Proper wiring of furnace 'Emergency' switch
I live in New Brunswick, Canada; have P.S. Knight's 'Electrical Code Simplified' for 2006-2010, and have tried to study it well. But I've run up against a situation that isn't covered in his book, and that no-one can seem to answer.
We have a fuel-oil furnace in the basement with what I'll call a Master On-Off Switch close to it. I want to add a 'Remote' Emergency On-Off Switch at the head of the basement stairs so the furnace can be shut off from there.
This is not only because it's required by the Code, but because it will give some peace of mind to my aging parents who are finding it difficult to get down the basement stairs when 'there's a strange noise in the furnace'.
(The furnace is about 14' from the Service Entrance, but the shortest distance from the furnace to the head of the stairs is 45'.)
I (briefly) considered moving the Master Switch to a position at the bottom of the basement stairs, which would satisfy Code requirements. However, the 'ageing parents & stairs' problem would remain, and I wondered about what the furnace man would say to it.
He said - and I see his point - that repairmen want the main furnace On-Off switch as close to the furnace as is practical.
He agreed that a 'remote' emergency switch should be installed at the head of the stairs, and said just "wire it off the Master switch."
But that brings up a grey area. Mr. Knight says junctions are 'usually' made in light, switch or plug outlet boxes.
He does not specifically say junctions cannot be made in a Master On-Off switch housing/box, but the 'feeling' I get is that you shouldn't do it.
So, the plan is install a junction box close to the Master Switch and run 12-2 cable to the Remote Switch...which leads to the question...before or after?
Should the Remote Switch control the Master Switch, or the Master control the Remote?
My philosophy is that the Master On-Off Switch at the furnace should do just that - shut off the furnace and everything connected to it, including a Remote Switch.
But what does the Code say?