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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.
Also see our articles What is the maximum allowed height of a circuit breaker (OCPD) above the floor? and Can I mount an electric panel upside down? and Can I mount an electrical panel face down? and Can I mount an electrical panel face up?
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