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  1. #66
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Lets try to make this simple because apparently it got lost when I was referring to the MAN DOOR (egress door of this bathroom area pictured in 3rd photo) in relation to the panel front and panel door - regarding "Dancing With Doors" for egress, safety, and work zone/approach zone infringement.

    The MAN DOOR (personnel door) encroaches into the potential safe work zone at the left of the panel its presence, location, swing type (swings in not out) and swing direction limits the most left potential start-point for the workzone footprint which begins with a horizontal line 30" wide at the wall face of the panel. That point (the extension of this MAN DOOR and its handles, etc. encroachment into the area) is the left limit of where the 30" horizontal measurement can begin at its most "left-ness" possible for the MAN DOOR or stall door is foreign to the electrical system/equipment in question.

    The metal TP holder and hand rail projecting from the wall limit us to where the work zone can be at its most "right-ness" for they are foreign to the electrical system. (and likely ferrous).

    Extrapolating to its potential most "right-ness" is limited to the most left edge of the TP holder and handrail just below and to the R of the panel's Right egdge. From the proportions shown in the three photos I extrapolate and doubt that there exists 30" along the panel wall between the open MAN DOOR/stall door and any handles - and the most right-ness limit of the left edge of the TP holder and/or handrail. Presuming 16" panel even - we are short of the minimum 30" wide for the BOX that must be 36" deep and 6.5' high zone.

    THIS is the concern. If you could tape out a zone on the floor with none of these items encroaching it then it would be okay - but from the looks of things it doesn't appear possible - this was the concern and the zone encroachment to which I referred to previously. It is this position/swing/encorachment of this MAN DOOR/stall door that I referred to regarding "dancing with doors" in order to open the panel door and/or to work on this panel safely.

    THIS MAN DOOR (or stall door?) MUST be fully OPENED to address, maintain, or work on or with the panel. (why? because it is the solitary egress, and the MAN door swings INTO the room TOWARDS the panel - therefore it MUST BE OPENED FULLY to allow for emergent egress and so as to GUARD that the electrician or other qualified person AT THE PANEL does not get knocked INTO the panel while addressing it). Even if this panel is supplied by a feeder and can be locked out from there - it still cannot be worked on legally since it would have to be treated as live until verified (meter) and that cannot be done with the encroachment to the work safety zone. Frankly this MAN DOOR is subject to self-closure should there be a blast. The egress should be SWING OUT or hinged at the OPPOSITE JAMB to be legal/safe in proximity to the panel. The MAN DOOR is not subject to the 90-degree situation as the panel door is.

    The work zone must be 3 feet deep for its entire 30" minimum horizontal width, and this zone must not be encroached for a minimum 6.5" height.

    Look at the photos originally provided, note the third in the series demonstrates the MAN DOOR FULLY OPENED and resting, restricted to the panel containing wall and covering the corner intersection of the panel wall and the MAN DOOR wall which you can see in photos 1 & 2.

    Now look at the notations I made on two of those photos in my prior post.

    The footprint of 30" W and 36" deep from the face of the panel are not possible without encroachment of the TP holder and hand rail, and may be encroached by the front of the toilet bowl itself.

    Use your sense of proportion gents and your common sense.

    Condition 1 describes a situation in which the electrical equipment is installed in or on a wall that faces an insulated wall, constructed of wood or metal studs, and sheetrock or wood panels. If you make contact with the insulated wall while touching live parts of the equipment, you're isolated from the grounded slab or earth. Therefore, Condition 1 allows for a reduced working space. Before the 1965 NEC, Condition 1 only required a 2-ft workspace in front of electrical equipment. Not sure exactly when the 2-ft rule was changed to 3-feet for Condition 1 150vto ground changed but believe it was with or before the 1978 NEC. The 30-in.-wide rule has been used since the 1971 NEC. Headroom clearance has been required since the 1965 NEC.

    Too much trouble to look up oldie moldies but somewhere the egress MAN DOOR used to be required 24"w, 6'+ high and egress path from a live panel and used to be clear in NEC - and in the building codes and 158xish IEEE..

    Since this is not a dwelling, this space shall contain no equipment from any other building system (other than required fire suppression systems), and shall have at least 6'-6" of headroom. If the top of the equipment (the panel) is greater than 6-6", the headroom shall be at least the height of the equipment. The maximum height to the center of the main breaker or disconnecting means is 6'-7". Nothing, including the MAN DOOR while opened as required (NEC, NFPA 70E, OSHA, IEEE can occupy this required space (30"w x 3'd x 6.5'h).

    In order to meet OSHA NFPA 70E and NFPA 70 requirements this panel could never be serviced, maintained or operated live. It cannot be verified to not be live (for example if locked out elsewhere) for the required safe zone does not exist in the photographed installation (see photo 3 showing MAN DOOR OPEN in conjunction with panel door OPEN in comparison with photos 1 & 2).

    While some electrical inspectors may accept lesser distances in existing installations that are "grandfathered," under OSHA, electricians cannot work on such installations when they are energized.

