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  1. #1
    Malcolm Martin's Avatar
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    Default Electrical subpanel clearance

    New member/first post

    new residential construction in Texas/builder has installed water lines (loop) for future water softener unit. The pipe is 3 inches from edge of subpanel in garage, code indicates 30 inches overall clearance, but does not define minimum clearance?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    The pipes can almost touch the side as long as the 30 inch clearance can be meet and the door can open 90 degrees. The 30 inches does not need to be centered on the panel. The pipes should not be in front of the panel at all.


  3. #3
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Before one tries to apply the articles of the NEC or the IRC one must first learn how to apply these articles. When taken out of contect by those who do not understand code enforcement you get lots of silly questions. The questions would only be deemed to be dumb if they were not asked at all.
    The 30" wide and 36" deep open space must be in front of the pane and does not have to be centered or placed anyplace in particular in relation to the panel. It just must be in front of the panel. A panel 14.5" wide, fits between studs, will fit 2 times in this 30" wide space. It makes no difference where it goes.


  4. #4
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    Before one tries to apply the articles of the NEC or the IRC one must first learn how to apply these articles. When taken out of contect by those who do not understand code enforcement you get lots of silly questions. The questions would only be deemed to be dumb if they were not asked at all.
    The 30" wide and 36" deep open space must be in front of the pane and does not have to be centered or placed anyplace in particular in relation to the panel. It just must be in front of the panel. A panel 14.5" wide, fits between studs, will fit 2 times in this 30" wide space. It makes no difference where it goes.
    BW: Before one begins to pontificate on the misunderstanding of the code by others, one might first contemplate the degree of their own misunderstanding. The statement, "it makes no difference where it goes", indicates that the author may have difficulty in communicating with others in almost every field of endeavor, such as depositing money in the bank, parking the car, having sex, eating a banana, et al.

    One should at least attempt to read the code prior to correcting others. When taking this advice, it does make a difference where it goes.


  5. #5
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Your statement does not make much sense at all. Please explain how you don't agree with the statement "it makes no difference where it goes" in reference to the panel location in the 30" wide space in front of the panel. I stated exactly what I meant here, perhaps you don't have a good understanding of what the code means on this topic.
    I do understand the code I refer to very well as a matter of fact. Your attempt to make a joke of my comment is ridiculous at best. I have been an inspector for over 20 years and attended much continuing education on the electrical code since it became required for inspector registration in Michigan. I have no problem with most any electrical code question posed in any forum on the internet.


  6. #6
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    Your statement does not make much sense at all. Please explain how you don't agree with the statement "it makes no difference where it goes" in reference to the panel location in the 30" wide space in front of the panel. I stated exactly what I meant here, perhaps you don't have a good understanding of what the code means on this topic.
    I do understand the code I refer to very well as a matter of fact. Your attempt to make a joke of my comment is ridiculous at best. I have been an inspector for over 20 years and attended much continuing education on the electrical code since it became required for inspector registration in Michigan. I have no problem with most any electrical code question posed in any forum on the internet.
    BW: Coming from a place called "Kalamazoo", I should think you would have better sense than to snipe your peers or betters. If the door to the panel cannot open a minimum of 90į from its closed position, then regardless what you, the ALL KNOWING NEC PROPHET, may have to say, the panel will be in the wrong place. So then, yes it does matter where it goes. Study, study, study . . .


  7. #7
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Draw a box 30 X 36. If any cover door is along the perimeter of that box anyplace at all it will open 90 degrees. Time for geometry I think. Some trig might help as well. The comment about the door opening 90 degrees made me laugh.
    Why do you want to make fun of Kalamazoo? Lucile was made in Kalamazoo so don't mess with Lucile. B.B. will not like it. And to think that you come from Texas, where do you get off making a joke of where someone is from? That doesn't make you anyone special. We're all just humans.
    Why was this question even asked regarding "new construction" in the first place? I once saw a Home Inspector wandering around in a new house during my final inspection. We were inspecting all 4 codes together so we all saw this guy. Why would somebody want to waste their money for that when the house is inspected by actual code officials as required by law?
    Mr. Miller when you have any valid code questions regarding the electrical code or the IRC electrical portion I'll be glad to assist you with them even if you want to make fun and look foolish. I'm sure you need some help every once in a while.


