I am trying to find if it is permissible to locate new electric panels in a
kitchen. I read somewhere that they cannot be located in a bathroom or a
However, I can read the 2008 National Electrical Code online (through the
http://HowToWireAHouse.com website), and I can only find where it says that
the new panel cannot be located in a bathroom. I don't see anything
Can anyone point me to where it says in the 2008 NEC (if it does) that new
electric panels cannot be located in a kitchen?
The reason that I am asking is that I am planning to have a lot of work done
in a 3-family property that I own, and I am thinking of having new electric
services put in for all 3 units. If I do that, it will be done by an
electrician with a permit and inspection etc. But, in planning for where I
would want to locate the new electric panels, it would help if I knew
whether they could be placed in the kitchens of each of the 3 units. In the
end, I know I'll have to ask the electrician who ends up doing the work, but
before dragging any electricans out to the property to look at the job, I'd
rather get some info on my own.
*RBM is correct. The panel in the kitchen would most likely be considered a
subpanel because you will have a main breaker at the service entrance
location close to the electric meters.
Read article 110.26 for more details on where to locate. 230.70 refers to
the bathroom, but not kitchen. I agree with RBM that a kitchen location
would not be the best place. It would take up too much space due to the
working clearances required. GE makes white circuit breaker panels that are
sold at Lowes just for apartments and condos.
That's partly what I am trying to figure out. If I get new service put in,
I'll need to figure out where the service will come into the building and
where the panle will be in each apartment. My understanding is that there
needs to be a service disconnect near where hte service enters the building;
and, the tenants in each apartment have to have access to a service
disconnect -- which, to me, means a panel box in each apartment each
Does this mean I can do both? -- 1) have a main service disconnect for each
of the new electric services near where each service enters the building
(i.e. near the meters) which I or a service person could access, AND, 2)
have a service panel in each apartment with a main breaker so the tenants in
each apartment would have access to shut off their own service entirely or
they could also shut off individual breakers?
In other words, the electrician can bring in the 3 services wherever it is
most convenient, place service disconnects there which would not be
accessible to the tenants, and then run the power from there to a panel in
each apartment with a main breaker and individual breakers which those
tenants could access?
Thanks. I read read the parts you mentioned. I could fit the panels in the
3 kitchens fairly easily, but the clear space in front of each panel from
the flor up to the top of the panel wouldn't be practical. So, I guess the
kitchen idea is a no-go.
You typically install one service per building. It can have up to 6
disconnects, and as many meters as you need. It can also have just one
service disconnect feeding a bank of meters, then a main disconnect for each
of the sub panels , which you'll install in the apartments. The tenants
usually need access to their main disconnect, which would be located at the
service equipment. You can also install a main breaker in the sub panels,
but it wouldn't meet the requirement, and is pretty much useless.
That's the part that I can't figure out. There will be new service to the
building (I called it 3 services before, but I meant one service that gets
split through 3 meters -- one for each apartment).
The meters will be on the outside of the building, because that is what is
required for any new electric service in my area. The meters all need to
about 5 or 6 feet above ground level on an outside wall.
The 3 apartments are on 3 different floors - Floor 1, Floor 2, and Floor 3.
I don't see how I can provide a main disconnect for the tenants near the 3
meters because that would mean their disconnects would be outside where the
meters are, or inside in a common area that they all could access (which
does not exist).
The only thing I can think of is that the service would come to the
building, go down to the meters on the outside wall (in the appropriate type
of conduit), then back up and into the building at three points -- one on
each level for each apartment. Then, near where each apartment's individual
electric service enters the building, inside each apartment, there would be
a main breaker and individual breakers for that apartment.
I apologize for seeming to be so dense about all of this, and I do
appreciate you trying to explain it. It may be that I'll just have to have
the electrician "show me" in person.
You'll probaby have one standpipe feeding a three bank rain-tight meter
panel, and either integral to the meter bank or adjacent to it will be three
rain-tight disconnects, one for each apt. Off of each disconnect will be the
feeder going to each apt's panel. The service disconnects have to be grouped
together, and typically at the meter location, or nearby in a common
location, such as a basement,(which it sounds like, you don't have)
*The most economical way is to bring the new service into the same area as
the existing service. That way all of the existing circuits can easily be
refed from the new service. To install a new panel in each apartment and
try to refeed the existing circuits from there can add up to a lot of work
and broken walls. Unless you are planning to gut the entire building and
put in all new wiring.
You could however install the new service and refeed the existing circuits
from the present location and in addition run a line up to a sub-panel in
each apartment for new circuits that will be added during your remodeling.
Perhaps you found something more current, but according to that web
site, it's written on the 2005 NEC, not the 2008. Also, that is an
interpretation of that person's opinoin of the code in many places and
not the code itself. Fortunately there are links to the actual code in
a lot of place, but one must be sure to read everything.
I'd also like to point out that the NEC includes the MINIMUMS that must
be adhered to. To find out what you would really have to do, you would
have to check with your Local Code Enforcement Office or Officer. They
will often have many additions over and above the NEC so they are the
last word on everything. That's really the only place you can get an
authoritative answer to your question. e.g. I's possible for the NEC to
not forbid panels in the kitchen but local code may indeed have such a
Assuming you have a good electrician, he's going to know also, or be
able to pretty quickly find out. About the best you can hope for on
this group are guesses, especially when you haven't mentioned where the
I don't think our area is using the 2008 NEC yet, but I'm looking at that as
a general guide to understanding what "should" be done. I know it will
ultimately depend on what the electrician and the local inspectors say is
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