How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Can an electrical panel be located at a stair landing?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

It’s acceptable as long as the landing meets the code requirement for a safe access area in front of the panel: 2’-6” wide by 3’-0” deep level floor below it, and 6’-6” high clear above floor in front of it [NEC 110.26 (A)(1,2,3)]. The panel is not required to be centered in the 2’-6” width, but the panel door must be capable of swinging open to 90º (perpendicular).

    Just because you can do it does not mean it’s a good idea. We have inspected condo units with the panel at the top landing of a stair and compliant with the service access requirement, but positioned so that, if you stepped backwards from the panel beyond the 3’-0” depth, you fell down the stairs.

    For more on this requirement and its history, go to When did the requirement for clearance in front of an electrical panel become code? Also, see our articles Can an electrical panel be located under stairs? and Can an electric panel be located over stairs?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to a collection of some of our other blog posts about ELECTRIC PANELS:

Can an electric panel be located in a closet? 

Can an electric panel be located in a bathroom?

What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?  

What is the maximum number of circuit breakers allowed in an electric panel?

When should a corroded or damaged electric panel cabinet or disconnect box be replaced? 

What is a tandem circuit breaker? 

When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required? 

Can you add circuit breakers by different manufacturers to an electric panel if they fit?

My circuit breaker won't reset. What's wrong?  

What is a split bus electric panel?

How do I identify a combination AFCI (CAFCI) circuit breaker? 

What does a circuit breaker with a yellow or white test button indicate? 

What is the maximum gap allowed between the front of a recessed electric panel box and the wall surface surrounding it? 

What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?

Why is a fuse box/panel an insurance problem for homebuyers? 

Why is bundled wiring in an electric panel a defect?

What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers? 

What does it mean when a wire is "overstripped" at a circuit breaker?

Why is an old fuse panel dangerous?  

Who is the manufacturer of those "bad" electric panels?

Why is the circuit breaker stuck in the middle? 

What is a double tap at a circuit breaker?

What is the right electric wire size for a circuit breaker in an electric panel?

What is the life expectancy of a circuit breaker? 

• What is the maximum height you can mount an electric panel above the floor? 

What is the main bonding jumper and where do it find it in an electric panel? 

   Visit our ELECTRIC PANELS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 


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