  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Draw a box 30 X 36.
    BW: Got it.

    If any cover door is along the perimeter of that box anyplace at all it will open 90 degrees.
    BW: Not, however, if something is in that space which does not belong there.

    The comment about the door opening 90 degrees made me laugh.
    BW: Glad to be of service.

    Why do you want to make fun of Kalamazoo? Lucile was made in Kalamazoo so don't mess with Lucile. B.B. will not like it.
    BW: My apologies to BB and Lucile.

    And to think that you come from Texas, where do you get off making a joke of where someone is from?
    BW: If you mean the whole "W" thing, then yes, I get it. Point taken.


    Why was this question even asked regarding "new construction" in the first place? I once saw a Home Inspector wandering around in a new house during my final inspection. We were inspecting all 4 codes together so we all saw this guy. Why would somebody want to waste their money for that when the house is inspected by actual code officials as required by law?
    BW: My, my, but aren't you the naive fellow.

    Mr. Miller when you have any valid code questions regarding the electrical code or the IRC electrical portion I'll be glad to assist you with them even if you want to make fun and look foolish.
    BW: A sense of humor is the only essential thing in this life. I appreciate the offer, but you will need to be a bit more accurate in the future, should you wish for me to learn something from you.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    Please explain how you don't agree with the statement "it makes no difference where it goes" in reference to the panel location in the 30" wide space in front of the panel.
    Bob,

    The very first thing which came to my mind when I read your statement was "It sure as heck DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE where it goes."

    See, "it makes no difference where it goes" does not go with then specifying ANY given location for it, such as "in front of" ... those two statements simply do not go together. One cannot have a defined location of "in front of" and "it makes no difference where it goes".

    That is what Aaron was pointing out. I am sure that Aaron and I were not the only ones to notice that contradiction.

    The better way to explain the location of the working space is to say that the 30" MINIMUM width working space may be measured starting from the right edge of the panel enclosure and measuring to the left 30", or, starting at the left edge of the panel enclosure and measuring to the right 30", the working space can slide back and forth within those two extremes, and the working space 'could be', but does not need to be 'centered' on the panel enclosure.

    Keep in mind that if the equipment is wider than 30", or there are two panels together, that the working space may end up being greater than 30" in width, likewise, if two small panels are side-by-side, one 30" working space could cover for both panels. It is all in knowing and understanding how to measure - which was a legitimate question to ask.

    The more important question to ask is what to heck is he doing inspecting a submarine?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    We are talking about the 30" wide space in front of the panel. The question included this dimension so that is an understood before we begin to answer. Given the 30" wide space it does not matter where the panel goes within this 30" wide clearance. Any electrical inspector is going to understand that. When addressing the question as stated it is such a given according to the English Language that I would never give it a thought that anyone would think of putting it outside the 30" wide clear space. I'm in shock that anyone would not have that fact as a given in this discussion. WOW


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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    it is such a given according to the English Language
    ... is quite dependent on how you word your sentences, and including the phrase "it does not matter where you put something" means, well, "it does not matter where" you put it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Exactly and the topic was the 30" space to be kept clear. That was understood.


  13. #13
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    ... and that explains why people hire home inspectors instead of relying on "code officials".

    Perhaps you can answer - Do code inspectors have any continuing education?


  14. #14
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    ... and that explains why people hire home inspectors instead of relying on "code officials".

    Perhaps you can answer - Do code inspectors have any continuing education?
    RS: Yes, to my knowledge they all require CEUs. Usually many more than are required by HI organizations.


  15. #15
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    In Michigan as an Electrical Inspector I must first be licensed as a journeyman or master electrician. To maintain the license I must take a 15 hour code update class every time the code is updated. In addition to that as an electrical inspector I must take 47 hours of continuing education every 3 years. Plan review requires me to have an additional 12 hours every 3 years. When I was doing a final inspection on a new home and the home inspector was going thru the house as we code officials were going thru the house I wondered why the homeowner was wasting his money for the home inspection. New construction from the ground up does not benefit from a home inspection any way.
    From my observation here a Home Inspector is generally a builder who got tired of fighting the fight and started an inspection business for his later years before retirement and sometimes after.


