Emergency Shut-off switch

Emergency shut off switch for furnace is located in finished closet in the basement on kitty-corner wall to furnace. Distance to furnace from switch is about 6’. Any problem?

Also, switch plate is for an oil burning furnace, furnace is propane, Also, building permit dated 11/10/01 is for operation of oil burning furnace, furnace conversion date is 12/01/06. Any problem?


Sounds like they might have had the original furnace replaced. Around here there would be a permit for replacing a furnace, and permit history research is a standard recommendation in all my reports.

Also around here, we apparently don’t require emergency shutoff switches for the furnace since they all seem to be plug-in units, so we would simply unplug it. Probably has something to do with seismic conditions here.

I need to make one correction, conversion date is 12/1/01.



The switch should not be inside a closet…

A Service Disconnect switch shall be placed at the unit, within arm’s reach of the technician, for control of the burner while observing the flame.

An Emergency Switch(es) with electrically driven equipment, an identified emergency switch in the burner supply circuit shall be placed near the entrance to the room where the appliance is located. If the entrance to the boiler room is only accessible from the outside, the emergency switch may be placed at the inside of the door opening and located not more than one foot beyond the door opening.

As David posted, the switch “should not be inside a closet”.

However, are you the AHJ?
Does the switch function correctly?
Is the switch cover plate in place (even though it says oil burner)?

I recommended that you identify the location of the switch. The location of the switch is where it was the day the house was built. There is no requirement to upgrade pre-existing conditions to current requirements. The fact that the furnace is propane fired versus oil fired really has no bearing on the switch plate cover! It obviously goes to the furnace (of some sort). At least it’s identified as such.

Does this condition meet any of the following criteria:

This component does not function as intended.

This condition adversely affects the habitability of the dwelling.

This condition requires repair.

This condition requires subsequent observation.

This condition warrants further investigation by a specialist.

If so, report it as such.

Just called one on inspection that had a plate but no switch. Local code said it didn’t need one if furnace is less than 20’ from electrical panel.