Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Jeff Eastman's Avatar
    Jeff Eastman Guest

    Default Panel clearances

    Last edited by Jeff Eastman; 11-27-2007 at 07:26 PM.
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Looks like the box is flush against the wall. Should be a gap behind it.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    E3305.2 Working clearances for energized equipment and panelboards.
    Except as otherwise specified in Chapters 33 through 42, the dimension of the working space in the direction of access to panelboards and live parts likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance while energized shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in depth. Distances shall be measured from the energized parts where such parts are exposed or from the enclosure front or opening where such parts are enclosed. In addition to the 36-inch dimension (914 mm), the work space shall not be less than 30 inches (762 mm) wide in front of the electrical equipment and not less than the width of such equipment. The work space shall be clear and shall extend from the floor or platform to a height of 6.5 feet (1981 mm). In all cases, the work space shall allow at least a 90-degree opening of equipment doors or hinged panels. Equipment associated with the electrical installation located above or below the electrical equipment shall be permitted to extend not more than 6 inches (152 mm) beyond the front of the electrical equipment

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    NO. (to answer the question)

    The 36" in-front-of starts at the front of the equipment, and the 30" width starts there too.

    The 30" width can be measured *from either side* and does not need to be centered over the equipment.

    In the case of the gutter in your photo, the gutter downspout *does not project out from the wall* beyond the front of the equipment (not unless it is a very large downspout anyway), and, 'even if it did', you could start measuring on the left side of the enclosure and measure the 30" to the right, or even start measuring at the downspout and measure to the right.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    Thanks Jerry, so its' just the fence that violates the code!
    Me not understand how fence "violates" code.
    You appear to have your 30 inches of side clearance.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    Thanks Jerry, so its' just the fence that violates the code!
    Not even the fence.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    John,

    If it's a standard 4.25 OD. downspout. Measuring on my screen apr. dia. between fence and panel is 2.5 in. Downspout is .5 in. Estimated distance 21.5 inches.
    PS. Panel door flips up. Panel wth. apr. 2.00 = 8.5 in. Total est. Distance from Right side of panel to fence. 21.5 + 8.5 = 29in.

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 09-07-2007 at 07:52 PM. Reason: ps. added
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    No , the fence is less than 24 inches from the edge of the panel. that's why I say it violates the code.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    NO. (to answer the question)

    The 36" in-front-of starts at the front of the equipment, and the 30" width starts there too.

    The 30" width can be measured *from either side* and does not need to be centered over the equipment.
    See attached drawing.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Are you guy's serious about this? If so you are doing a disservice to a novice inspector.


  10. #10
    Charles Sessums's Avatar
    Charles Sessums Guest

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    James you've been around long enough to know Jerry does not "play" with the rules. I'm with him.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Are you guy's serious about this? If so you are doing a disservice to a novice inspector.
    YES!
    What disservice?

    As everyone and code quoted has said 30" measured from either direction L-R and the posted the drawing is correct.

    The fence nor the downspout interfere with obtaining a 30" clear work space.

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  12. #12
    Philip Desmarais's Avatar
    Philip Desmarais Guest

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    James, perhaps I'm misunderstanding whom you are saying is doing a disservice. The responses from John A and Jerry P are accurate. They have presented and/or explained some supporting evidence. I see no disservice on their parts.

    Assume in a Situation 1 that the downspout has a depth that does not exceed the depth of the electric equipment: If there is nothing in front of the panel in the area between the fence and 30" to the right of the fence, then there is sufficient working clearance for this situation.