  16. #16
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    In Michigan as an Electrical Inspector I must first be licensed as a journeyman or master electrician. To maintain the license I must take a 15 hour code update class every time the code is updated. In addition to that as an electrical inspector I must take 47 hours of continuing education every 3 years. Plan review requires me to have an additional 12 hours every 3 years. When I was doing a final inspection on a new home and the home inspector was going thru the house as we code officials were going thru the house I wondered why the homeowner was wasting his money for the home inspection. New construction from the ground up does not benefit from a home inspection any way.
    From my observation here a Home Inspector is generally a builder who got tired of fighting the fight and started an inspection business for his later years before retirement and sometimes after.
    BW: I do wish you would take you b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t chatter elsewhere. There are inspectors on this forum who would rightly be insulted by your ignorant and demeaning rant against HIs. Though I am not as knowledgeable as some here, I can promise you that I have forgotten more about residential construction than you will ever know.

    I have taken no less than 150 CUEs per year for the past ten years. That's enough for your entire career and then some. I also promise you that I can find a laundry list of code violations on any building you have first inspected.

    So then, pack you s-h-i-t and move right along. Find yourself a forum of municipal inspectors (i.e. HI wannabees) to rant with. Your kind is not welcome here.


  17. #17
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Home Inspector Wannabees? Give me a break. There is no need for you to be foul mouthed here. Obviously your vocabulary isn't complete without your vulgarity. You make fun of REAL inspectors in favor of Home Inspectors? You have your CrackerJack credentials that are a joke and you list them to impress everyone. Real inspectors are not impressed by your type. I'm thankful you stand alone here with your pathetic attitude. When you can speak with a civil tongue you can respond. Your ICC certifications are available to everyone, qualified or not. I'll laugh the rest of the day now. Thank you so much.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    I have taken no less than 150 CUEs per year for the past ten years. That's enough for your entire career and then some.
    AD -
    150 CEU's per year or 150 Hours per year ?


  19. #19
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    AD -
    150 CEU's per year or 150 Hours per year ?
    KH: Hours. In Texas each unit equals one hour. Maybe it is different elswhere.


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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    KH: Hours. In Texas each unit equals one hour. Maybe it is different elswhere.
    OK that makes sense.
    ICC rewenals require the CEU's not hours.
    1 hour equals .1 CEU
    so 150 hours equal 15 CEUs


  21. #21
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    OK that makes sense.
    ICC rewenals require the CEU's not hours.
    1 hour equals .1 CEU
    so 150 hours equal 15 CEUs
    KH: For that reason, and the fact they are so expensive, I do only as many ICC CEUs annually as I require to keep my certificates.


  22. #22
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    I am new on here and am appalled by some of the comments.
    Whether you a home inspector or a licensed code inspector, all have missed something during an inspection or both have missed the same item.
    Case in point I went to a client that had an issue with some of the circuits. I opened the panel, (which is actually a subpanel) and found the bonding screw installed, 2 neutral wires under same lug and neutral and grounds not sperated. Both the town electrical inspector and home inspector missed this on thier inspections. So before throwing stones at each other look in the mirror and can anyone honestly say they never missed anything.
    The attched diagram might help with panel clearances.

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    Last edited by Guy W Opie; 04-01-2010 at 06:20 AM. Reason: ading

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy W Opie View Post
    I am new on here and am appalled by some of the comments.
    Not sure why you are appalled by the comments.

    No one here has said they always do everything correctly and never miss anything, just that we try to do everything correctly and not miss things, and, yes, we all have the right - make that the OBLIGATION - to point things out to each other.

    I am appalled by you being appalled.

    I opened the panel, (which is actually a subpanel)
    Huh?

    You open a panel and that makes it in a submarine? There is no such thing as a "subpanel" except in submarines.

    In other structures, like dwelling units under discussion here, there are two types of panels: a) "service equipment" panels; b) other-than-service-equipment panels, commonly just called "panels" or "remote panels" to indicate the panel is 'remote' from the service equipment.

