Breaker Box

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  #1  
Old 05-30-02, 12:21 PM
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Breaker Box

Let me start by saying that I am a remodeling novice and don't intend to do any kind of electrical work without the help of a professional.

That said, I am looking for some advice as I am planning the new design for my kitchen. The building is a highrise, built in 1964.

The issue is with the Breaker Box (I don't even know if that's the right term). It is in the kitchen, right in the middle of everything. We do not plan to move it, because I have been told that would cost an arm and a leg, but we are hoping to work around it creatively.

To that end, I have several questions:

Are there space reqirements between the breaker box and the edge of a wall? Also, how far does a stove need to be from the breaker box? And is it possible to creatively disguise a breaker box without negatively affecting the functionality of it?

We wanted to open up the wall around the breaker box as much as possible to create a new entryway to the kitchen and a pass-through counter-top, but we want to make sure our plans will work before we get an electrician and handyman in and before we order new kitchen cabinets.

Just FYI, before we bought the place an amateur job was done and the breaker box was built directly behind a kitchen cabinet... with the shelving blocking access. Obviously we don't want to make stupid mistakes like that, so any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

I am attaching a file of what the kitchen wall with the breaker box looks like right now. Most of the wall around it has been removed so we could better understand what we are working with.

Thanks again for your help!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-30-02, 03:50 PM
Wgoodrich
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YOU SAID;
The issue is with the Breaker Box (I don't even know if that's the right term). It is in the kitchen, right in the middle of everything. We do not plan to move it, because I have been told that would cost an arm and a leg, but we are hoping to work around it creatively.

REPLY;
You may want to back trace where that feeder to that breaker box is coming from through your walls and floor area. It is possible to move that panel to a new location with little expense if conditions are right. Your panel has to be a sub panel of a main panels system concerning the entire high rise srutcure. If you can locate the breaker that is located at the source of where that feeder is coming from at the whole building's main serivce rated equipment then you could shut off that feeder. Then if your feeder is running along a wall where you can reroute that feeder to that location using the same feeder you can reloacte the panel to that new area without excessive cost. Might be worth researching where that feeder is running in your walls, may give you some options you did think you had.

YOU SAID;
To that end, I have several questions:

Are there space reqirements between the breaker box and the edge of a wall? Also, how far does a stove need to be from the breaker box? And is it possible to creatively disguise a breaker box without negatively affecting the functionality of it?
We wanted to open up the wall around the breaker box as much as possible to create a new entryway to the kitchen and a pass-through counter-top, but we want to make sure our plans will work before we get an electrician and handyman in and before we order new kitchen cabinets.

REPLY;
YOu are forbidden to place that panel in a bathroom or clothes closet or place of storage. You must have a dedicated wall width of 30". That panel may be placed anywhere in that 30" wide dedicated wall space even in a corner of a wall as long as you can open that panel door 90 degrees. You are required 30" clear approach from floor to ceiling in front of that panel with nothing else in that dedicated space. If you can place an imaginary refrigerator box where the panel is located and as long as it is not in a place of storage, clothes closet or bathroom you should be fine.

YOU SAID;
Just FYI, before we bought the place an amateur job was done and the breaker box was built directly behind a kitchen cabinet... with the shelving blocking access. Obviously we don't want to make stupid mistakes like that, so any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

REPLY;
YOU MADE YOUR BEST DECISION RIGHT OFF YOU DECIDED TO ASK QUESTIONS, CONGRATS YOU ARE HALFWAY THERE AS LONG AS YOU ASK THE RIGHT PEOPLE THOSE QUESTIONS.

YOU SAID;
I am attaching a file of what the kitchen wall with the breaker box looks like right now. Most of the wall around it has been removed so we could better understand what we are working with.

REPLY;

A few places in your post you spoke of walls removed or planned to be removed. Please understand that you must not remove bearing walls. We recently had a person remodling an old house he bought in my jurisdiction. While cleaning out the building and cutting out rotton timbers in his basement, he cut one wrong board and the whole house caved in within itself burying him and his loader in that basement. He is lucky to have survived. This was a two story single family old home. YOu are dealing with a high rise building. If you haven't seen the twin towers come down watch the video of those twin towers coming down. Those towers callapsed because the wrong supporting wall failed in its intergrity of strength. In that case it was due to heat as I understand and the bearing wall failed then the whole building came down. YOu can do that to the building you are working in if the wrong wall is cut or torn down. Have an engineer check what has been done and what you plan to do to ensure you do not cause a tragic event causing that building to callapse too. Please know what you are cutting before you cut.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #3  
Old 05-30-02, 06:45 PM
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Thanks WGoodrich!

That advice is very much appreciated! Every bit of it will help a lot.

Luckily we were given a layout of where the bearing walls are and those won't be touched. But I appreciate the warning. I don't need to be causing any major disasters!

Thanks again!
 
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