Lockouts & Acorn Clamps--Almost Legal

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Well, the lockout that Oregon Breakers gave me yesterday wasn't the right one, so first thing this morning, Samuel & I set out to get the right one. First, we went to A-boy to return the acorn clamp in size 5/8" for a $3.00 refund. They didn't have the 3/4" clamp I needed. Bummer! I then drove around in SE to look at a few new houses on the RMLS--and the first one was nice if you want McLaughlin running through your backyard, and the 2nd one was okay if you don't mind living on an unfinished road within the City of Portland--yes, they do exist! Sigh! I hope the right house comes our way! After looking at those houses, I drove to Oregon Breakers, where I got the correct lock-out, but was still confused as to whether or not the lock-out was what I needed or if the inspector would require me to have the padlock as well, which goes through the eyelet, keeping the breaker locked off. From there, I drove to Taylor's to see if they had the 3/4" acorn clamp, which they did, and gave to me for free. When I inquired about the lock-off I had purchased at OB, he explained to me that all you have to do is snap it onto the breaker, and if the wall heater that is on that breaker is ever serviced, the service man has a padlock that he uses to lock it off. Seems ridiculous to me! Our inspector said the only breaker that needed the lock-off was the wall heater--what makes it so special? I have the mind to go to the Mult. Ct. Library and read the NEC codes myself. For example, why did he insist that we had to have an acorn clamp when the clamp we had worked just fine? I asked about this at Taylor's as well, and he said, "All grounding rods must have acorn clamps." When I asked why, the only explanation he could come up with was that it was NEC code. So, whatever...I've fulfilled the very last two tasks we needed to in order to get signed off on what has been a pretty stressful ordeal of legalizing the addition on our house from the mid-nineties. Word of warning--NEVER BUY A HOUSE WITHOUT CHECKING WITH YOUR BUILDING DEPARTMENT TO FIND OUT IF THERE ARE OPEN PERMITS! We learned our lesson the hard way. But, that's what you do in life--you live & learn. Some lessons are unfair & undeserved, but others are a matter of gettin' what you had comin'. Whichever way the lessons come, you deal with them and move on. --Karli

P.S. The picture above shows the installed lock-out--and, I even installed it myself, which included taking off the panel cover. *reminder to pat myself on back*

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