    The attched diagram might help with panel clearances.
    Yeah, just like we described above in various posts - thank you for drawing out what we said.

    You could have drawn that differently and two panels could have been included in one 30" wide working space, just like stated above in various posts.

    What you did not draw, however, and is quite critical, is the 36" IN FRONT OF the panels ... think of the working space as a 30" wide by 36" in front of the panels box which you can slide side to side to make it fit - the 36" in front of clearance is not forgiving like the side-to-side 30" clearance can be.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Good job Jerry. So often the 36" is not kept open. The worst places I have ever seen is the empty bottle and can storage that prevents anyone from getting near the electrical panels in the back room of convenient stores/gas stations. Homeowners can't wait until the inspector leaves to load up the space in front of the panels with junk as well. The drawing above does not show 36" deep in front of the panels if drawn anywhere close to scale. Is the author even aware of this 36" depth requirement? I've had one inspector in a small township tell me he demands the 30" width to be centered on the panel. I simply told him that was not what the code said and it was black and white, there is no interpretation to that at all. The word interpretation is most often used as an excuse by inspectors for an incorrect pet peeve or when they don't understand the code's application.
    By the way, Art 409.2 does mention a subpanel regarding industrial control panels but there is no mention of a submarine so maybe they do exist.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    By the way, Art 409.2 does mention a subpanel regarding industrial control panels but there is no mention of a submarine so maybe they do exist.
    Read that in context with how it is used, you will see it is not referring to a "panelboard" as is being used here. Thus, as is being used here "subpanel" does not exist.

    - 409.2 Definitions.
    - - Control Circuit. The circuit of a control apparatus or system that carries the electric signals directing the performance of the controller but does not carry the main power current.
    - - Industrial Control Panel. An assembly of two or more components consisting of one of the following:
    - - - (1) Power circuit components only, such as motor controllers, overload relays, fused disconnect switches, and circuit breakers
    - - - (2) Control circuit components only, such as pushbuttons, pilot lights, selector switches, timers, switches, control relays
    - - - (3) A combination of power and control circuit components
    - - - These components, with associated wiring and terminals, are mounted on or contained within an enclosure or mounted on a subpanel. The industrial control panel does not include the controlled equipment.

    You would not mount those items ON a panelboard, those items are mounted on and part of a control PANEL or mounted on a SUBPANEL, i.e, an subsidiary control panel.

    The exclusion for the working space is all inclusive:
    - 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.
    - - (B) Clear Spaces. Working space required by this section shall not be used for storage. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for inspection or servicing, the working space, if in a passageway or general open space, shall be suitably guarded.

    Thus, they should not be located in a garage where a "stored" car would block the required working space. After all, what is a garage if not designed and intended for "vehicle storage".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    When I was doing a final inspection on a new home and the home inspector was going thru the house as we code officials were going thru the house I wondered why the homeowner was wasting his money for the home inspection.

    New construction from the ground up does not benefit from a home inspection any way.
    Hey Bob. Still with us?
    I could go thru my files and find multi examples to prove different.
    I don't doubt you know your job and do your best, but ........ why do we simpleton home inspectors find so many example of violations in new construction? In my area, it is hit or miss, the officials simply can't cover all the bases, they don't even try.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    I've read many many Home Inspector reports when I've been asked to eliminate the problem areas. Some of this has been a joke. Some things they write up are rediculous and some things they miss should have been noted. They are not at all qualified to do what they are doing and have the document be used as a criteria for the sale of a house. It is a waste of the $300 that was paid for the service.
    I have no idea what the requirements are for a code official where you reside. Here in Michigan it is a serious position and the qualifications are strict. I know other places are a joke. The government in the state or province needs to take code enforcement seriously as people's lives are at stake. I know Indiana and Illinois do not have state requirements for code enforcement. Illinois is afraid to attempt to pass a law to override the corrupt system in place in Chicago. I don't know why Indiana doesn't do it, they don't have a Chicago there. I just yesterday saw a pole barn that some Chicago electricans wired as a garage and a living quarters and it is way off as a living quarters. They ran EMT conduit for everything so they think it is so much better than our romex hillbilly style here where we go by the NEC and the IRC but they disregarded the AFCI requirements for a dwelling required by the code. Even I noticed this and I'm not even a licensed Home Inspector.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Some of this has been a joke.
    BW: Alas, I believe nearly all of your "input" falls into that category.

