Code Change Summary: Code language was added to require a disconnecting means at the point where the feeder or branch circuit enters a sign pole or enclosure.
Previously, the 2011 NEC only required the disconnecting means for a sign to be within sight of the sign, or lockable in the off position. Now, the following applies:
Sometimes a sign can have multiple sections. Large monument signs can often advertise several stores in one shopping plaza. Although not all that common, sometimes just having a disconnecting means on the sign pole or enclosure does not necessarily mean that all energized sign sections are within line of sight of the disconnect switch. For those installations, the disconnect switch must be lockable in accordance with 110.25.
An exception allows for branch circuits or feeders to pass through the sign enclosure without a disconnect switch if they are enclosed in a chapter 3 listed raceway. This will be helpful for large multi-section signs on the same pole that require multiple feeders or branch circuits. The feeder or branch circuit can be installed in a listed chapter 3 raceway, and pass through other sign sections to reach whatever sign section it supplies. From that point, just before the conductors enter their designated sign section, they terminate to a disconnecting means just for that sign section.
Below is a preview of the NEC. See the actual NEC text at NFPA.ORG for the complete code section. Once there, click on the “free access” tab and select the applicable year of NFPA 70 (National Electrical code).
2011 Code Language:
600.6(A)(1) Within Sight of the Sign. The disconnecting means shall be within sight of the sign or outline lighting system that it controls. Where the disconnecting means is out of the line of sight from any section that is able to be energized, the disconnecting means shall be capable of being locked in the open position. The provision for locking or adding a lock to the disconnecting means must remain in place at the switch or circuit breaker whether the lock is installed or not. Portable means for adding a lock to the switch or circuit breaker shall not be permitted.
2014 Code Language:
600.6(A)(1) At Point of Entry to a Sign Enclosure. The disconnect shall be located at the point the feeder circuit or branch circuit(s) supplying a sign or outline lighting system enters a sign enclosure or a pole in accordance with 600.5(C)(3) and shall disconnect all wiring where it enters the enclosure of the sign or pole.Exception: A disconnect shall not be required for branch or feeder circuits passing through the sign where enclosed in a Chapter 3 listed raceway.
(2) Within Sight of the Sign. The disconnecting means shall be within sight of the sign or outline lighting system that it controls. Where the disconnecting means is out of the line of sight from any section that is able to be energized, the disconnecting means shall be lockable in accordance with 110.25.
Which of the following is true of the required disconnect switch installed for a pole mounted sign?
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