Where are electrical breaker panels not allowed by code?
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Electrical panels are not allowed in:
•• A location that does not provide a clear working area for access in front of the panel that is 30” wide by 36” deep by 78” high. (International Residential Code, IRC E3405.2). Working area does not have to be centered on panel.
•• A location where the required clear access area is used for stored items or for an appliance like a clothes dryer or washer, even though they are moveable. Quick access to an electrical panel is important in an emergency (IRC E3405.5).
•• Clothes closets (IRC E3405.5). Flammable clothes next to a panel are hazardous.
•• Bathrooms (IRC E3405.5). Wet/damp environment.
•• Over the steps of stairs (IRC E3405.5). Unstable surface for standing.
•• Anywhere that the highest breaker switch will be more than 79” from the floor/ground [IRC E3705.7(6)].
•• In any damp or wet environment, unless panel is rated for outdoor use (National Electrical Code, NEC 110.11).
•• Indoor location without switched lighting serving panel area [IRC 3405.7(6)].
•• Location that does not have at least one accessible entrance to working area [IRC E3405.6 and NEC 110.26(C)(1)]. But locked entrance door is considered accessible [NEC 110.26(F)].
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