    Egress as applied in this situation means means an egress path that allows a worker to travel to the exit from any other area in the room containing the equipment without having to pass through that equipment's required working space.

    A person may not have use of their hands when needing to quickly egress the room. The person may need to kick the door open, or use another part of their body to force the door open. The panic hardware should not require any special action, such as torque to open. Those devices require torque.


    If steel man door, steel studs, concrete, block, or brick walls present this is why could be of issue. A conductive (grounded) wall (made of concrete, brick, or tile) or object (such as toilet paper holder, metal plumbing, etc.) can connect the body to ground if touched. If you make contact with this type of wall or object while touching a live part or conductor, you will create a circuit path to ground, which could lead to electrocution

    Now to the other prior posts, this has been identified as a service panel by Dyllan, and I don't see where he has stated it is anything but.
    Based on that alone, it is not allowed in bathroom as previously stated, in any occupancy type. period. Bathrooms are defined in the NEC, we have a basin (sink, lavitory) AND a toilet, that defines bathroom area.

    This is a commercial public area.

    The area photographed containing the "Service Panel" IS a BATHROOM AREA as defined in the NEC. Dillian has confirmed the presence of a basin (sink/lavitory) we can plainly see the toilet in the photos - this meets the definition of a bathroom area in article 100 and is not limited to dwelling occupancies.

    Service Disconnecting means are NOT ALLOWED in BATHROOMS, even in commercial or industrial facilites. SEE NEC 230.70(A)(2). He said this is a SERVICE panel.


    Back to the other issues, there is NO REASON this panel cannot be locked to prevent unauthorized unqualified persons from gaining entry, in fact it likely should be. NEC 110.26(G) Locked Electrical Equipment Rooms or Enclosures. Electrical equipment rooms or enclosures housing electrical apparatus that are controlled by a lock(s) shall be considered accessible to qualified persons.
    Circuit breakers and fuses must be readily accessible [240.24]. "Readily accessible" means located so a person can reach it quickly without having to climb over (or remove) obstacles or use a portable ladder. This rule does not prohibit the locking of panel doors or the placing of a padlock on a circuit breaker to restrict access [110.26].

    Because this is not a dwelling occupancy the missing required field label is absent. NEC 110.16 since 2002 requires Switchboards, panelboards, industrial control panels, and motor control centers that are in OTHER THAN DWELLING OCCUPANCIES AND ARE LIKELY TO REQUIRE EXAMINATION, ADJUSTMENT, SERVICING OR MAINTENANCE while ENERGIZED shall be field marked to warn qualified persons of potential arc flash hazards.

    The marking shall be located so as to be clearly visible to qualified persons before examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance of the equipment" This label, designed only to warn of potential hazards, is a field marking and IS NOT provided by equipment manufacturers. The photo of the panel cabinet closed or open does not have this required label.

    While trying to adhere to these requirements, it's easy to lose sight of what you're going to all this trouble for: You install electrical equipment with adequate workspace for the safety of those servicing it. This workspace is required and must be maintained around all electrical equipment where parts of an energized system may be serviced. Before designing workspaces with clearances less than those described in this article, consult with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and ask for a variance in writing - but as previously mentioned, an electrician may never be allowed to work on it Live, or allowed to test that it is indeed NOT LIVE, to be able to work on it.

    Also note that these enclosures are designed for left-hand operation, under the assumption that the operator is right-handed. The intended result is that the operator is standing to one side of the enclosure, rather than in front of it (and in the blast path) when operating it. Allow space for this when figuring the work zone for the installed enclosure.


    Your application may fall under one of these other Articles:
    Air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment [440.22]
    Appliances [Art. 422]
    Audio circuits [640.9]
    Branch circuits [210.20]
    Class 1, 2, and 3 circuits [Art. 725]
    Feeder conductors [215.3]
    Flexible cords [240.5(B)(1)]
    Fire alarms [Art. 760]
    Fire pumps [Art. 695]
    Fixed electric space-heating equipment [424.3(B)]
    Fixture wire [240.5(B)(2)]
    Panelboards [408.36(A)]

    I hate having made such a lengthy post, Dillan, but it is applicable as you have presented, despite what others have surmised.

    You referred to this as a service panel - if it is it is prohibited in this area no matter the occupancy type.

    The foreign MAN DOOR (or stall door)'s proximity limits the work zone - its hinge side and swing restricts egress, encoraches on the safe work zone - the TP holder and hand rail's proximity limits the work zone as a foreign object encroaching and could be a hazard (need exact dimmensions of entire area to know for SURE to life, fire, building codes) which prevents egress especially if a flash or blast blows this MAN DOOR (personnel door) closed (or a burned, injured, shocked MAN himself stumbles into the MAN DOOR/stall door and forces it closed while trying to exit the hazard.

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    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-18-2009 at 02:48 PM.
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  2. #67
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Lets try to make this simple because apparently it got lost when I was referring to the MAN DOOR (egress door of this bathroom area pictured in 3rd photo) in relation to the panel front and panel door - regarding "Dancing With Doors" for egress, safety, and work zone/approach zone infringement.
    It was simple, we all understood it was that door.

