Breaker Lockout

A Condo Board Member came by and insisted I disassemble the Breaker Lockout for the Water Heater.

I asked why?

She told me an “Electrician” told her that these lockout devices could lock the Breaker Open and “Burn down the House”.

I asked here if the “Electrician” left her a written report about these?

She says well, it may not have been an “Electrician”, it was someone that changed out a Water Heater for a Neighbor that told the Neighbor about the “Danger”.

I can not find a recall, nor can I find anything relating to these devices being a hazard.

I left mine as is, I printed the link below and passed it on to the Board Member.

Anyone heard or these Lock Outs being problematic?

Brian, I am sure that you know it is virtually impossible to “lock open” (I assume… lock on) a breaker. The position of the handle has no bearing on the breaker performing it’s job. If it’s gonna trip, it’s gonna trip.

Besides, when a breaker is “open” is when it is “off”. Am I wrong here?

I agree Jeffrey.

I think some Yahoo in a truck got this woman all excited, and I suggested she slow down on telling all the Condo Owners to remove/disassemble the Listed Breaker Lockouts.

Open circuit no electricity, closed circuit power available.

Just wondering why you would have a breaker lockout on a water heater.


And what I don’t understand, why would the Condo WH’s be “locked-out” anyway? They would have to be turned off to be locked-out. And if they were because the unit was empty, why does this person even care? Doesnt make sense to me.

A locking mechanism on the circuit breaker is permitted in lieu of a *within sight *disconnecting means for the water heater.

Correct Robert, been that way a few years now as I recall. :smiley:

In my search I can not find anything to suggest that this product does not function as intended, nor has it been the recalled.

I believe that asking all the Condo Owners to remove/disassemble these lockouts is Bad Advice. :shock:

I agree, as mentioned the CB is designed to trip even if locked in the Closed or ON position. There are sections of the NEC that actually require CB’s to be locked in the ON position. Sounds like the electrician is mistaken in his analysis.

I am not sure it was even an Electrician Robert, it was some guy that changed out a Neighbors Water Heater. (I believe an Electrician would know better)

I got the info third hand myself and suggested to the Woman that told me, she may want to reconsider advising all the Condo Owners that they should remove/disassemble the Lockout due to it being a Fire/Safety Hazard, because that is not true.

Removing it makes it a Shock Hazard though for anyone working on the Water Heaters.