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  1. #1

    Default Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    I thought this house would be pretty clean; they had pulled permits for just about everything. But somehow this got overlooked. I hadn't spotted the panel when I was doing my quick once-over, so was checking everything on an outside wall near the meter corner. Client was happy I saved her from this mess; she was anticipating a "move-in ready" home.

    Oh, and I didn't open the panel. But I'm curious: how many of you would​ have?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
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    4,170

    Default Re: Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    I'm not sure if I would have opened it since things look different in person but obviously it might get a disclaimer since it could be hazardous to your health.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    I probably would have attempted to take the cover off. Either way access is impeded as to be in breach of the 3 foot rule. Hence it needs to be written up and corrected.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    Last year, I might not have opened it. But today, I probably would have, if I could reasonably reach in and access it. In the last year, I've had several instances where I deferred to what my SoP says about accessing tight and/or difficult areas; and ended up spending more time and trouble explaining the SoP and why I didn't access those places than just doing it. No matter what, it's often a judgment call as you evaluate the big picture.

    Still, I certainly think you would be on firm ground in saying that clear access needs to be created and the panel should be inspected once access is created.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Summerville, South Carolina
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    Not if the panel was live! First you have to stick your head inside that little box so you can line your screwdriver up...HA! Not a smart move especially with that old panel. Will B Safe is better than O Howard Hurtz.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    The location (height above the floor) isn't consistent with generally established practices for a panel board enclosure installation even if the cabinetry weren't there. It makes one wonder if it had been relocated from where it was originally installed. It looks like a Cutler Hammer panelboard with no single throw main disconnection device (a sub panel?).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin O'Hornett View Post
    The location (height above the floor) isn't consistent with generally established practices for a panel board enclosure installation even if the cabinetry weren't there. It makes one wonder if it had been relocated from where it was originally installed. It looks like a Cutler Hammer panelboard with no single throw main disconnection device (a sub panel?).
    I would not bring up generally accepted practice for height above floor when there are so many actual <i>NEC</i> violations. And the space in front, above, and to the side are not just a matter of comfort and convenience but safety. Think <i>NFPA 70E</i> or OSHA, if the <i>NEC</i> doesn't do the trick.

    I suspect that this may be a subpanel, in which case I most certainly would pull the Service Main before getting down and dirty. If it's the service, it warrants a call to the AHJ, no monkeying around.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Client asked, "Is that a bad place for the panel?"

    This wasn't a sub; it was the main panel. It didn't have a single main, but it was a split buss and I'm pretty sure the top two were mains. But I didn't get that close to it, but just a glance told me it was all sorts of wrong.

    At the very least, it was missing the identifying labels for the circuits (since the door had been removed).

    I appreciate that there is a desire for thoroughness, but realistically, how could this cover be safely removed by a home inspector?

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

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