    THAT DOOR is still not in the way regarding working space or access to the working space.

    And the working space STILL is allowed to start at the right side of the panel and go 30" to the left. STILL no intrusion by the paper holder.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #68
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It was simple, we all understood it was that door.

    THAT DOOR is still not in the way regarding working space or access to the working space.

    And the working space STILL is allowed to start at the right side of the panel and go 30" to the left. STILL no intrusion by the paper holder.
    That would be for Dillan and his measuring tape to determine. If that cabinet door is about 8" wide and that cabinet face frame is 16+" it doesn't appear so, looks more like 24-25" total. Omniscient delusions aside.

    Either way, Dillan described as a SERVICE panel therefore it is still not allowed to be in a bathroom.

    Service or Feeder supplied panel without the required warning/danger label for non-dwelling occupancy should be called out as a potential a hazard to persons and property. No lockout can also be called out as potential liability to unqualified persons/public.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-19-2009 at 08:27 AM.

  4. #69
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    That would be for Dillan and his measuring tape to determine. If that cabinet door is about 8" wide and that cabinet face frame is 16+" it doesn't appear so, looks more like 24-25" total.
    The entry door to the bathroom, or MAN DOOR as you referred to it, does not in anyway affect the working space in front of the electrical panel.

    Omniscient delusions aside.
    Which, it seems, you are full of.

    Either way, Dillan described as a SERVICE panel therefore it is still not allowed to be in a bathroom.
    If it is indeed the "SERVICE EQUIPMENT", which contains the service disconnecting means, then, yes, I will give you that and agree with that.

    Dylan did refer to it as "service panel", which may not mean that is it "service equipment", only Dylan can clarify if that is indeed the "SERVICE EQUIPMENT" which includes the main disconnecting means.

    If it is not the service equipment and is simply an electrical panel, which I believe that is what we will find out from Dylan should he responds as it certainly does not look like a "service panel" with the "service disconnecting means" (look at that close-up photo with the cover open and you will see what I am referring to), then you will need agree with to us (the rest of us) and give us that. All depends on what Dylan's reply is.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #70
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Water, bathroom, tile floor, electricity. folks goin poop. It needs to be somewhere else. I sated above and will state again. There is to much ring around the rosey with the code and the what ifs or what nots and accessibility, and, and, and, and it needs to be somewhere else and should have never been allowed to be installed in the bathroom.


  6. #71
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    it needs to be somewhere else and should have never been allowed to be installed in the bathroom.
    I stated that in the very beginning, then we started debating code and what, specifically, disallows it or allows it. This is because some of us here are AHJ, some are electricians, some are inspectors, and for those reasons there are limitations on what is allowed and disallowed.

    With home inspectors, or private inspectors as I call us because we inspect more than just homes, we - asking as private inspectors - do not have the same constraints placed on as we - asking as code inspectors - have. Home inspectors are allowed to apply logic and common sense and call it out even if it 'meets code but is just plain dumb', whereas code inspectors are bound by the code, no more, no less.

    As you said ... ring around the rosy has been occurring since.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  7. #72
    Fred Warner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Water, bathroom, tile floor, electricity. folks goin poop. It needs to be somewhere else. I sated above and will state again. There is to much ring around the rosey with the code and the what ifs or what nots and accessibility, and, and, and, and it needs to be somewhere else and should have never been allowed to be installed in the bathroom.
    First of all, it is not a service disconnecting means, therefore the provisions regarding disconnecting means do not apply.
    I am quite surprised at the level of disregard for code on this thread.
    I live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. It's a land where we elect officials to enable legislation that we go by. The legislation in this instance is an adopted form of a State/National Building Code (probably some form of the ICC codes) and in the back part there is a chapter on reference standards that are made a part of the legislation by reference. One such code is the _____(fill in the proper year for your state) edition of the National Electrical Code. In the NEC, unless something is specifically prohibited, it is allowed. In commercial establishments, panelboards that are not service equipment disconnecting means are PERMITTED. If you take it upon yourself to decide that YOU don't like them there and you decide to disallow them, you are taking the law out of the elected officials hands. This is DENYING DUE PROCESS OF LAW. Who charged you with these powers.....? Not me. Not your customer. Not your local elected officials. No one did. You are usurping powers you are not charged with to begin with. The elected officials are the AHJ. They then appoint someone to represent the interest of LAW.
    If you came into my church or bowling alley or other place of commerce and started telling me I could not have a remote panelboard in my bathroom, you'd end up in a court of law where you would eventually learn the importance of leaving rule making up to legally elected rule-making bodies.
    Incidentally, by "You", I mean anyone, not you specifically.


  8. #73
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    First of all, it is not a service disconnecting means, therefore the provisions regarding disconnecting means do not apply.
    Fred,

    That we do not know for sure ... well, okay, most of us know for sure that it is not, but, as Dr. Watson pointed out, Dylan *did* refer to it as the "service panel", even though looking at the photo with the door open it is easy to see that it is *not at all likely to be* the "service panel" but rather just a distribution panel.

