I did it in my house too about 4 years ago.
    regarding rwhnze's post:

    I suspect someone has rigged it up for convenience, but it wouldn't be to most model codes. Might be something local but there should still be an inline regular switch (motor control override) before power to the appliance placed on or near the appliance for servicing.

    When required to have a means to shut off closer to the living area generally TWO or more single switches are placed in line, requiring that both (or all) switches be closed (ON) for the appliance to operate, but can be interupted from either (or any) location, with the last switch before the applicance has to be the required LAST one at the applicance, so that if it is open (off) , not capable of being closed (re-energizing the circuit - ON) without the servicing party's knowledge and this particular switch being ON therefore the circuit and engergy to the system remains - in control and view of the operator while the unit is being serviced at the unit. Pumps/motors/fans are required to have a proper controller - if it doesn't say OFF as made on it it isn't one - one of the reasons decora style switches can't be used either.

    To be a proper override the final controlling switch at the appliance must say OFF and be under view and control of the operator/servicer at the appliance and not be capable of being overridden while the operator/servicer is at the appliance. Without your 3-way switch loop feeding intermediately to (in line/series) to a single throw final safety override single switch at the appliance and before power to the appliance (between your 3-way loop and the appliance) it would be a violation of the model codes to have it at all, even if the electric panel was in view and control of the party servicing the appliance - since the presence of a switch at the unit would provide a false impression that if off was a single switch (rarely does one pay attention to being able to read the off molded on the switch especially in the areas you'd find the switch in a boiler room).

    Now a mortgage company or home inspector might have pointed out that a 3-way switch loop was required for that party's daughter's home for the LIGHTING control due to the stairs, but that doesn't have anything to do with the boiler.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Secondary Furnace Cut-off Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue RidgeParkway View Post
    regarding rwhnze's post:

    Now a mortgage company or home inspector might have pointed out that a 3-way switch loop was required for that party's daughter's home for the LIGHTING control due to the stairs, but that doesn't have anything to do with the boiler.
    What you say makes total sense. The switch at the top of the stairs and at the doorway to the boiler room is on a 3 way loop but on the wall next to the boiler is a cut off switch to the boiler with the red emergency cover. Also in the defense of the mortgage co they didn't say 3 way switch they said they wanted a "boiler shut off at the top of the basement stairs" 3 way was my mistake.
    Thanks for the clarification!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Secondary Furnace Cut-off Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by rwhnze View Post
    What you say makes total sense. The switch at the top of the stairs and at the doorway to the boiler room is on a 3 way loop but on the wall next to the boiler is a cut off switch to the boiler with the red emergency cover. Also in the defense of the mortgage co they didn't say 3 way switch they said they wanted a "boiler shut off at the top of the basement stairs" 3 way was my mistake.
    Thanks for the clarification!
    You're welcome.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •