I have the following challenge. The building I am in is undergoing a 40 year recertification which also involves each apartment. The breaker box had been build in the a small closet which is located between the kitchen and the entrance door. The space from the box to the opposite wall is 25", the wall itself has a length of 27" the height is normal room height. If by code the distance breaker to opposite wall must be 30" it seemes that I might have a problem. Any advice?

I tried to show the layout - see below, is not 100% accurate, just for illustration. For example the entrance door and the wall to the left from the door is about 12" inside the apartment so to speak!

enter image description here

  • 1
    Have you checked to see if it can be grandfathered in? Often, if something was to code (or at least acceptable) when built, it can be maintained even if current code has changed. – bib Mar 5 '16 at 18:05
  • Like bib said above, find out when the panel was installed. If it's older than the code, then it's fine to stay as long as it isn't being adjusted or anything. The other issue (that can normally be bargained past) is that it's in a closet. This is also against code. – TFK Mar 6 '16 at 5:29
  • I have never heard of this code. Is this for real? Good question – Evil Elf Mar 8 '16 at 18:06
  • Thank you both bib and TFK for providing feedback - that was very helpful – R. Benditte Mar 9 '16 at 18:33

The code reference 110.26 requires 30” wide and 30” in front with 6-1/2’ head room as a minimum. If this is an original instillation it will be allowed to stay. If there was a remodel making the small area they may require removal. Most of the inspections for moving a home (the electrical must meet all current code after the move) The inspectors were looking at: GFCI’s, AFCI’s, Tamper resistant outlets. Verification that the bathrooms and kitchens had the current code required branch circuits. I have only done 3 of these in my career but all 3 were similar. The last one the panel was in the bathroom (not allowed now & I did not have to move it).I did add a door that when open blocked access to the sink and tub.

  • Digression, but if I may sanity-check: Does that mean my own box's location, with 5'9" headroom to joists, is grandfathered now but if I ever want to replace the box I'll also have to relocate it to meet code? – keshlam Mar 17 '16 at 16:54
  • 1
    Exception #1 in existing dwellings panel boards under 200 A are allowed at less than 6-1/2' . (No height information is provided for the exception) – Ed Beal Mar 17 '16 at 18:05
  • Just a thought, but I don't believe there is an issue with the door being in front of the panel. So if the inspector decided to get crazy and not grandfather in the panel, it could be rotated 180 degrees and open into the entrance area (assuming the distance from the side of the panel to the exterior wall allows for it). Then a cosmetic wood door could be placed over the panel to make it look nice since it would then be in a more visible area. Can't imagine it wouldn't be grandfathered in though, unless there is something serious going on. – alfreema Apr 16 '16 at 15:24
  • @alfreema -- Rotating the panel works, I'm not sure about a decorative door over it though (although Eaton does have a facility for ordering their panels in various factory-applied finishes). – ThreePhaseEel Apr 16 '16 at 18:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.