    For Dr. Watson's sake, we need Dylan to verify that it is, or is not, "service equipment" to put that issue to rest.

    I am quite surprised at the level of disregard for code on this thread.
    There is not a lot of disregard for code on this thread, a home inspector, hopefully, knows enough code to get by on, but a home inspector is not bound by code either. A home inspector can write stuff up which is "common sense", even though it is compliant. After all, "code" is simple the "minimum" requirements, nothing more.

    Contrary to home inspectors, code inspectors are bound by the code, they are limited in their calls to what the code allows, or what it disallows.

    Here is a 'for instance':

    The code inspectors here debate whether that is, or is not, allowed in that bathroom. That debate has not yet been settled.

    The home inspectors here say 'That's a dumb place to put an electrical panel."

    Know what? The home inspectors are correct. Is it allowed? Different question, and not yet answered.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #74
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Thanks Fred

    Thanks Jerry

    I must admit. Interesting about living in the United States and all that stuff.

    Living in the United States makes me able to have an opinion and state it. Fred, I understand where you are coming from. I must state this though. Code is not the end all to all. Code is the starting point. Code is to be concidered with *other thought* as to what to be and not to be allowed. Kinda like following every word in the bible. Some of those words or actions or innactions cannot be followed completely with out other deciding factors. To just open up a code book and following it to the letter (or your depiction of the letter) without any other concideration or reasonable thought would and sometimes is foolish. Concider being in the military and following orders to the T with no other concideration to anything or anyone no matter what. Most of the time it can and will be done. But not all the time is it expected to be done if there is an over riding situation at hand like evaporating a bunch of innocent people. Well, I think you would and anyone would put a little thought behind it before the action was taken.

    My opinion is that putting an electric panel (of any kind) in a bathroom is dumb.

    Water, tile floor, spray from popping toilet line while someone is working on the panel, the door swinging into them while working on the panel, handicap accessibility etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Just to many what ifs when you have an entire building or unit in that building where there is a far more appealing, safe and logical place to put it.

    Why it would even be drawn into a bathroom and put forward to be passed just foggs my mind before we even get into the other wht ifs.

    In my opinion is that there should have never been a concideration to begin with.

    As far as a bathroom in a church with an electric panel.........why.......you are already in a church to be enlighted (pun) why use the electric panel to do so.


  10. #75
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Ok gentlemen sorry for not being clear. It is not per se the service panel for that suite. The main disconnects are elsewhere. I should of been more precise with what I refered to it as. I just found it odd to have that in the restroom, and woundered how anyone would approve any plans that showed that. Even if it somehow got overlooked on plan review, when it was time to inspect it it should have not been allowed. I agree with Ted. There are way too many what ifs. It truly is a foolish place to install one, but if I read what many of you have said, it does meet minimum codes.

    Dylan Whitehead

  11. #76
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    There is no code reference to prohibit this installation. I do know of one AHJ and Fire Marshal that convinced the owner and designer it was not in their best interests to have the panel for the store in a public access restroom. All it would take is someone locking themselves in and messing with the breakers. They chose to move it into a newly designed locked closet. The other option is to provide a lock on the panel cover. In this day it is not practical to have the panel where someone can create havoc..

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

  12. #77
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    How many of you have a copy of the National Electrical Code Handbook?
    I do and guess what?
    Readily and ready access are being referred to as the SAME.
    The Handbook has commentary that the regular code book does not.

    I have read 240.24 (A) it references Accessibility to overcurrent devices mainly the height of them. Overcurrent devices shall be "readily" accessible......
    Commentary - "for the purpose of this requirement, "ready" access to the operating handle......

    Article 100 Definitions - Accessible, readily ( readily accessible) capable of being reached quickly for operation,renewal,or inspections ............
    Comantary - The definition of readily accessible does not preclude the use of a locked door for service equipment or rooms containing service equipment, provided those for whom " ready access" is necessary......

    My point is that the NEC is using ready access to refer to readily accessible - one and the same.

    Panel in bathroom is perfectly permitted with out a doubt. Wet or damp location because of toilet spray? Come on -reaching aint we?
    How wet do you get when you stand in front of the toilet and flush?


  13. #78
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Article 100 Definitions - Accessible, readily ( readily accessible) capable of being reached quickly for operation,renewal,or inspections ............
    Comantary - The definition of readily accessible does not preclude the use of a locked door for service equipment or rooms containing service equipment, provided those for whom " ready access" is necessary......
    Which is where I disagree on your interpretation: That locked BATHROOM door does not permit "ready access" when it is locked by an occupant of the bathroom.

    It is fully understood that, yes, LOCKED ROOMS can be used, and in many instances are PREFERRED, but, the locked room here is one over which the qualified person does not have "ready access to" at all times. They may well arrive at that "locked room", not that they locked it, they may not even have a key for it, how many people would want the qualified person to enter at will? There is a difference in apply the use of a "locked room" with which the qualified person as "ready access" to and was a room they locked to keep others out, band a "locked BATHROOM" which was locked to keep them out as well as others.

    Panel in bathroom is perfectly permitted with out a doubt.
    Not "without a doubt", that is for sure.

