Will this electrical panel pass inspection? I know there is a 3 foot clearance requirement but not sure if it's an issue here. This is a replacement panel in an old house that previously had an outdated fire hazard Zinsco circuit breaker panel. Want to check it will pass inspection before I schedule the inspection. Located in Wake County NC.

Breaker Panel

  • 2
    I’m not a pro but it seems like being right in front of the washer/drier is a big no-no.
    – DoxyLover
    Sep 1 at 1:13
  • A gas dryer I assume? Makes moving it a bigger challenge.
    – Kris
    Sep 1 at 3:13
  • 2
    I would have a serious chat with whoever did the replacement, leaving it in a spot that would make passing the inspection impossible and not recommending that the dryer be moved. Of course, if that person was me, I'd sit myself down in time out for a good hour to think about what I'd done... :)
    – FreeMan
    Sep 1 at 13:26
  • 1
    Those look similar to our washer/dryer. I would take down the shelves and stack the washer/dryer away from the panel, then put up smaller shelves. Sep 1 at 14:16
  • 1
    If it were me, I would find a place in the garage to store a washer/dryer pair for a few hours around the time the inspection was scheduled.
    – psaxton
    Sep 1 at 21:34

The clearance requirement is almost definitely going to be an issue. (And not an unusual issue - I will have the same problem if/when I ever upgrade my panel and get it inspected.) The shelves should be OK because you have room to the left. But the washer/dryer (whichever one is closer to the panel) is a definite problem. If there is any way to move it (but still be functional) that would be ideal - even if you move it back the next day for convenience. If it is the dryer, that should be easy. If it is the washer then pipes are likely going to be a problem.

The reason to move it - rather than "wait and see, maybe it will be OK", is that since it is likely to be a problem, an inspector who sees it might then start nitpicking on details inside the panel. If you start off "clean" then you have a better chance of sailing through on the rest. As in "What, you dragged me out here when you knew that there would be a workspace problem, I'll get you back for wasting my time...". That really could happen.


No way!

That panel won't pass any competent electrical inspection, mostly because the NEC 110.26(A) clear working space has clearly been infringed by the washer/dryer combination. Not your fault, I know, but as long as that trash? can to the left can find another home, it should be possible to move it one stud bay to the left with the aid of some junction and pull boxes for splicing.

  • 2
    Moving the dryer (say, by putting it on top of the washer after removing some of the shelves) might be way easier than moving the entire panel.
    – TooTea
    Sep 1 at 9:41
  • @TooTea except most dryers aren't wide enough. 36" is needed. Sep 1 at 17:29
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica Right, we don't really know how the rest of the room looks like, hence the "might". Perhaps there's room to move the washer a little bit away from the panel as well, perhaps not.
    – TooTea
    Sep 2 at 8:03

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