    Some things they write up are rediculous and some things they miss should have been noted.
    BW: Like muni inspectors who cannot spell ridiculous?

    They are not at all qualified to do what they are doing and have the document be used as a criteria for the sale of a house.
    BW: You mean like your master sparky ticket?

    It is a waste of the $300 that was paid for the service.
    BW: And that is essentially what every builder and howbuyer thinks of the taxes levied against them in the name of "building inspection".


    I have no idea what the requirements are for a code official
    BW: No, that we can agree upon.

    and I'm not even a licensed Home Inspector.
    BW: and here's hoping that you never are. . .

    Keep on sparkin' . . .




  29. #29
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    I was not saying that the other inspectors on here do not do thier job well. I am sure they all try to do thier best.
    My statement about being appalled was about some on here seem to attack others. Just go back and read some posts and you will the attacks.

    I joined this so I could see what other inspectors are up against with thier inspections and further learn from others based on what they have had to deal with in the past. Also, to help others if I am able when they ask a question.
    We all strive to our best.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    As I have questions for Mr Miller I'm calling him at this number: 214-616-0112
    I'd love to have some answers for some of his comments he's made here that totally distract from the purpose of this forum.




  31. #31
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    That went well. I identified myself and was cussed out and called obscene names. I simply asked where he got the idea to attack me as he has done in a public forum. Mr Miller reacted like a bully schoolboy in Jr High by calling me obscene names. I don't understand how someone in business can act so childish both on the phone and in a public forum. Mr Miller needs to learn some manners and respect for others. This is obvious from his constant attacks on me. I must have pushed a button without knowing it.


  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    Draw a box 30 X 36. If any cover door is along the perimeter of that box anyplace at all it will open 90 degrees. Time for geometry I think. Some trig might help as well. The comment about the door opening 90 degrees made me laugh.
    Why do you want to make fun of Kalamazoo? Lucile was made in Kalamazoo so don't mess with Lucile. B.B. will not like it. And to think that you come from Texas, where do you get off making a joke of where someone is from? That doesn't make you anyone special. We're all just humans.
    Why was this question even asked regarding "new construction" in the first place? I once saw a Home Inspector wandering around in a new house during my final inspection. We were inspecting all 4 codes together so we all saw this guy. Why would somebody want to waste their money for that when the house is inspected by actual code officials as required by law?
    Mr. Miller when you have any valid code questions regarding the electrical code or the IRC electrical portion I'll be glad to assist you with them even if you want to make fun and look foolish. I'm sure you need some help every once in a while.
    Bob

    Seriously. You did not ask that question. The amount of items found in every aspect of building from inspectors is staggering sometimes. Believe it or not you make mistakes sometimes yourself whether or not you wish to believe it or not. I am quite sure you do not comprehend the scope of the statement you made. Don't you realize by the thousands upon thousands of home inspectors there are out there and everything you read on posts like this that your statement was completely asinine.

    Actually Bob, even an idiot home inspector like myself that has been inspecting for 30 plus years along with building and remodeling for a better part oif those 30 years finds stuff behind the likes of you every day of the week. That my friend is a factual statement that you must wrap you brain and speech around before making such statement.

    You have obviously read nothing on this board or any other board or you would have known the obvious......You miss things. You make mistakes. Your cockiness exudes from you every pour and you cannot think beyond your own great worthiness.

    Actually Bob, You do need to do some reading and examining of the subject matter. No one.....including you.....knows everything with the exception of maybe me. I have not taken the code tests Bob. I would like to see you go out and do a complete home inspection Bob. Then Bob I will follow behind you and mop up the floor from the mess you made with all the items you missed. Then you may gain respect for home inspectors. I do take countless hours over the years of continuing ed on electrical. I do have a tremendous amount of real life experience. Do you not understand the vast amount of knowledge a home inspector must know. An electrician only needs to know about electricity and a plumber plumbing and a roofer roofing etc etc etc. We must have most of the knowledge of most of those trades trapped between our ears to do what we do.