    Being as you have the Handbook, you undoubtedly read the entire section "A commonly used, permitted practice it to locate the disconnecting means in the electrical equipment room or an office building or large apartment building and to keep the door to that room locked to prevent access by unauthorized persons." You shouldn't try to just pull out what you want when the entire Handbook description is saying everything but "do not put it in a bathroom and consider that ready access" in describing what it means by "locked rooms" under the control of the qualified person.

    No way does what is actually written sound like it is intended to include a "bathroom" to which THEY do not have access and for which THEY do not "keep the door to that room locked to prevent access by unauthorized persons", if that was the case, then the "bathroom" would no longer be a "bathroom", it would a "locked room" where a toilet and sink were stored.

    Do any of us have Handbooks? With the exception of the 1970s, I have Handbooks from current going back to the 1930s for all of my codes (which are basically complete from current back to the 1920s with some editions missing back to the 1897 code which started the NEC), previous to the 1930s I do not have Handbooks.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #79
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Fred,
    There is not a lot of disregard for code on this thread, a home inspector, hopefully, knows enough code to get by on, but a home inspector is not bound by code either. A home inspector can write stuff up which is "common sense", even though it is compliant. After all, "code" is simple the "minimum" requirements, nothing more.

    Contrary to home inspectors, code inspectors are bound by the code, they are limited in their calls to what the code allows, or what it disallows.

    Here is a 'for instance':

    The code inspectors here debate whether that is, or is not, allowed in that bathroom. That debate has not yet been settled.

    The home inspectors here say 'That's a dumb place to put an electrical panel."

    Know what? The home inspectors are correct. Is it allowed? Different question, and not yet answered.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are correct - A Home Inspector is not bound by the code and can write items they THINK are common sense. This can be an entirely different thread - Common Sense . What one person says might not make one bit of sense to another. By "writing up stuff which is common sense" could very well be writing up what is YOUR opinion.

    Inspectors are bound by the code - correct again. This is the proper way.
    A GOOD inspector enforces the code and only the code not his/her OPINION or as you may say " common sense" An inspector is another step in keeping the structures and it's occupants safe.

    Another thing to remember is when I write up a violation based on the code it MUST be addressed, When you write up an issue based on "common sense" it can very well be dismissed as another person's opinion or just plain crap. Yes the code is the minimum requirement But it must be followed to the letter. In other words we Code Inspectors can not just "read" more into a section then is there. We can not add "what if's" into a situation to try and create an issue out of a non-issue. Sound familiar?
    You sir are doing just that ,adding your thoughts and opinions into a non-issue. What if the stall is being used, what if someone is in there, BLAH BLAH BLAH.
    Do you not think the code panels haven't thought about that?

    The debate has not been settled? Sure it has The code says you can put the panel in there, as long as it's not the main service disconnecting means. It is not, that was stated by the original poster.
    Good idea or not ? Nobody can honestly say without being in the building and seeing why it ended up there to begin with.


  15. #80
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    You are correct - A Home Inspector is not bound by the code and can write items they THINK are common sense. This can be an entirely different thread - Common Sense . What one person says might not make one bit of sense to another. By "writing up stuff which is common sense" could very well be writing up what is YOUR opinion.

    Inspectors are bound by the code - correct again. This is the proper way.
    A GOOD inspector enforces the code and only the code not his/her OPINION or as you may say " common sense" An inspector is another step in keeping the structures and it's occupants safe.

    Another thing to remember is when I write up a violation based on the code it MUST be addressed, When you write up an issue based on "common sense" it can very well be dismissed as another person's opinion or just plain crap. Yes the code is the minimum requirement But it must be followed to the letter. In other words we Code Inspectors can not just "read" more into a section then is there. We can not add "what ifs" into a situation to try and create an issue out of a non-issue. Sound familiar?
    You sir are doing just that ,adding your thoughts and opinions into a non-issue. What if the stall is being used, what if someone is in there, BLAH BLAH BLAH.
    Do you not think the code panels haven't thought about that?

    The debate has not been settled? Sure it has The code says you can put the panel in there, as long as it's not the main service disconnecting means. It is not, that was stated by the original poster.
    Good idea or not ? Nobody can honestly say without being in the building and seeing why it ended up there to begin with.
    We can all say a lot of things

    Think of the yellow highlight. It is not blah, blah, blah. To blindly follow code and dismiss all other convo or ideas JUST because one can find reason in the code book is blind ignorance. The entire argument about this entire matter that it is alright simply because CODE says it is is ludicrous. How can any one or group of individuals turn their key on in the morning and stumble thru life following what a code book says and not think of anything else is so far beyond me I am having a more difficult time everyday understanding that reasoning.

    THE CODE BOOK SAYS IT IS ALRIGHT. Yeah, and.

    So what. Absolutely so what. Your comment that inspectors are bound by code. Yes, to a point. That also depends on which type of inspector you are talking about? The blind inspector? The mentally blocked inspector? The inspector with no other thought in life but a code book inspector? The inspector with no thought or ideas of his own inspector?

