Main Breaker Panel in Bathroom?


Old 05-05-04, 12:55 PM
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Main Breaker Panel in Bathroom?

I just won the bid on a HUD home in Spokane WA and start my little fixer upper project in 6 weeks. My wife and I figure the best way to increase the value is to add 2 bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement.

The best spot for the bathroom would be directly under the main floor bathroom, however the breaker panel is right there. The sewer drain pipes are actually in front of the panel about 4 feet from the wall.

From my understanding I cannot have the breaker panel in the bathroom. So I plan to have a tiny "hallway" that holds the breaker panel, and then take an adjacent closet combined with the rest of the proposed bathroom area and place a small bathroom there.

How much room do I need to allow in this little "closet/hallway"?

The stairwell separated by a wall will be on one side, and the bathroom on the other, and the sewer drain pipe goes down the "entrance" to the "closet/hallway" sticking out about 8" from the wall by the stairs making the entrance that much skinnier.

The space is at a premium without moving walls and such, I am hoping 2-1/2 to 3 feet will be enough width, the depth will be around 4-5 feet.

Is there any lighting requirements? It will be awefully dark in there if I don't add something.

I will be going there to take measurements/pictures tomorrow evening, is there anything else I should look for?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-05-04, 01:39 PM
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A panel needs a space 30" side-to-side, with 36" clear space in front of it, and 6'6" of headroom. So envision a cardboard box of those dimensions and make sure you could set that cardboard box on the floor touching the front of your panel.

The panel area must have a light.
Old 05-05-04, 02:40 PM
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A little clarification

Thanks for the response!

One little clarification just to be certain. If I make the room for that cardboard box, but the entry into the area is only 22" wide, that is fine? (i.e. if I were to actually put the carboard box there it would be like the ship in the bottle problem.) I am assuming this is ok but there obviously is some limit.

Also, if the light is just one of those that mounts on the ceiling and has a string to pull to turn it on, is that ok? And how long should the string be if it is or do I need to install a switch too?

Then my next question is about the bedrooms, what are the branch circuit requirements and outlet requirements for a bedroom?

There is one bedroom there already,(which is not legal until I add the egress window so it probably doesnt meet any extra requirements for a bedroom versus and "office"), and the second must be added and has no electrical in that area except a light.

I will also need to add heat, probably a small baseboard heater in each room, as there is no central heating. Does each baseboard heater need its own breaker, or can I mount them on each side of the same wall and connect them together on one circuit? I imagine I will need 2-1500 watt units or a 1500 and a 1000 watt unit as one bedroom is smaller. Probably will use 240V heaters.

Again, thanks for your help!
Old 05-05-04, 04:08 PM
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Bedroom requirements are the same as any other living area of your house (i.e., the 6/12 receptacle spacing rules) with two exceptions: (1) you need a smoke detector (not actually an electrical code requriement, but a fire code requirement), and (2) you may or may not need AFCI on receptacles and you may or may not need it on lighting and smoke detectors too, depending on local ruling (check with your building department).

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