Are damper motors required to have a disconnect?

The new Washington State rule says no. So where in the NEC does it say no?

Here is the Washington explanation:

"Do HVAC Damper Actuators Need Motor Disconnecting Means Per NEC Article 430?

No, an actuator is considered a component of the damper assembly and is not subject to the disconnect requirements of NEC 430.101. Though often called by other names such as damper motors, damper operators, or motor packs, damper actuator is the appropriate term. A damper actuator is not a motor subject to NEC Article 430. Dampers are available with a wide variety of actuators installed. Some dampers are shipped without actuators and intended for installation of an actuator in the field after the damper has been mounted in the HVAC mechanical duct system. All actuators on UL classified Smoke and combination Fire Smoke Dampers must be furnished and installed by the damper manufacturer at the time the damper is manufactured. Regardless of the specific application, all dampers should be installed in accordance with the installation instructions for the damper assembly."

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I think the NEC permits it under the condition that a damper is a component of an HVAC system with a single controller. The controller disconnect may serve as the disconnecting means for multiple motors (and other devices) under certain conditions. One of these would be that the disconnect would have to be lockable if it is not within sight of all equipment being disconnected. I'd look at 430.87 and 430.112 exceptions.

If you think about it, this is preferable to an individual disconnect for each damper motor. In the case of a fire damper, the damper motor can't be left inoperative while associated fans are still powered.

Where did you get this interpretation? It doesn't seem to explain the situation very clearly.

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Paul Hovnanian P.E.

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