    Look it is about as simple as it can be. You have an entire unit. I don't care if it is a 1000 square feet or 6000 sf. The plans are presented for approval.

    "and the reason for putting this panel in a bathroom that is there for a particular use, could have overflows and wet floors, could have the toilet line spring a leak while someone is working on the panel, the door could be pushes open and into someone working on the panel, the door could be locked and a breaker did not pop and an electric short is going on and a fire is starting and, and,and,and, oh yeah and there could be a handicap person that nees to use that bathroom and someone is in there working on the panel."

    Well sir. The code says its alright so I am going to put it in there.

    Well sir. If that is the only reason then put it somewhere else.

    But sir i would have to build a closet to put it in .

    And this corner over here on the plans that is useless can't be used?

    Well gee. Ah, I guess so but then we have to draw a closet in the plans over there and the code book says its alright.

    Sorry. To many real factors in the reasoning for not being a good idea putting it in there.

    As far as a "good code inspector". A good code inspector is one that can think and actually have opinions and thoughts of his own.

    As far as stretching the fact that this is a wet area. Really. Stretching the fact. Running water, overflows, line breaks. What exactly do you think a wet area is.

    Why do you think that it is mandatory for putting GFCIs in wet areas ?

    A non thinking, non common sense code inspector scares the hell out of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh yeah

    Just MY opinion


  16. #81
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    The debate has not been settled? Sure it has The code says you can put the panel in there, as long as it's not the main service disconnecting means.
    The code DOES NOT say "you can put that panel in there", that panel in a bathroom is not addressed for other-than-dwelling units,guest rooms or guest suites.

    "(E) Not Located in Bathrooms. In dwelling units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels, overcurrent devices, other than supplementary overcurrent protection, shall not be located in bathrooms."

    Furthermore, the Handbook commentary describes the rooms which are locked as being under the control of the qualified person, there is no indication that "a bathroom" is considered as such.

    Good idea or not ? Nobody can honestly say without being in the building and seeing why it ended up there to begin with.
    Everyone with common sense can say it is NOT a good idea.

    As for the code ... nothing says yes it can be in there, and the commentary suggest otherwise, i.e., no, that is not what we are talking about when we say ready access and rooms with locked doors.

    Your turn - SHOW US SPECIFICALLY where in the NEC it says in can be in any bathroom, much less that bathroom.

    As you stated on other thread, it is up to you to prove to us that it is specifically allowed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #82
    Fred Warner's Avatar
    Fred Warner Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Contumelious opposition, stubborn disagreement, and inalterable position aside, an inclination toward making up rules not in the code leaves one in the distinct camp of wanting domineering control over something that is not within their assign.

    There is a procedure in place for addressing concerns and having them deliberated and eventually brought into legislation while adhering to our rights as citizens. Making up nonsensical "field regulations" out of a misunderstood and/or misdirected concern, however valiant it may seem to the ignorant, is not well tolerated in legal circles.

    Playing "what-ifs" doesn't usually go well in a court of law. "Just stick to the facts" is often heard in such hallowed halls.


  18. #83
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Hey Jerry-
    "Article 240.24 (B) ( E ) - Not located in bathrooms. In DWELLING units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels,overcurrent devices ,other than supplementary overcurrent protection, shall not be located in bathrooms."

    The panel in question is in a commercial building. This is plainly stated in the opening post. It is NOT a dwelling unit, It is NOT a guest room, it is NOT a guest suite. We also know it is NOT the main service disconnecting means.
    Seems like the NEC DOES allow this install.

    The only commentary in the handbook for Article 240.24 is for 240.24 (A)
    which is dealing with the maximum height of overcurrent devices,and commentary for 240.24 ( D) Not in the Vicinity of combustible materials.
    Commentary for the definition of accessible - is dealing with service equipment and makes reference to 240.24 ( A).
    We are NOT dealing with Service Equipment or 240.24 ( A) (which is the height issue.)

    I never stated if it was a good idea or not. I simply stated that a person would need to be on site to properly determine if it is a good idea or not.

    I NEVER stated that a panel can be in ANY bathroom , I stated that this panel , in this commercial building, can be installed in the bathroom.

    YOU TELL ME WHY this panel can not be located in this bathroom WITHOUT adding your opinon of locked doors into it. STATE the FACTS ONLY basing them on the national electrical code. NO personnal common sense opinions allowed - just the straight code based facts.

    TED -
    Don't give me that wet area BS either. Water spray - not an issue here.
    Water leaks? sure that can happen. That can happen anywhere. Using that logic we would not be allowed to install electrical equipment in any building with sprinklers.
    Bound by the code - Thats a phrase thrown at me by your buddy JP. The
    fact of the matter is the AHJ must adbide by the code and use his/her training and professionalism,not to mention knowledge of that code to enforce it. We must trust that the hundreds of professionals who make up the code understand the same. When an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) gives a contractor a notice of violation / disapproval he/she had better be ready to show what the violation is and prove it in the code book. Trust me I have received phone calls asking where it can be found in the book. I have been asked ,by an electrician, to show him in the code book. A opinion is not in the book and can not be enforced- hence bound by the code.
    Even you must admit that anything written up by a home inspector is NOT enforceable. Not saying that they are not correct, just not enforceable.
    I did not mean to step on your toes or cause you to get all hot under the collar.


