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Thread: Service panel

  1. #1
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    Default Service panel

    Inspected a 1945 house today with the service panel in a kitchen cabinet. No access. They know they have to move the panel. What is the requirements for the proximity to a kitchen sink or a gas stove?

    Thanks,

    Jim

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    Inspected a 1945 house today with the service panel in a kitchen cabinet. No access. They know they have to move the panel. What is the requirements for the proximity to a kitchen sink or a gas stove?
    Not within the required 30" wide (minimum) by 36" in front of (minimum) working space.

    The edge of the panel could be aligned with the edge of the sink - although that would certainly make the kitchen sink much less useful as there would not be any counter space on that side of the sink as the working space goes all the way to the floor.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
    Bruce Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not within the required 30" wide (minimum) by 36" in front of (minimum) working space.

    The edge of the panel could be aligned with the edge of the sink - although that would certainly make the kitchen sink much less useful as there would not be any counter space on that side of the sink as the working space goes all the way to the floor.
    Panel can not be next to water source.
    Panel to be located in an area with 6'5" head room. 36" depth. And 30 inches wide.


  4. #4
    Randy Rockwell's Avatar
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    Question Re: Service panel

    Can a service panel be mounted on a garage wall if the hot water heater is on the other side of the wall?? There are no pipes running in the wall it is just on the outside of the water heater closet.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Rockwell View Post
    Can a service panel be mounted on a garage wall if the hot water heater is on the other side of the wall?? There are no pipes running in the wall it is just on the outside of the water heater closet.
    Absolutely, as long as the unfused cable length requirements can be met.

    Panel can not be next to water source.
    As long as the 30" width is met the water line can run right next to the panel. See Jerrys post for the workspace requirements.

    Last edited by Jim Port; 11-05-2010 at 11:14 AM. Reason: clarification on cable length

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Dedicated Equipment space and protection from deteriorating agents must also be considered. The dedicated equipment space requirements are not the same as workspace (access zone) requirements. The subsequent question/poster (proximity to water heater) was not clear if elec WH, nor if panel was surface mounted or flush, OR which side of the "closet", alcove, or wall was being mentioned or separation wall (if present) to the conditioned envelope. Lets not get to assuming too much here. Also more than JUST the electrical code applies in any case.

    Getting back to Jim Murphy's ?'s (OP) - proximity to kitchen sink depends on which side of the wall relative to the sink and if dedicated space and protection amongst other things - and surface or flush mount, service equipment or feeder, etc. Gas stove has its own set of considerations including heat, ignition point, dedicated space, deteriorating agents, etc.

    Bottom line is there is no quick answer for either poster to begin to respond accurately without more details, and there is more than one code section to consider as well as more than one chapter of any ONE code.

    Three systems have been introduced into the discussion, appliances, and fixtures.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 11-05-2010 at 10:21 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Thanks for mentioning the 'Det Agents' H.G. W.
    My question is in the language used in the original post, "must be moved".
    Should read: 'should be moved' or the like.
    I'm speaking relative to MI codes in effect however. If the original installation was accepted by the AHJ in the 40's and is in good repair,
    there is no mandate to move it.


  8. #8
    Randy Rockwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Dedicated Equipment space and protection from deteriorating agents must also be considered. The dedicated equipment space requirements are not the same as workspace (access zone) requirements. The subsequent question/poster (proximity to water heater) was not clear if elec WH, nor if panel was surface mounted or flush, OR which side of the "closet", alcove, or wall was being mentioned or separation wall (if present) to the conditioned envelope. Lets not get to assuming too much here. Also more than JUST the electrical code applies in any case.

    Getting back to Jim Murphy's ?'s (OP) - proximity to kitchen sink depends on which side of the wall relative to the sink and if dedicated space and protection amongst other things - and surface or flush mount, service equipment or feeder, etc. Gas stove has its own set of considerations including heat, ignition point, dedicated space, deteriorating agents, etc.

    Bottom line is there is no quick answer for either poster to begin to respond accurately without more details, and there is more than one code section to consider as well as more than one chapter of any ONE code.

    Three systems have been introduced into the discussion, appliances, and fixtures.
    The water heater is a gas unit that is inside a closet. The area that the panel is to be mounted would be in the stud cavity. The panel will be flush mounted on the garage side....so there will be 5/8 sheet rock between the back of the load center and the water heater closet.

    There is over 15 feet of space to both sides of the panel area and over 25 feet of clearence in front of the panel.

    Does any of this info change the original question......Is it ok to do this type of mounting of a load center?