    You know Bob. I get quite frustrated reading some of the posts where Aaron comments from time to time to the general public about them hiring a real inspector like himself. I mean after all he has his ICC certs. He is the only one worthy out there. All other inspectors are useless to the trade unless they are so accomplished like he. The difference with Aaron is he actually does understand, no matter what he says, that there are in fact a lot of worthy inspectors out there. You can also call him a dickwadd and the next day still be speaking with him. You I am not quite sure. "actual code officials" means absolutely diddly squat depending on the person and even then no matter how good they are and certificates they have behind them they still screw up just like you. What the hell do you think we are out there for Bob. Why...because folks of all walks of life are human. They have a bad day. Pissed at the wife. In a hurry. Got a round of golf coming in a half hour etc etc etc. Bob....they make mistakes. Useless pieces of crap like us follow behind them and find a plethora of missed items every single freaking day. That is why they waste their hard earned money on us Bob.

    So Bob, next time you wish to make such an ignorant statement like that you might want to sit back. Take a deep breath. Examine the far reaches of your limited scope on life and then applaud every home inspector you meet.

    They deserve it

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 04-02-2010 at 10:12 AM.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    [quote=Bob Winchester;126139]Draw a box 30 X 36.

    Why was this question even asked regarding "new construction" in the first place? I once saw a Home Inspector wandering around in a new house during my final inspection. We were inspecting all 4 codes together so we all saw this guy. Why would somebody want to waste their money for that when the house is inspected by actual code officials as required by law?

    /quote]

    Bob,

    I'll take you to task and answer your question about "why". From experience with local code inspectors I have see things passed such as decommissioned cable cut and left in the Electrical Service Panel, the conduit from the meter pan in an underground service installation at an angle away from the house and not fastened to the house as required by code, power cable to the HVAC unit installed so that opening the filter door would damage the cable (Romex), no mechanical protection on power cables to the oil fired HVAC and the oil fired hot water unit in an area where they could receive activity, damaged conduit from floor, etc.


    Now before all the code inspectors jump on me, let me add a few qualifiers. the cable should have been picked up at inspection; the meter pan should have been picked up by the code inspector; the cables to the HW heater and the HVAC unit were referred to the code inspector---his answer was that it was only a residential installation, not commercial or industrial, thus the code was more lax in these areas and protection was not required, the damaged conduit should have been picked up by the inspector.

    These were discovered by almost a weekly inspection. Imagine someone that cannot take a look once in a while or can't recognize an issue. Yes, I would *waste* my coin on a Home Inspector anytime that I could not be there to check on construction---and I would be happy doing it. That *waste* against the total cost of a house is peanuts, and it puts another set of good eyes on the job.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    The comment about the door opening 90 degrees made me laugh.
    .
    Why was it so funny?
    Mr Port was only quoting the National Electrcial Code.
    Article 110.26 Width of the working space states The work space shall permit at least a 90 degree opening or equipment doors or hinged panels

    Why does everyone just automatically assume that the depth shall be 36" ?
    It can be as much as 48 depending on what is across from th epanel.


  35. #35
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    That was pretty funny about Opie. Opie is still in Mayberry, but I am not, as Former MARINE we ate those Opies for breakfast.
    As for the post about residential code being more lax than Commercial or industrial, I do not agree. The code is for the safetyand adequte protection is required.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    It is a waste of the $300 that was paid for the service.

    Having inspected MANY NEW homes, during construction, at final walk-through, and one year warranty, and can still that the $10,000,000 dollars paid for that house was a waste, that the $5,000 paid for my inspection was more valuable to my client than any other $5,000 they spend on that house.

    I even did quality control inspections for ultra-high end builders as they knew there were better off paying for the work to be done right and actually having the work done right (as a result of my inspections reporting on all the things done wrong) than they were paying for the work to be done right and then having the work done however the contractors workers actually did the work ... only to find out after the fact that the work was wrong.

    From your posts, Bob, I would not be surprised that you were on of the contractors who could not do anything right, yet insisted that code non-compliant was not a problem because YOU KNEW it was the way YOU ALWAYS had done it.

