New location for service panel??

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  #1  
Old 05-18-07, 09:14 AM
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New location for service panel??

What does the NEC say about placement of a main service panel inside a home with regard to distance from ceiling, floor, doorways, obstructions, clearances, etc.? I'm in Birmingham, Alabama. Thanks.

slopoke
 
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Old 05-18-07, 10:32 AM
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The panel needs 30" clearance width and 36" deep, floor to ceiling. Imagine a refrigerator box -- you need to be able to slide that box up to the panel without any obstructions. The panel does not need to be centered in the 30"; it can be near a corner for example. The panel may be located behind a door so long as the door swings far enough to allow the mentioned clearances. The location also needs to be clear from floor to ceiling -- no cabinets, countertops, sump holes, etc in front. The panel cannot be in a closet unless there is only electrical equipment in the closet (no storage), and it cannot be in a bathroom.
 
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Old 05-18-07, 11:23 AM
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Much depends on wether or not the "main panel" includes the Service Dis-connecting Means (SDM)

If it does, the "main panel" must be located at the point where the Service Entrance Conductors from the utility-connection enter the structure.

If the "main pane" is located beyond this point, the SDM must be located on the exterior of the structure.

This presumes the SDM is in the form of a 2-pole circuit-breaker.
 
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Old 05-18-07, 12:00 PM
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It also cannot be mounted too high. A five-foot tall person should be able to reach all the breakers while standing flat-footed on the ground (okay, this is a very imprecise way of stating the exact requirement).
 
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Old 05-18-07, 02:22 PM
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Thanks for responding. The SDM is outside on the eastern exterior brick wall just below the meter; service is 240v, house built in 1973-4. The subpanel is in a pantry in a 24" wide wall in the kitchen, next to the door to the foyer, 100 amp, 12 circuits, fuses. We were hoping to mount the new box in the same location except facing out instead of in to save pain, but both the Time-Life book, "Advanced Wiring" and the Sunset book, "Complete Home Wiring" mention clearance and obstruction considerations. And a 24" wall does not meet the 30" standard. I take the statement "36" deep" to mean clearance from top of the box to ceiling and from bottom of box to floor.

Thanks again for responding.
 
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Old 05-18-07, 02:27 PM
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The 36 inch clearance is in front of the panel to give you a space to stand in.
 
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Old 05-18-07, 02:29 PM
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Forgot to add the the 24 inch wall may be fine. You just need the 30 inch width, which could extend out past the wall.
 
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