I have a 200 amp electrical panel. It's all sealed, but the breaker switches are visible. My question is, do I need a cover or a door to hide the breakers from view? Reason I'm asking, the insurance company came and said I need to cover it. If that's the case, when I bought it and got it installed, why wouldn't have come with a door with a hinge to close?

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    it should have a door with it. DId you get this from an electrician ? Tell them you want the door. These panels all come with doors. – Ken May 5 '17 at 23:28
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    If it's a reasonably recent panel, you should be able to buy a cover with a door. Those doors are firmly attached; I'm surprised to hear of one falling off. And the electrician would know it needs its door. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 6 '17 at 0:45

National Electrical code does not require a door to cover breaker handles. It does require a cover that prevents access to electrified parts, which must have all openings closed. A panel without a door is not a violation, but a panel without a cover is.

However, this might be a requirement of the bank, or some other local amendment or code.


OK, in you question you said "the insurance company came and said I need to cover it" at this point any nec code reference is a moot point. The insurance company is telling you "we have an electrical standard and it requires you to have a lockable cover or we won't insure you".

For the sake of information:

Some older panels were manufactured without a door for the breakers. One of the problems with a code reference is that it is mentioned throughout in the nec (NFPA 70). I prefere article 110.25 "Lockable disconnecting means".

The reason it is not real clear in the nec is because it is derived from another code NFPA 70E (the National Electrical Safety Code). The cover is to allow a lock out tag out procedure.

All that being said nec article 110.25 states in brief there must be a means a breaker to be locked in the open position and must be permanent.

Once again all of this is moot because of the insurance requirement. You might be able to convince the insurance company if you could install a lockable device for the main breaker meeting 110.25 requirements. That may satisfy their requirement. Since we don't know the manufacturer of the panel or the date is installed, I don't know if they make an attachment for that breaker. But it may be worth a shot.

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    Breaker lockoff means are not addressed by the panel door -- you need a lockoff for the breaker handle for that, or at least that's the best I can tell from the NEC. (Fortunately, if you have a currently made breaker type, you can get lockoffs for it from an electrical supply house for <$10 a pop :) – ThreePhaseEel May 6 '17 at 15:40

You should have a door for the breaker panel. Look up NFPA 70 search for Service Panel , Circuit Breaker Panel - you should find where the code declares a requirement for the door panel.

  • Can you cite the code reference? I know a dead face is required unless accessible only by qualified persons, 2O08 NEC 408.38. but I don't think a door is required unless the panel came with one and some do/ did not and there is no requirement in the code to modify a panel board in fact this would be a code violation. My other code books are at work but this has not changed for years. If it has a door it must be able to open 90 degrees and there are working width and height minimums but listed equipment is legal today even if it is 50 years old. – Ed Beal May 6 '17 at 4:12
  • @EdBeal yes 408.38, is one citing , I might be incorrect here: service requirement 230.62B Energized parts that are not enclosed shall be installed on a switchboard, panelboard, or control board and guarded in accordance with 110.18 and 110.28. Where energized parts are guarded as provided in 110.28(A)(1) and (A)(2), a means for locking or sealing doors providing access to energized parts shall be provided. – Ken May 6 '17 at 12:47
  • @Ken -- that's not a relevant reference to this case though -- the door in question does not provide access to energized parts – ThreePhaseEel May 6 '17 at 21:52

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