Can a worktable be placed in front of electrical panel if electrical panel door can open 90 degrees? is the table itself a clearance violation if it is under the electrical panel?

  • They want open space, so nothing is in the way, like a table, a chair or even a plant. Would the table be fixed or movable? Would you need to reach to turn off the main breaker in a instant?
    – crip659
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:47
  • 3
    Without knowing your location it's impossible to say specifically what your local electrical code would require. That said, I can't imagine any electrical code would allow anything that would prevent standing directly in front of the panel with sufficient permanent clearance to each side and out from the wall. Sufficient clearance being specified in relevant code to your situation. You might be able to get away with it if it's truly portable and easily moved by one person at any given time, but that would be iffy.
    – Milwrdfan
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:48
  • For US code the concept I've always used it 'a refrigerator box of empty space in front of the panel'. I.e. you must have a 36"w x 30"d x 78"h box of empty space in front of the panel that completely covers the dead front. You can move it side to side so long as it keeps covering the panel. It must be empty. This rule is often violated in residential settings and nobody is going to go after you if you break it, but please still try to honor it.
    – KMJ
    Jul 24, 2023 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


The code (I am California-based) is pretty specific: nothing should be placed in front of the panel, the ground has to be level etc. The area definition can be different (e.g. radius or rectangle)

This is in line with more general requirement: anywhere where wires are connected should have access, such as junction boxes. It is that panels require "working space" not just access.

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  • Yeah that second picture doesn't really apply, if it's an electrical panel it needs the same 36" deep and minimum 30" wide box as everything else. Jul 24, 2023 at 20:16

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