I'm hanging a subpanel in my garage. The feeder is coming in from the bottom. If I mount the panel right side up, the topmost breaker slot is well below the 6'7" max-from-floor NEC requirement. If I invert it, the topmost slot is around 6'8". Would inverting the panel mean that I just couldn't use the topmost slot (the rest are below 6'7") or that the whole installation goes against requirements.

Thanks for any tips.

  • 1
    It seems like the solution is to mount the panel lower, or am I missing something.
    – crip659
    Nov 14, 2023 at 23:34
  • 1
    Yeah, that would be best. The feed is coming from the wall, at the back and bottom of the panel. I guess I need to figure out how to create my own hole in lower part of the back of the panel, as the existing knockouts create the positioning explained above.
    – Brent
    Nov 14, 2023 at 23:38
  • 2
    Once you've figured out that the tool made for the job is an electrician's knockout punch, you might post a new question asking if you can make a new hole any old place on the box that appears to be free of obstructions, because none of the existing knockout locations are ideal.
    – MTA
    Nov 14, 2023 at 23:48
  • 1
    But, before posting @MTA's suggested question, be sure to search because I'm 99.999% sure that's been asked about already.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 15, 2023 at 0:36
  • I'm sure that less efficient tools (like nibblers or hole saws) can also be used so long as no sharp edges are left exposed after fitting the conduit nipple
    – Jasen
    Nov 15, 2023 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


Depends exactly where it is. The maximum height is "to the center of the handle in its highest position" - but if you don't use it, it's not there, so that is an option (but you might write a note on the box about that.)

For many panel/breaker types, a dual-pole breaker handle would be at legal height in at least one side of the panel, even if the body of the breaker sticks beyond.

You could also raise the floor an inch in the required working space if you don't just move the hole in the box.

  • That sounds like an argument one could make... No inspector I know would accept it... but it is an argument one could make.
    – Questor
    Nov 15, 2023 at 1:36
  • The center of the handle is code laguage, verbatim.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 15, 2023 at 1:47
  • 2
    The code is specific about the handle, not the panel. If your panel doesn't have a handle on its topmost slot then you should be compliant. Maybe use that top space for a surge arrestor
    – Matthew
    Nov 15, 2023 at 3:06

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