NEC Code question breaker box covers

Geez guys, I seem to be asking as many as I am answering these days.
Interior breaker box in an alcove: is the swinging door that covers the breakers required? I have one in an alcove created for a Fridge. Not having that stupid little door would make life a lot more simple. It would allow a bigger Fridge and no need to move the Fridge to reach the breaker on the side wall. I have seen many interior breaker boxes with no door but I want to be sure I meet the code for at least 1990.
I only ask because I plan to sell this property, if I am so lucky and I do not want to deal with a semi-literate home inspector after I after remove the darn thing.
Please quote reg number if you can.
--
Colbyt
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The box is listed as it comes from the manufacturer. Removing the door is modifying the box. It's not particularly dangerous, but an inspector would be remiss to not make a notation/ding on the report.
If you're selling the property, the inconvenience will only be while you are selling it, then it's not your problem any more. BTW, leaving some obvious things for the inspector to 'catch' makes them feel like they are doing their job.
R
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Can you leave the door on, but open it fully so it does not cover the breakers? Then the inspector could just tell you to "close the door".
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On Fri, 15 Oct 2010 19:51:29 -0400, "Colbyt"

The short answer is you can't put a fridge in front of the panel in the first place. You need 30x36 clear space in front of a panel
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On Oct 16, 12:26 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

...unless the refrig is 6' 6" above the floor. ;)
But that's code for new installations. Depending on when the panel was put in, it may well be grandfathered in...or not. The 1990 code reference probably points to the or not.
R
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On Sat, 16 Oct 2010 07:26:46 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

Working space has been in the code for decades. In 1975 the same rule was there but it was 110.16.
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I don't have a license so my opinion may not count. I would consider a Fridge to be just another piece of movable furniture. I have another house built in 1978 where the panel box is in a bedroom. Quite often people place a dresser with mirror or a TV cabinet in front of it. Move the furniture and you have the clear working space called for by the code. PITA but possible.
Another was remodeled and inspected countless times by all the various agencies including the electrical inspector. That panel box is in the living room and the exact same situation is possible with the right combination of furniture. My own personal box has a chest freezer setting under it in the basement.
In this particular situation access to none of the breakers would obstructed by the largest 36" wide residential Fridge. Opening and closing the door is a problem with a larger unit. The smaller rental size Fridge, currently there allows the door to open just fine. The next owner may do as they please. I will even show them how to remove the door if they like.
--
Colbyt
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On Sat, 16 Oct 2010 20:24:08 -0400, "Colbyt"

Overcurrent devices are required to be readily accessible. 240.24
"Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth."
I would say moving a fridge was "removing an obstacle". Like Bud says, residential does not get regular inspections but when this does get inspected, expect this to be flagged. In commercial I have seen fire inspectors tag a mop bucket in front of a panel.
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On Oct 16, 11:48 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Code states "working space", not "permanently unobstructed working space", right? When I've had situations where I've had to have stuff under the panelboard, I put the cabinets on wheels, and I've never had an issue with an inspection, and I've asked specifically if it was an acceptable solution before I did it. The inspector had no problems with it...of course, a different inspector might have a different opinion. Completely blocking access with the refrigerator blocking the panelboard door could be an issue, and in that case losing the door might be the lesser of two evils.
R
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Since he's trying to sell the place, he should just leave the door on the panel. I don't see an advantage to taking it off at this point. Every home inspector I've used has removed the entire cover of the panel to look inside, check for double tapped breakers, proper wiring, etc. So, he's almost certainly going to move the refrigerator to get at it. At which point, he's either going to flag it for the refrigerator blockage issue or not, depending on how he interprets the code. And as someone else pointed out, removing the door is probably considered a modification of a listed panel and could get flagged even if he doesn't flag it for any other reason. If he does flag it, obviously it becomes a big problem.
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Since he's trying to sell the place, he should just leave the door on the panel. I don't see an advantage to taking it off at this point. Every home inspector I've used has removed the entire cover of the panel to look inside, check for double tapped breakers, proper wiring, etc. So, he's almost certainly going to move the refrigerator to get at it. At which point, he's either going to flag it for the refrigerator blockage issue or not, depending on how he interprets the code. And as someone else pointed out, removing the door is probably considered a modification of a listed panel and could get flagged even if he doesn't flag it for any other reason. If he does flag it, obviously it becomes a big problem.
Keep in mind that home inspectors and electrical inspectors are quite different. My guess is that this panel was installed in it's present location before it became a niche for a refrigerator. Aside from the clear working space that gfretwell mentions, Nec 110.26 says: " Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment" IMO, having a refrigerator permanently parked in front of a panel conflicts with this provision
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On 10/17/2010 9:35 AM, RBM wrote:

raised-floor area, we probably have 15 breaker panels. FM tolerates the 'crash carts' on casters being parked in front of them, but screams if we stage a pallet or rack there. Basically, if you can kick it out of the way, it is okay, but if it takes a couple strong guys to move, no.
--
aem sends...

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On 10/17/2010 11:00 AM, aemeijers wrote:

Just about every business I go to for a service call has the electrical room packed full of crap. There is the law of empty spaces that states there can be no empty spaces for any length of time. I warn the manager that the fire marshal will burn them(no pun) if they don't keep the room clear but it doesn't seem to help unless there is an anonymous call to the FM. 8-)
TDD
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