    Assume in a Situation 2 that the downspout has a depth that exceeds the depth of the electric equipment: if there is nothing in front of the panel in the area between the right side of the downspout and 30" to right of the right side of the downspout, then there is sufficient working clearance for this situation.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Phillip, James
    If I miss lead any one it was not my intent. Just looking at photo and doing some size comparison to standard size objects. Downspout 4 1/2 inches. Brick 8 ".
    Please bear with me as I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Looks like it's under 30 right side of panel to fence. Picture does not show whats on right side of panel. I know Mr. Peck does not play, I applicate his willingness to take the time to explain things.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Are you guy's serious about this? If so you are doing a disservice to a novice inspector.
    I'm with you on this one James.... and I'm sure I/we're in the minority.

    For some reason some HI's feel the need to disect the current NEC code to most microscopic detail.... I don't see the point. Statisitically, electrical claims against inspectors are one of the most minor items.

    I'd rather spend the 30 minutes looking for dry rot as opposed to measuring 6 different dimensions from a service panel.... I'm sure I'll be accused of being incompetent by some.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,112

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Matt and James, please re-read the original question, the original poster was calling out a problem with clearances that was incorrect. If something is wrong, by all means, call it out, but don't manufacture issues. Giving inspectors a clear understanding of the problems or lack thereof is one of the main functions of this board, why would that be a disservice?

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 09-08-2007 at 05:39 AM.
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  16. #16
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Where's the disservice? The original poster clearly doesn't understand the clearance requirement and is calling out a problem (the fence) that is probably not a problem.

    It would be a disservice to not discuss this.

    Just my $0.02


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    This is new construction , "if" the panel "was" violating the code, then you should be calling it as a defect.
    Correct.

    If this was old construction, then it would not be in my report!
    *IT SHOULD BE* in your report.

    Unsafe working conditions is unsafe working conditions, regardless whether the house it new or 100 years old - it's not *the house* one is concerned with here, it's *the worker* working on the house, I really doubt they are 100 years old ... ... regardless, safe working space is required, *I* would not want to be the one to say 'it's safe' when it is too small, least the electrician working on my clients house be electrocute, their surviving spouse files a claim with their in$urance carrier, who comes knocking on the door of the seller asking for the seller's in$urance carrier to collect what was paid out, then having the seller's in$urance carrier looking for documentation on someone to blame, and, along with everyone involved with the unsafe installation come ... the HI who recently inspected it and deemed it as 'safe' - ESPECIALLY if that HI calls that exact same thing out on new homes.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 09-08-2007 at 08:41 AM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    A disproportionate amount of time and effort seems to get put forth into the electrical system portion of the inspection. I've read over a lot of state's SOP's and nowhere does it say you are supposed to carry the latest copy of the NEC book with you. I believe it's a disservice to new inspectors because it gives them a false sense of where to focus their attention.

    Don't get me wrong, electrical is important but these far fetched scenarios where insurance companies sift through a pile of ruble and come after a home inspector because the gutter is too close to the panel is absolute insanity.

    I doubt it would ever get this far but IF they even wanted to start down that road the first they would do is look at your SOP's to determine what you were even there to do.

    Rather than throw a bunch of 'what if' scenarios around and talk about sitting in court from someone being electrocuted.... can anyone actually produce some case law or an instance where something even close to this happended to an HI? I'm sure we can all find plenty of cases of an HI getting sued out of the business for missing some rot or insect infestation.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    A disproportionate amount of time and effort seems to get put forth into the electrical system portion of the inspection.
    I guess that depends on who you ask.

    If you are standing there a long time trying to think ... you need more training in it, you *don't need* to just walk away.

    No different than if you spend a lot of time looking at trusses and trying to think ... you need more training in it, you *don't need* to just walk way.

    Or with a roof, if you spend a lot of time trying to think ... and so forth for each system.

    That said, *ALL* new HIs (especially those experienced in one trade or in general) NEED *HI* training in all systems. And need continuing training (continuing education) if all systems to keep learning more.

    Not only will you learn *what you've been missing*, but that things are not as you thought them to be.

    I guess ... if you think you are spending more time than necessary on any system, you need to *NOT INSPECT* that system and recommend a licensed contractor *INSPECT* it - and *YOU* (whomever that applies to) needs to go there with that licensed contractor and learn from them.

