How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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How far away does a washing machine have to be from an electrical panel?
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Nothing is allowed to be installed in a working space 2’-6” wide by 3’-0” deep by 6’-6” high in front of an electric panel, per National Electrical Code [NEC 110.26 (A)(1)]. That includes a washer, clothes dryer, water heater, pool equipment, water treatment equipment, shelving or a counter.
The panel does not have to centered in the 2’-6” width, although it is shown that way in the diagram above, and the panel box can protrude up to 6” into the space.
While this might seem like overkill since a washer can be disconnected and moved out of the way with a few minutes work so that an electrician or home inspector inspector have the necessary safe working space, getting immediate access to a panel may be necessary in an emergency. Climbing or leaning over equipment that is likely to be grounded to get at the panel is dangerous and, equally important, a quick escape route in case of arcing when in front of the panel is also necessary.
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