Can an electric panel be mounted sideways-horizontally?
Thursday, September 13, 2018
The NEC (National Electric Code) does allow an electric panel to be mounted horizontally, but only if vertical mounting is not possible due to space limitations or otherwise impractical (NEC 240.33). Unfortunately, a second code requirement is that when circuit breakers are mounted in a vertical position (they are sitting horizontally in a vertical panel) the “on” position of the breaker switch has to be “up” (NEC 240.81).
A sideways mounted panel, like the one in the photo above, cannot have any breakers in the upper row—where “on” would have to be “down.” Also, some manufacturers specify that their panel should only be mounted vertically, so you need to check the fine print on the manufacturer’s data plate before attempting to install a panel horizontally.
To learn about the requirements for mounting a panel upside down, see our blog post “Can I mount an electric panel upside down?”
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