Readily Accessible Disconnect

I’ve been reading some posts on this mb and thought I knew what I was doing (thought!!)

My question relates to today’s heat pump, but actually applies to any central heating furnace.

Can the breakers ON the unit be counted as the disconnect for the “appliance”? I’m looking at IRC 4001.5 table. Beneath the table is the line, “…permitted to be installed on or within the unit. It shall not be located on panels designed to allow access to the unit.” Now obviously the mfr. installed these breakers.

So for the photo below, is another disconnect required? The breaker is at the lower left of the unit (behind the plastic panel). I know you all know that.

I have an idea, but I’m holding my cards close (so I don’t look like a complete idiot).

Thanks in advance,

Copy of S6307135 compress.JPG

Bruce, the realidy accessible breaker on the unit should suffice in most if not all jurisdictions. If it is not a code question, then it does suffice because it offers breaker protection without having to remove a portion of the equipment.

It’s not a code question. In my way of thinking (twisted granted), there is still power to these small breakers (even if off). I wouldn’t want to work on the unit with electricity that close.

Thanks for the comments.

Bruce that breaker is perfectly fine. If one follows standard safety procedures such as using a meter to determine that the breakers actually turned off the power, not a problem. How I stayed alive long enough to retire was following safety standards. I never just assume the breaker was not burnt in the closed position before I stick my hands in there just common sense.

Thanks. I was hoping you would login and read my post. I appreciate it.


Be careful, on some AHU’s the breaker only controls the heat strips and the unit has a second feed for the controls and fan assembly. Did this unit have 2 breakers behind the panel. It seems to have 2 feeds coming in at the base of the unit.

It did have 2 breakers behind the panel.

Many of the heat strips I have installed on air handlers had one or two 240V 2-pole breakers with feeders for only the heat strip. The air handler typically needed a separate 120V feeder and disconnect.