    And don't say you can't afford to take the time ... you can't afford to NOT take the time.

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

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    See attached drawing.
    Jeff,

    If you take Jerry Ps drawing you need 36" of clear space in front of the panel.

    30" left or Right 36" in front.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    Thanks everyone for the re-calibration/eduction....

    Now for this one:

    Because the air handlers where installed in front of the disconnect box, I could not access the box unless I crawled on top of the unit. A defect due to lack of access?
    Absolutely.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    A lot of people forget about about this part of 110-26 (the "working space" section of the NEC):
    (underlining is mine)
    (C) Entrance to Working Space.
    - (1) Minimum Required. At least one entrance of sufficient area shall be provided to give access to working space about electrical equipment.

    Now, the question becomes, what to heck is "sufficient area"?

    Well, we already know that the working space must be at least 30" wide to be considered "sufficient", thus, the entrance path should also be 30" wide.

    Some might argue that 24" would suffice as that is what is required for "Large Equipment", meaning 1200 amps or greater, but then, two of those 24" entrances are required, AND, that space must be at least 6'6" high (a 6'8" door will suffice).

    If that argument is to hold any water, then the height must also be allowed for.

    (But I still stand by my 30" width of the access path and entrance to the working space. )

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

  23. #23
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Panel clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    A disproportionate amount of time and effort seems to get put forth into the electrical system portion of the inspection. I've read over a lot of state's SOP's and nowhere does it say you are supposed to carry the latest copy of the NEC book with you. I believe it's a disservice to new inspectors because it gives them a false sense of where to focus their attention.

    Don't get me wrong, electrical is important but these far fetched scenarios where insurance companies sift through a pile of ruble and come after a home inspector because the gutter is too close to the panel is absolute insanity.

    I doubt it would ever get this far but IF they even wanted to start down that road the first they would do is look at your SOP's to determine what you were even there to do.

    Rather than throw a bunch of 'what if' scenarios around and talk about sitting in court from someone being electrocuted.... can anyone actually produce some case law or an instance where something even close to this happended to an HI? I'm sure we can all find plenty of cases of an HI getting sued out of the business for missing some rot or insect infestation.
    Matt,
    Jeff Eastman provided a specific question regarding the lack of clearances. He asked:
    "Do gutter downspouts count of violating the clearance zone of the panel, or just the fence (< 24")."

    The information provided was specific and accurate. Now, about the 'New Inspector' getting a false sense of focusing their attention...

    First of all, the new inspector should be wanting/willing to learn as much as possible from the many thousands of combined years of experience here and other boards. That includes conditions that are deemed *MINIMUM* safety requirements, regardless of which entity (IRC, IBC, NEC, NFPA, etc...) is recommending them. After all, the codes are the *MINIMUM* a home is allowed to be built to-- NOT the most stringent requirement.

    By the way... our (TX) SOP *DOES* have this requirement as part of our reporting process:

    RULE 535.230
    Standards of Practice: Inspection Guidelines for Electrical Systems


    (a) Service entrance and panels. The inspector shall:
    (1) inspect service entrance cables and report as in need of repair deficiencies in the integrity of insulation, drip loop, separation of conductors at weather-heads and clearances;

    (2) report as in need of repair a drop, weather-head or mast that is not securely fastened;

    (3) report as in need of repair the lack of a grounding electrode conductor in the service where visible, or the lack of secure connection to the grounding electrode or grounding system;

    (4) report as in need of repair accessible main or sub-panels that are not secured to the structure or appropriate for their location (weather-tight if exposed to weather, appropriate clearances and accessibility), do not have inside covers (dead fronts) in place, do not have conductors protected from the edges of metal panel boxes, do not have trip ties installed on labeled 240 volt circuits, do not have proper fasteners or do not have knockouts filled;



    rr






















Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •