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wrote:

That reminds me, got to get the refund on my home wiring book ...
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My understanding of the NEC is that one cannot have a duplex outlet within 30 inches to the left of right of a main panel or subpanel. This is correct, is it not? I'm laying out wall #2 now. SU is "heaven-sent" ! : )
Bill
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wrote:

I'm not aware of any such requirement. Ask whoever told you that to show you where the Code says that.
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wrote:

Doug, I recall reading (from some authoritative source) that, according to the NEC, the space above and below a main panel is to be free and so is the space 30" in front of it. I'm still searching for that source now. I had been wondering how close to the sides of a subpanel I can locate a 120v duplex outlet. From looking other remarks in the NEC, it does not appear to be as concerned about the sides, as it doesn't expect a panel to be serviced from the sides. Does this sound famililar to you? I'll keep looking for the original source of my concern. I appreciate your posts.
Bill
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wrote:

Not quite: the requirement was for a working space minimum 30" *wide* in front of the panel. It's 36" now.

See Article 110.26 of the 2008 NEC.

Yep. The Code also specifies -- I think in the same article -- that you must be able to open the cover of the service panel a minimum of 90 degrees. Hard to see how a duplex outlet would interfere with that, no matter how close it is to the panel.

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wrote:

Doug,
This is the statement I was able to find:
"The main service equipment panel shall be mounted either outside or inside the dwelling at the point of entrance of the service conductors to the building. All service equipment and electrical panels shall have a clear area 30" wide and 36" deep in front. This clear area must extend from floor to ceiling with no intrusions from other equipment, cabinets, counters, appliances, pipes, etc. Panels are NOT allowed in clothes closets or bathrooms."
Does this prevent me from installing my subpanel right next to the main panel (in between the adjacent pair of studs)? I was under the impression it was permissable to do this but am having trouble resolving it with the statement above.
Also, doesn't the statement above say something about how close one may place a duplex outlet?
Thanks! Bill
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wrote:

Where?
Right. The purpose of this language is to ensure that there is adequate space in front of the panel for an electrician to stand while servicing the equipment. Basically, it means that you can't park crap on the floor in front of your electrical panel.

No.
Why? A subpanel beside the main doesn't intrude into the working space at all.

Nope.
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On Jun 3, 7:00am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
t> wrote:

2 wording questions:
"The main service equipment panel shall be mounted either outside or inside the dwelling at the point of entrance of the service conductors to the building."
If the service panel is mounted outside the dwelling, then the service conductors never *enter* the building, do they?
Assuming, of course, that the dwelling and the building are the same entity.
"Panels are NOT allowed in clothes closets..."
Who defines what a clothes closet is? Assuming the 30" x 36" clearance is maintained, would panel in a 40" x 50" enclosed space be OK as long as I didn't hang a shirt in the space?
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Correct. Only branch circuit conductors would enter the building.

The National Electrical Code.
"Clothes Closet. A non-habitable room or space intended primarily for storage of garments and apparel." [2008 NEC, Article 100, Definitions]
The Code also prohibits putting panels in bathrooms. And yes, Article 100 also defines what a bathroom is: "An area including a basin with one or more of the folllowing: a toilet, a tub, or a shower."
I can hear the next question already: if there's a toilet but no sink, is it a bathroom? No, not according to the NEC, but it's probably a violation of plumbing and/or health codes for a room to have a toilet but no place to wash one's hands after using it.

Depends on what that enclosed space is "intended primarily for". If it houses your furnace and water heater, it doesn't matter if you do hang a shirt there, it's obviously not "intended primarily for storage of garments and apparel." OTOH, if there's a couple of closet rods there and a shoe rack on the back of the door, it doesn't matter if you *don't* hang anything there, the space obviously *is* intended for that purpose even if it isn't presently being used that way.
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On Jun 3, 12:25pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

re: "if there's a toilet but no sink, is it a bathroom?"
It is according to my town.
When I moved in the house had a basement room with a toilet and a shower.
We were assessed as having 1.5 baths 'cuz my town considers any room with 1 or 2 fixtures to be a half-bath, 3 or more to be full. A shower, toilet, and bidet would be a full bath even though there is no sink.
When I redid the "half-bath" I added a tiny sink, barely big enough to wash your hands in, and suddenly I had a 2 bath house.
BTW The original shower didn't even have a pan. The slab sloped down towards the corner with a hole into which a kitchen sink strainer was placed. There was no physical connection between the cast iron drain pipe under the slab and the slab itself. It was support by the earth and the other pipes that were connected to it.
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net> wrote:

Interesting. My main breaker panel is in the attic (unfinished space over the garage) at pretty much the opposite end of the house as the service entrance.

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Code has not always required it to be at the point of entrance. It may very well have met Code when it was installed. Seems to me that change came about in the mid-late 1980s, but I could be wrong.
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On 6/3/2010 12:19 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

I think the phrase "as near as possible" purposely leaves a lot of latitude in most local code adoptions and the ultimate implementation of this requirement.
I built a house recently where the "service entrance" was on a separate garage and the main service panel was on the utility room wall on the second floor of the main house.
Reason was that the service had to be brought in overhead since it crossed an easement and couldn't be buried, and the clearance between the service lines and a window on the second floor of the garage was insufficient to do an overhead to the main house or it would have to cross adjacent property.
IME, the overriding concern of most municipalities is easy access to a main cutoff at the service entrance, after that "as near as possible" could be across the street. :)
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On Jun 3, 12:19pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

The house was built in 2007. My previous house had the entrance panel outside, on the front porch, which was on the opposite side of the garage from the service entrance. That house was built in '86.
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This requirement _has_ changed over time. when was your service installed?
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On Sat, 05 Jun 2010 15:46:26 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

Late 2007, early 2008. The previous house (main panel in front porch closet on opposite side of garage as the service entrance) was built in '86.
I think someone else had the answer in another threadlet, however. There is a disconnect at the entrance.
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On 6/3/2010 9:43 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

A common builder's ploy is to designate a space, that could conceivably be used as a closet by an owner in the future, as a "machine room" on any architectural drawings.
It's not like an inspector is going to make a surprise visit, or even care after a final inspection is passed, to see what a homeowner ultimately does with the space in his house.
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Although there are pretty good reasons why one should not place a breaker panel (or fuse box) in a closet. I've seen many houses from the 50's and 60's with breaker panels in closets; but the code changed because of the obvious fire hazard.
scott
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On 6/3/2010 12:24 PM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Not advocating the practice by any means ... simply pointing out the everyday realities of the situation.
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On 6/3/10 12:24 PM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Ok, I'm an idiot. It's so obvious, I'm oblivious. :-)
What's make a closet more of a fire hazard for a breaker box?
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-MIKE-

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