This is in our garage. There’s a slop sink with a breaker panel close to it.

Is this okay? I want to upgrade the panel so that I can install a charger for an electric car.

Will the sink or the panel have to be moved to be up to code?

UPDATE I forgot to mention that the shower plumbing is to the right of the panel...on the wall that is perpendicular to the panel wall. (one foot to the right of the panel, and maybe 2 feet behind)

panel and sink

  • I take it there's no actual shower in this room, just piping feeding a shower in an adjacent room? Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 11:36
  • 1
    Is that popcorn texture on sheet rock of stucco on the wall?
    – RetiredATC
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 15:14
  • The shower is in the adjacent room. There is popcorn texture on the wall.
    – milesmeow
    Commented Aug 28, 2022 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


Yes, the new panel will need to be in a slightly different location. Current code requires a 30" wide by 36" deep space in front of the panel. In theory it should forever be empty of everything (i.e., no storage). But the crucial part is that there should be no fixed items in that space, such as sinks, shelving, appliances, etc.

Your current panel appears to be inset between two studs. Depending on a number of factors, it may be easier to surface mount the new panel next to it, rather than having to run all the cables inside the wall, but that may depend on access from the other side or other factors.

Your panel looks to be a Stab Lok panel, which is considered by many to be a major fire hazard. Replacement with a modern panel is a good idea, even if you don't need the EV charging yet.

  • 4
    Yikes. Good to know that it’s a potential fire hazard. :(
    – milesmeow
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 4:56
  • 3
    Found this article about Stab Lok (Federal Pacific Electric) panels and why they are unsafe. galvinpower.org/what-is-a-stab-lok-circuit-breaker
    – milesmeow
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 5:50
  • 5
    @milesmeow I have a canonical answer here on that topic if you want more info on what the deal is with them Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 11:38
  • Depending on what's behind the walls it may be easier to replace this panel with a new one in the same location and move the sink 3 feet to the left.
    – jay613
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 14:38
  • 2
    What's on the other side of the wall? Another option might be to face the panel that way.
    – longneck
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 16:45

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