The plan

I'm planning to build and put up a coat hook rack in my flat. My plan is to simply screw 5 hooks into a solid piece of wood and then mount it on the wall. It should look something like this:

this only a bit simpler.

However, the wall on which I would like to mount the rack looks like this:

Wall As you can see there are some fuse boxes. The box on the bottom is for the underfloor heating. The boxes above are for fuses. The rack should be mounted above the boxes.

Now to my problem

Due to the fact that I want to mount the rack on a wall with fuse boxes (where there are probably many cables behind the wall), I don't know how (and even if) I can mount a rack onto the wall. I think the use of dowels isn't a good idea because of the cables, correct? I was thinking about mounting it from the ceiling (perhaps using 2 ropes, I know this won't hold just to give you an illustration) but this didn't seem like a good idea to me.

My Question

Do you have any ideas on how to mount the rack onto the wall and do you even think that this would be possible?

Thank you in advance!

  • 1
    Out of curiosity, where are you on this planet? Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 4:45
  • Are you in the UK? (you say flat). It makes a difference. Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 10:43

7 Answers 7


In the US code prohibits the panel from being in the vicinity of easily ignitible material with clothes closets specifically listed NEC 240.24.D. So based on that I would say it's not a good idea.

  • He said "flat" so I guess he's in the UK Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 1:53
  • 2
    @horsehair -- I would be surprised if the UK wiring regs didn't have clear working area rules, at the very least.... Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 4:21
  • 1
    @ThreePhaseEel - right, but quoting US code won't necessarily help him. Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 4:30
  • @ThreePhaseEel I don't think they do. Or at least, removing the coats would satisfy them. Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 10:51

I agree with both isherwood and Ed Beal. You probably shouldn't mount combustibles in front of your electrical panel. That being said if you insist you should be able to comfortably go into the studs an inch without hitting any wires.

Alternative solution

This doesn't always satisfy people's style and this particular image is a pot rack not a wardrobe but you should be able to find some ideas online if you're willing to mount to the ceiling. enter image description here This concept may not suit your needs but maybe expand your horizons as to where you have options to put a wardrobe.

If you are concerned about weight I have done pull ups on that pot rack and I weigh 200 pounds.


"Give me my working space back, dangit!"

While your coatrack-over-fusebox proposal may sound like a good idea to an interior designer who doesn't know squat about electrical codes, it's not. In the USA, this would be a quite clear-cut violation of NEC 110.26(B):

(B) Clear Spaces. Working space required by this section shall not be used for storage. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for inspection or servicing, the working space, if in a passageway or general open space, shall be suitably guarded.

in addition to potentially violating the 110.26(E)(1)(a) requirements for space dedicated to the electrical system and the 110.26(A)(3) requirements for the height of the clear working space around the electrical equipment, depending on how high on the wall the coatrack was placed. This is all atop the issue of having overcurrent devices placed near easily ignitable materials, such as clothing, as is prohibited by NEC 240.24(D):

(D) Not in Vicinity of Easily Ignitible Material. Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets.

  • I hate designers! If they are engineers or architects they aren't so bad but those ones who think the design comes before function kill me. I won't take a job anymore if a designer is involved. HVAC = heart and lungs plumbing = lymphatic system electrical = nervous system..... Design = makeup. Lipstick on a pig is what I tell'em.
    – Joe Fala
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 4:43
  • The OP said "flat" which implies UK (to me). Neither of these requirements appear to apply in the UK. When you need to work on the consumer unit, the householder will have to move the coats. Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 10:50

I put up hooks in my cupboard, which is the equivalent to yours. I didn't use screws or nails at all, but instead I used a "no nails" adhesive, which is more than strong enough for hanging coats off.

Sometimes the simple solutions are the best.

  • The only problem with that is, that you can't remove it without ripping off the whole wallpaper..
    – lahuf
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 19:09
  • @lahuf: Looking at the image you posted, it doesn't look like the wall is wallpapered. If it's not, it just the drywall that would have to be repaired, which is not such a hard job. Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 20:55
  • @lahuf a good sharp knock with a heavy hammer can be effective at getting it to let go. Its able to take weight, shock less so. As the comment above says, your wall looks painted.
    – Baldrickk
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 9:55

You're wise to be concerned, but you have some things working in your favor. First, the wiring should be either protected in conduit, or arranged so that it's out of harm's way.

If I was to guess I'd say that there are probably studs on either side of both box locations. You should be able to run screws up to 1" into them without fear of encountering wiring. If wiring is closer to the surface it should be protected with steel plates.

You can try using a non-contact voltage sensor, but my guess is that results will be nebulous with so much electrical whatnot happening right there. Instead, locate the studs accurately and only drill there. Go slowly and observe the debris. If it isn't wood that you find immediately behind the drywall, do not proceed.


Ignoring the comments by other users regarding safety concerns (as I'm not knowledgable with such things or aware of where you are in the world), if you still wanted to mount your coat hook rack without drilling any screws etc, you could use adhesive strips. There are certain brands that are good because they peel off walls easily, e.g.


You could use these to hang up a rack, or they often come in individual hooks you could hang up, either externally or on the inside of cupboard doors as others have suggested.

Best of luck!

  • 1
    They don't take a lot of weight very well. Hang a couple of heavy coats on the hooks and they'll come off after a while. They're designed to come off cleanly, so don't stick as well as other solutions. Used them myself, gave up, went to a proper adhesive as per my answer.
    – Baldrickk
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 9:57

If you are in the UK, I can find no regulations which prohibit the installation of a consumer unit in the vicinity of clothes or other inflammable material. See this page from the IET (formerly the IEEE). There is also no regulation requiring working space around the consumer unit to be kept free at all times.

Consumer units in houses are usually installed in the cupboard under the stairs, and these are usually filled with coats. If an electrician needs to work on the consumer unit, the coats have to be moved.

In my view, the fire risk from a recent electrical installation is very low, and there is no particular need to be concerned about it.

You can safely screw into the wooden studs around the consumer units.

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