  19. #84
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Hey Jerry-
    "Article 240.24 (B) ( E ) - Not located in bathrooms. In DWELLING units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels,overcurrent devices ,other than supplementary overcurrent protection, shall not be located in bathrooms."
    Ken,

    You still did not answer the question.

    Where does it state specifically that the panel is allowed in that bathroom in that commercial building - I already identified that the code says NOT in a dwelling unit bathroom, now show me where it say YES in a commercial bathroom, given that the bathroom could be "in use" with the door locked and qualified personnel NOT have ready access to that panel.

    Also, the commentary in the Handbook, which I had already read, and which you pointed out, addresses locked rooms under the control of the qualified personnel and locked to keep unqualified person out, a bathroom simply does not fit that stated reasoning.

    YOU TELL ME WHY this panel can not be located in this bathroom WITHOUT adding your opinion of locked doors into it. STATE the FACTS ONLY basing them on the national electrical code. NO personnel common sense opinions allowed - just the straight code based facts.
    YOUR TURN FIRST - remember, YOU are saying it is allowed, and I am asking SHOW ME, given all the above which has been repeated again, for your benefit.

    Even you must admit that anything written up by a home inspector is NOT enforceable. Not saying that they are not correct, just not enforceable.
    Hey Ken, if you had been around for a while (and you have not) you have ALREADY KNOW that HIs know the do not, cannot not, enforce the code.

    In case you do not know, and because you are new here you do not know, several of us here are also code inspectors, plans examiners, building officials, etc.

    When doing code inspections I and the other are bound by the code, when doing home inspections we are paid to give our professional opinions.

    You, nor anyone else who thinks they know it all, can come in here and try berating home inspectors for not enforcing the code - IT IS NOT THE JOB OF THE HOME INSPECTOR TO ENFORCE THE CODE, and in fact, IF YOU AS THE AHJ WOULD ENFORCE THE CODE, the home inspectors would have much less to find.

    DO YOUR OWN JOB FIRST, then tell us what we already know ... home inspectors have no teeth regarding enforcing the code, all home inspectors can do is gum them to death.

    There have been MANY AHJ who have started enforcing things they were not enforcing BECAUSE home inspector kept bringing it to their attention and asking about it.

    One recent example is in Texas where the AHJ (some of them, and it is spreading) have only recently started enforcing sediment traps at gas appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, etc., and ONLY BECAUSE home inspector kept asking about why sediment traps were not being installed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  20. #85
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    show where in the code ? How many times do I have to show you?
    240.24 ( B) ( E )!!!!!
    It specifically prohibits Dwelling units, guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels. That leaves bathrooms OHER then those listed as an ok place to install a panel as long as it is not the main service disconnecting means. Should it not be allowed straight accross the board the nEC would just state " not in bathrooms" with out bothering to itemize a list.

    I did not come here and start berateing home inspectors. I was defending myself.

    You have no clue how long I have been around here. I have just never posted before!

    Keep trying to convince me or just twist some more things around to fit your opinions.

    Your the one who started on the AHJ only being bound by the code, and all that other BS about using common sense.


  21. #86
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ken,

    You still did not answer the question.

    Where does it state specifically that the panel is allowed in that bathroom in that commercial building - I already identified that the code says NOT in a dwelling unit bathroom, now show me where it say YES in a commercial bathroom, given that the bathroom could be "in use" with the door locked and qualified personnel NOT have ready access to that panel.

    Also, the commentary in the Handbook, which I had already read, and which you pointed out, addresses locked rooms under the control of the qualified personnel and locked to keep unqualified person out, a bathroom simply does not fit that stated reasoning.



    YOUR TURN FIRST - remember, YOU are saying it is allowed, and I am asking SHOW ME, given all the above which has been repeated again, for your benefit.
    The NEC is a permissive code, if it does not state that it shall not be done or otherwise not allowed it is permissible, I personally do not care for where it was installed but it is allowed and opinions are like anal orifices, everyone has one & they all stink.


  22. #87
    John Steinke's Avatar
    John Steinke Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    I have to agree with Rollie ... since the code is quite specific in banning panels from residential bathrooms, we can infer that they are permitted in every other sort of bathroom.


  23. #88
    Marc France's Avatar
    Marc France Guest

    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    There one thing about commercal bathroom they are allowed to have load centre in there and in fact I do live in France { for while } and yeah we do have load center in commercal bathroom in France!!

    Merci,Marc

    P.S. Both Rollie and John and Jim P. are right on the target with the situation.


  24. #89
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    show where in the code ? How many times do I have to show you?
    240.24 ( B) ( E )!!!!!
    It specifically prohibits Dwelling units, guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels. That leaves bathrooms OHER then those listed as an ok place to install a panel as long as it is not the main service disconnecting means. Should it not be allowed straight accross the board the nEC would just state " not in bathrooms" with out bothering to itemize a list.
    Ken,

    You are still missing it.