    Last edited by Randy Rockwell; 11-05-2010 at 12:28 PM. Reason: Highlighting info

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Seen the water heater on the other side of the wall where a panel was located.
    I am also interested if this is OK ?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Bob Smit,

    I'd agree in general with the following proviso, being irrespective of the panel's location in 1945, if the kitchen and/or cabinetry, countertop, appliances have since been reconfigured, your "approved in" 1940-whatever, doesn't hold water. Get my drift? Modifications later such as installing cabinetry over a panel, or a countertop in front after the fact with a unpermitted DIY type kitchen remodel NEGATE a previously approved location if interferring with; and as far as MICHIGAN is considered, irrespective that the OP, Jim Murphy isn't from Michigan, Michigan has or at least had an alternative set of code designations for existing property being maintained and/or improved. That code would likewise speak to the issue, or rather proviso or cavaet I mention. The OP's locale has similar. Its a "chicken or the egg came first" issue, and I would be reasonably safe in assuming the panel pre-dates the kitchen cabinet installation, and is probably far more recent.


    R. R.:

    I'm not going in to great detail regarding your thread hijack, outside of pointing that (hijack) out, that you should post your own new topic, since your question is NOT in keeping with the OP's situational question and seems to have nothing to do with a Kitchen cabinet obstructing panel; and further point out that you are still unclear if you are suggesting this flush panel is in a separation wall - or that you fail to share the wiring method to said panel. As presented you make an ambiguous question, and it is unclear just WHAT the issue is that concerns you. You might also consider introducing yourself, and clarify your profile. This is not a "DIY" site, so establishing the purpose of your quesiton as well as being CLEAR as to the specific details or circumstances of your question, and what concerns you - you are free to share on your own topic.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Service panel

    H.G. W., Agreed, chicken or egg. However, this was a common practice. I have observed this many times along with over the slop sink ETC. I have refused jobs in the past as a protest to these inaccessible panels unless the owner was willing to pay to relocate.

    Recently, I refused to do a commercial sign inspection until the owner cleared the file cabinet from in front of the time clock. The sign co. blames the owner (I agree), and the owner thinks he doesn't have to move his s..t because he believes it has nothing to do with his sign.
    I'm just about to write the owner a ticket. arrrg


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Adams View Post
    Panel can not be next to water source.
    Panel to be located in an area with 6'5" head room. 36" depth. And 30 inches wide.
    I was out camping this weekend, just now reading your post - would you please cite a code supporting the information you posted above?

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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Rockwell View Post
    Can a service panel be mounted on a garage wall if the hot water heater is on the other side of the wall?? There are no pipes running in the wall it is just on the outside of the water heater closet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Absolutely, as long as the unfused cable length requirements can be met.
    In fact, contrary to a post by Bruce Adams above, the panel could also be installed on the same side of the wall *right next to the water heater and all the water pipes*.

    All which needs to be done is to maintain the minimum working space requirements or 30" wide, 36" in front of, and an access path to that space.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    My question is in the language used in the original post, "must be moved".
    Should read: 'should be moved' or the like.
    I'm speaking relative to MI codes in effect however. If the original installation was accepted by the AHJ in the 40's and is in good repair,
    there is no mandate to move it.
    Bob,

    Depends ...

    If the electrical panel was there and the cabinets installed later ... *must* be moved as it was never approved that way.

    If the electrical panel was there and in the cabinets from day one ... I would need to go back through my old codes, however, as I recall, working space was a requirement for a very, very long time, maybe even back to day one - but I'd have to verify that.

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

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Service panel

    Part of the answer here needs to take into account whether any code was legally enforced at the time of the install. Many times a quick look over by the by the utility at hookup time, if that, was all the inspection, and checking for code compliance that got done years ago (and still is some places). It's pretty hard to hold something to a code that didn't exist at the time it was built.

    This lack of a building authority, or at least any electrical rules, is often responsible for things like panels in kitchen cabinets, in closets, in stairwells, or over doors.

    With many of these things having been done when an area had few or no building rules the stuff gets "grandfathered" and as such is legal "as is" till it gets modified. Nothing is wrong (code wise, anyway) till rules are put in place to make it that way.

    None of this makes anybody happy with these installations though.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Service panel

    I would have to agree, again, with the last few posts....especially Bill K.
    The grandfather idea is valid IMO, with the exception of (at least in MI), my authority as AHJ in determining if any electrical issue is of iminate danger. (imminate- whats the work I'm looking 4??


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