OK to build wall around breaker box?

Old 08-11-03, 07:17 AM
George Raetz
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OK to build wall around breaker box?

I have a main breaker box mounted on the interior side of an outside wall. This wall is old and ugly and needs thermal insulation. I plan to construct a new interior wall either with 2x4 wood or 1-1/2 steel stud, fill with insulation and cover with sheetrock. Is it OK to construct a window-like opening in this new wall allowing access to the breaker box or do the codes requre the breaker box to be moved flush with the new wall?
Old 08-11-03, 07:27 AM
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Codes require a clear space in front of the panel. This normally means that you should be able to stand in front of the panel and put your nose on it. So technically, this would not be allowed. However, it seems to me that this is some room for interpretation. I suppose it would depend on how deep this window-like opening is. I would try to move the panel as close to flush as I could.

Other opinions?
Old 08-11-03, 01:34 PM
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A 30 inch wide door usually satisfies the work area clearance rules. I have seen inspectors go both ways on decorative covers over flush monted boxes. Your AHJ can give you the local flavor of answer.

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