    WHERE does it state that THAT bathroom is allowed? It does not.

    Maybe this will help you, I thought of explaining it this way after my post last night, but had already turned my computer off, so, what to heck, I waited until this morning, here it is.

    Take THAT bathroom, lock the door, remove the sign which states "Bathroom" (or whatever it states) and replace it with a sign which states "Electrical equipment room, authorized personnel only" or something to that effect.

    IS IT still a "bathroom"? Yep.

    IS IT now going to be locked where the authorized persons cannot get to it for "ready access"? Nope.

    Do you see the difference now? I doubt it.

    And, *I* am not the only person who thinks that way:
    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    There is no code reference to prohibit this installation. I do know of one AHJ and Fire Marshal that convinced the owner and designer it was not in their best interests to have the panel for the store in a public access restroom. All it would take is someone locking themselves in and messing with the breakers. They chose to move it into a newly designed locked closet. The other option is to provide a lock on the panel cover. In this day it is not practical to have the panel where someone can create havoc..
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    IF YOU WOULD READ the posts above, you will see that I am not saying the NEC does not allow panels in "bathrooms of any type" - but, you must first lose your attitude, your holier than thou thinking, and actually start READING the posts above.

    To wit (from post #12 above):
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Now, *if* that were a multiple stall bathroom, and yes it is a "bathroom" by NEC definition, then what I am addressing would not be a problem, provided it were not located in a stall (especially considering that the only stall which would be large enough for the panel and its required working space would be a handicap accessible stall, in which case you get back to there not being "ready" "access" to it.

    NOW do you understand what I have been saying? All you have to do is READ what is written.

    The above is also for:

    Rollie - (I know that the NEC is a permissive code, and what it is permitting is not ALL other bathrooms, other parts of the code affect it as well, read the above).

    John - (see above for Rollie)

    Marc - in *single stall bathrooms which can be locked* or in multiple stall bathrooms which are not locked? Makes a difference.

    The above is based on code, code inspectors and AHJ are bound by the code, no less and no more (they can allow more, but cannot enforce more).

    Home inspectors are, to an extent, bound by the code in that "the code" is "the minimum on should expect to find", above and beyond that it depends on their professional opinion as to "Dang, that's just plain dumb to install a panel in a bathroom.", and I agree with that - it is just plain dumb.

    Allowed by code? That's another question and part of the answer lies in the fact that the bathroom in the photo IS A SINGLE STALL BATHROOM WHERE THE DOOR GETS LOCKED BY THE USER. In a multiple stall bathroom where the door does not get locked by the users, eh, code says that is okay and code inspectors and AHJ are not allowed to enforce more.

    Guys, go back and read through the posts, actually READ them, then read the code, you will see two things in the above posts:

    1) The home inspector view is "It's dumb to install a panel in a bathroom, ANY bathroom."

    2) The code is not saying you can install a panel in ANY BATHROOM EXCEPT (dwelling units, guest rooms, etc.), the code is saying you can install a panel in SOME bathrooms, provided you also maintain read access.

    Read, think, read again, think again, you will get it. Rolland posted about an AHJ who gets it. See if you do too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  25. #90
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Ken,

    Before you get all hot and puffy, maybe even have a heart attack or something, I will try to explain, again but differently for you, the difference between code inspectors/AHJ and home inspectors.

    Code inspectors/AHJ: They are the ones who enforce the code (supposed to anyway) and establish the conditions which are there "as built".

    Home inspectors: They are the ones who come in afterward and find all the crap the builders sneak by the code inspectors/AHJ, and all the crap that some DIY homeowner or nincompoop unlicensed/unqualified/not-competent "contractor" did that the code inspectors/AHJ has not even seen.

    Code inspectors/AHJ: They enforce the "minimum standard", i.e., "the code". That is the least a contractor is legally required to do (at least in states like Florida where all contractors must be licensed and must follow the code, and where homeowners who qualify to do their own work must all follow the code.

    Home inspectors: They come in to the supposedly "minimum standard" and go "OH MY GAWD ... LOOK AT THAT!" If you have been lurking for a while, as you suggest, you would - SHOULD - already have a good idea of what home inspectors find. They are also not limited by the "minimum standard", if something is deemed "meets minimum code" but is, for whatever reasons, "unsafe", the home inspector writes it up. There are no "maximums", only "minimums".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  26. #91
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Service Panel Location

    Dylan, consider not telling your client whether the location is OK or not solely based on the Code prior to doing further research.
    I don't know how you guys run it down there but here ...
    Different occupancy classifications have additional requirements. Churches, daycares, etc all have more stringent requirements here.
    When I look things up, say for a church, I can't just look up Code for a component because it may not apply solely. I have to first look up requirements for that particular occupancy classification, which then reference other Code requirements, which in turn may reference others, etc.
    Based on Occ. Class. the location/component may not be allowed AT ALL regardless of what the NEC says.
    I would call the muni and see if they have Occupancy Classifications and separate requirements.
    Hope this helps, good luck
    Markus

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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