    (sigh)

    A man with a closed mind like Bob's will never see the light as not only is the mind closed but so are the eyes.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy W Opie View Post
    As for the post about residential code being more lax than Commercial or industrial, I do not agree. The code is for the safetyand adequte protection is required.
    The residential code IS "more lax", i.e., less stringent, not as restrictive, as the building code (frequently referred to as the "commercial code" by those who fell it necessary to define it as other than residential, even though it is not the "commercial" code).

    The reason the residential code is not as restrictive is that the building code must address ALL occupancies, while the residential code only addresses the dwelling units, and, as has been well documented throughout history ... 'a man's home is his castle' ... and he is allowed much more latitude there for his own family (and guests) than he is allowed in other locations and occupancies.

    Simply put, it is okay to kill your own family at your own castle, just don't kill others at places other than your own castle.

    Here is but one example, from yesterday and today: Windows which open with the sill less than 24 inches above the floor where the grade or level outside is xx inches below are required to have guards. With the xx inches in the IRC being 4 feet, the xx inches in the FBC-R being 72 inches.

    In the building code the bottom of the opening can be at floor level (much more restrictive than being allowed at 24 inches) with the grade or level outside being 30 inches below (much more restrictive than 4 feet in the IRC).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  38. #38
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    Smile Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Simply put, it is okay to kill your own family at your own castle, just don't kill others at places other than your own castle.
    Love I!!!


  39. #39
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    And then you go to Chicago with NO homeowner permits and all raceways are metallic.
    Tell me how the HI there came up with the statement that the romex used in the garage to feed the power to the light fixtures on the front of the garage beside the overhead door was a dangerous wiring method. I'd like this answer from Mr Arrogance, AD. I would also love to have your take on the use of AFCI protection on most every circuit in a dwelling unit as required by the code now including the smoke detector circuit. Do you think this AFCI protection is warranted for the smoke detectors?
    I'm curious about these issues since it's said I'm incompetent to do an inspection on new construction in this forum. Maybe I can learn something.


  40. #40
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    When the 2008 NEC requires AFCI protection for the smoke detector circuit and the 2011 will not require it for this same circuit how would you address it on the home inspection of a 5 year old house?


  41. #41
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
    Guy W Opie Guest

    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    The AFCI requirement would have to be inspected according to the code that is in place when it was installed, such as making note of the 2008 code.
    The isuue is some smoke detector circuits are not own thier own circuit, but is off an lighting circuit, which would require to remain on AFCI circuit.
    While we are on AFCI, has anyone have the same issue that trip when used on ceiling fans and certain lighting circuits


  42. #42
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    A building is to be kept to the code that was adopted at the time of construction. A new addition to a 1960 house allows the house to remain at the 1960 requirements but the addition and anything opened up during the addition would be held to the requirements of the current code that has been adopted. Michigan adopted the 2008 code on Dec 2, 2009. Anything built before that date can not be expected to be held to the 2008 code. You must know when a house was built in order to say what must be done to comply with code. Suggestions are done on a personal recommendation basis but to say something must be done the code must be enforceable on the issue.
    I would have expected an ICC certified inspector would have understood this.


  43. #43
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
    Bob Winchester Guest

    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    So Texas is stupid AND they talk funny. Michigan seems to be much more intelligent than many places when it comes to code enforcement. Anyone who thinks they can make someone go thru a 30 year old home and hard wire smoke detectors is absurd in their thinking. It just doesn't make any sense to think that way.
    And Aaron, I guarantee you there is no way you have anywhere close the understanding of enforcing the electrical code as probably 15 of my immediate friend/electrical inspectors right here in the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids areas.
    And by the way, these 150 ceu's that you have bragged about would constitute about 35 hours of training per week for 50 weeks a year. Yikes you must be well trained. How do you find time for doing inspections? Oh that's right, it's all hot air on your part. None of what you say is true. You just blow your own horn really hard and nobody takes you seriously. I've learned that from talking to one or more people here in this forum. It's amazing when they say when you ask them a question about somebody making a lot of noise in the forum.


  44. #44
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    ADM: I think BW is just jealous that he is not living/working in Texas.


