I know that the NEC code (and NYC code) specifies that a "standard" wall
outlet can't be below X inches above the floor -- 4" (at one time), iirc.
Is there a similar code for breaker panels? And is there a *maximum* height
above the floor, as well?
Curious as to what the various codes are in various locales, esp. in
Heh, google is yer friend.
"height for breaker panels" returned a surprising number of forums
addressing this very question, which I hadn't expected.
Apparently the general answser is, No minimum height, but a 6'7" max height
to the top breaker, which, if higher, must have a permanent step, etc. to
reach it. Sorta surprising, no min. height (unless in a mobile home, then
Also inneresting is that NYC has greatly relaxed its code, by adopting the
much more lenient NEC.
For example, at one time, the max #12 wires in 1" emt was 8 or 9 in the 70s,
now it's almost 20, iirc. Big effing diff.
Never realized there was a minimum height for outlets. I've seen them on
the baseboard in relatively new homes, and of course there are floor mounted
models, which I assume require the special outlet for protection.
The NYC electric code between the 70s and the 90s was perhaps the most
oppressive electric code in the country.
But, I just read in a forum today that NYC has adopted the NEC in large part
since about 2001. I don't know whether an outlet height requirement
Hard to imagine NYC abdicating an oppressive yoke of any kind. :(
I just happened to ask my own personal NEC code guru this very
no minimum height, max is 6' 6"
with a 30" x 30" x 6' 6" volume clear (no fixed objects) in front the
Panel doesn;t have to be centered in space; can be high / low or
left / right within access.
But I'd sure hate to work on a panel that was much lower than 24". :(
Hmmm, the 06 IRC and the 05 NEC seem to be in agreement according to
my stuff, and they're a bit different from what your guru told you.
The maximum height of the breaker is 6' 7" and the minimum height of
the working space is 6' 6" x 30" wide by 36" deep.
Errrr, I wouldn't let the guru go just yet. He was close enough for
spit, and I have to look stuff up to verify. I remembered the 6' 6"
working space, but when someone posted the 6' 7" breaker height, that
seemed odd so I had to look it up. I wonder why they wouldn't just
make both requirements the same number? Needless fussing for an
inch. An inch hardly matters...most of the time!
I'm the guilty party. :-)
In both cases the 2008 NEC says 2 meters. So this is just an example
of standardizing on metric and and two different code writing
committees using different rounding practices. In both cases the
rounding practice is to minimize the restriction.
I was just kidding and attempting to protect the identity of my
electrical guru..... who has since self confessed.
The info was more than "close enough" for me. I assume the intent is
to provide a "man sized" volume from which to address the panel and to
have the volume deep enough such that the worker isnt jammed up
against the panel...ie arm's length plus some play.
Since the code now says 2 meters that would be 78 3/4" (78.740") or 6'
...btw what is the tolerance on that 2 meter dimension? :) +/- .1
meter? .01 meter? .001 meter?
That makes sense and explains why the "man-sized" volume has gone up
in width from 30" to 36". I thought the plumbers were the fat ones
(and before any plumbers take umbrage - you know you're fat so stop
being so defensive). I guess the electricians are catching up. If
this trend continues they're going to have to widen doorways!
On Monday, October 26, 2009 at 9:38:59 AM UTC-4, Existential Angst wrote:
The US National Electric Code still requires only 30 inches wide in front o
f the panel up to the top of the panel enclosure or 6&1/2 feet whichever is
greater. The 36 inch dimension is the step back distance which increases
if the surface opposite the panel enclosure cover is grounded.
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