  45. #45
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
    Bob Winchester Guest

    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    I've been to Texas before and I'm very glad to live in S.W. Michigan. I have seen people in the South try to drive when it does snow and it's the funniest thing in the world. Snowflakes in the air do not mean to crash into anything you can possibly hit and do not mean to press your brake pedal as hard as you can to stop. 5 years in North Carolina convinced me of this. I especially would not want any part of Texas for the next 4 to 5 months. I don't see how you can stand it there in the summer. It is so miserable. Houston in June once convinced me of this.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    I've been to Texas before and I'm very glad to live in S.W. Michigan. I have seen people in the South try to drive when it does snow and it's the funniest thing in the world. Snowflakes in the air do not mean to crash into anything you can possibly hit and do not mean to press your brake pedal as hard as you can to stop. 5 years in North Carolina convinced me of this. I especially would not want any part of Texas for the next 4 to 5 months. I don't see how you can stand it there in the summer. It is so miserable. Houston in June once convinced me of this.
    All the more reason to not live in SW Michigan but here in Florida ... one NEVER has to drive in the snow ... oh, by the way, Florida is in the South too.

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

  47. #47
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    And most everybody in Florida comes from the North.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    And most everybody in Florida comes from the North.
    Precisely.

    As did I also.

    Do you not yet get it?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  49. #49
    Bob Winchester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    4 seasons sure beats the heat of the summer in Florida. I've been there in August before. Give me snow anytime. We had 120 inches a year ago but maybe half of that this year. Not a big deal this year really.


  50. #50
    Mark Beck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Wow. This was quite an exchange. I just joined the Inspection News, and must say, ANYONE that has the guts to dispell home inspectors on an open forum as this should not be allowed back on. I suggest we ask the group to kick him out. Any takers?


  51. #51
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    Talking Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Beck View Post
    Wow. This was quite an exchange. I just joined the Inspection News, and must say, ANYONE that has the guts to dispell home inspectors on an open forum as this should not be allowed back on. I suggest we ask the group to kick him out. Any takers?
    Mark,

    You JUST joined and you ALREADY want to deny someone his or her right to free speech just because you don't like what is being said? Have you EVER been on a construction site? I seriously doubt it. I suggest you cool it, read what is going on, learn, and stop trying to create trouble where none exists.




  52. #52
    Mark Beck's Avatar
    Mark Beck Guest

    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Outstanding.


  53. #53
    Steve F's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    After wasting the last 30 mins reading thru this thread hoping to learn a bit more about the proper clearance for a sub-panel, I came to realize why my township inspectors bust chops and make homeowners fix things that do not need to be fixed. It’s because during the evenings they are dealing with the likes of the folks on these boards bashing each other. So the next morning they wake up and take it out on the first diy homeowner.

    I for one feel dumber for having read past Post #2 of this thread.



  54. #54
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    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F View Post
    I for one feel dumber for having read past Post #2 of this thread.
    Sorry you feel dumber by reading what the NEC requirements are. Maybe you would just like answers that are pulled out of thin air?


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F View Post
    After wasting the last 30 mins reading thru this thread hoping to learn a bit more about the proper clearance for a sub-panel, I came to realize why my township inspectors bust chops and make homeowners fix things that do not need to be fixed. Itís because during the evenings they are dealing with the likes of the folks on these boards bashing each other. So the next morning they wake up and take it out on the first diy homeowner.

    I for one feel dumber for having read past Post #2 of this thread.
    Steve,

    You certainly added ... nothing ... to this thread for the next person ...

    I came to realize why my township inspectors bust chops and make homeowners fix things that do not need to be fixed.
    You mean things like insufficient clearance that you just would not want to be bothered with anyway?

    Itís because during the evenings they are dealing with the likes of the folks on these boards bashing each other.
    Just as you just did?

    One post from the guy and he contributes absolutely nothing, then bashes others for bashing others ... hopefully he will not bother us with a second post.

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

  56. #56
    Steve F's Avatar
    Steve F Guest

    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    2nd Post!


  57. #57
    Lou Romano's Avatar
    Lou Romano Guest

    Default Re: Electrical subpanel clearance

    I was in a bad mood...then I read this thread!

    Thanks for cheering me up!

    Much enjoyed!


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