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  1. #1
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Electrical service box located in closet

    I came across a slab house that was built in 1993. The service panel was installed in a walk in closet. I was wondering what year that installing service panels in the closets was not allowed.

    Thanks for the help ahead of time.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    A long ... long ... long ... long .. and-even-longer ... time ago.

    As long as (here's that *if*) by "closet" you are referring to a "clothes closet" or another type of closet with "readily ignitable" material in it.

    *Most* closets would: a) not be large enough, and, b) be used for storage of materials and items which would make the panel not suitable or allowable to be installed in the closet.

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

  3. #3
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    A long ... long ... long ... long .. and-even-longer ... time ago.
    So, are you talking about your preteen years or teenage years?

    During the inspection, the buyer informed me that her husband is an electrician. They just remodeled the basement at the house they are going to sell and the electrical panel is located in the clothes closet. When she got home and talked to her husband, her husband confirmed that the panel (in the new house) should not have been installed in the clothes closet. When she reminded him where the panel is located in their basement, his only words were "Oh ****!". She called me up to tell me that story.

    Last edited by Kevin Luce; 04-19-2007 at 01:21 PM. Reason: **** = excrement

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    If you take out the clothing rod and you don't store clothes in it, it no longer a clothes closet correct(?)


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    If you take out the clothing rod and you don't store clothes in it, it no longer a clothes closet correct(?)
    It is no longer a "clothes closet", but that is (as I was pointing out) only *part of* the story.

    For the rest of the story, here is the NEC code on it.
    - ARTICLE 240 Overcurrent Protection
    - - 240.24 Location in or on Premises.
    - - - (D) Not in Vicinity of Easily Ignitible Material. Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets.

    Catch the "such as"? It is not 'shall not be located *IN* clothes closets', it is 'shall not be located *IN THE VICINITY OF* "easily ignitible material" ... 'such as' ... in clothes closets.

    Take out the clothes rod and you will still have stored items which would be "easily ignitible", which would STILL PROHIBIT the panel from being installed there.

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

  6. #6
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It is no longer a "clothes closet", but that is (as I was pointing out) only *part of* the story.

    For the rest of the story, here is the NEC code on it.
    - ARTICLE 240 Overcurrent Protection
    - - 240.24 Location in or on Premises.
    - - - (D) Not in Vicinity of Easily Ignitible Material. Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets.

    Catch the "such as"? It is not 'shall not be located *IN* clothes closets', it is 'shall not be located *IN THE VICINITY OF* "easily ignitible material" ... 'such as' ... in clothes closets.

    Take out the clothes rod and you will still have stored items which would be "easily ignitible", which would STILL PROHIBIT the panel from being installed there.
    You would think that for the people that pay for these classes and/or home study courses, that this type of information would be included.

    "Watch for panels in bathrooms, clothes closets, stairwells, and kitchen cabinets. Watch also for panels too close to gas meters or gas relief vents" are some of the general information that is being taught.


  7. #7
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    If you take out the clothing rod and you don't store clothes in it, it no longer a clothes closet correct(?)
    Depending on how large the space is but some people around here would then call it an office.


  8. #8
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Kevin,

    You would think that for the people that pay for these classes and/or home study courses, that this type of information would be included.
    This board is the best home study course you'll ever find.

    I wish I had found this before I paid 3 grand to ITA.


  9. #9
    j.Peter Buss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check out these undersized wires !

    Hi, Check this out,

    This is from an inspection i performed today in chicago, people were living in the house with this condition for some time - Main drop entrance cable (Hot & Neutral) in service panel spliced with a # 14 wires to the 100 amp main breaker and neutral bar - Wow !! The drop cable was not long enough at installation so this is how he/she repaired the issue.


    Peter Buss
    Buss Inspection Services, Inc
    Buss Inspection Services, Inc.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Tim,
    Wish you would have talked to me before attending ITA. I did the same thing, that place is a joke.


  11. #11
    Bob White's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check out these undersized wires !

    Quote Originally Posted by j.Peter Buss View Post
    Hi, Check this out,

    This is from an inspection i performed today in chicago, people were living in the house with this condition for some time - Main drop entrance cable (Hot & Neutral) in service panel spliced with a # 14 wires to the 100 amp main breaker and neutral bar - Wow !! The drop cable was not long enough at installation so this is how he/she repaired the issue.


    Peter Buss
    Buss Inspection Services, Inc
    Buss Inspection Services, Inc.

    Fusible link.


  12. #12
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check out these undersized wires !

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob White View Post
    Fusible link.
    Bob. Did you have a Tornado?


  13. #13
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Tim,
    Wish you would have talked to me before attending ITA. I did the same thing, that place is a joke.
    I agree! The hint is in their advertising "fast-paced instruction". I could of almost got the same thing from a video tape (Oops DVD).

    Can you see us advertising this as home inspectors. "Fast-paced home inspection"

    Last edited by Kevin Luce; 03-26-2008 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Added Oops DVD and the last line.

  14. #14
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It is no longer a "clothes closet", but that is (as I was pointing out) only *part of* the story.

    For the rest of the story, here is the NEC code on it.
    - ARTICLE 240 Overcurrent Protection
    - - 240.24 Location in or on Premises.
    - - - (D) Not in Vicinity of Easily Ignitible Material. Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets.

    Catch the "such as"? It is not 'shall not be located *IN* clothes closets', it is 'shall not be located *IN THE VICINITY OF* "easily ignitible material" ... 'such as' ... in clothes closets.

    Take out the clothes rod and you will still have stored items which would be "easily ignitible", which would STILL PROHIBIT the panel from being installed there.

    If the closet is empty except for the panel and you have the proper clearances why wouldn't it be legal then?


  15. #15
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    You have a bedroom with a closet (normally the only closet). What is the odds that the space is going to be used as storage (boxes, clothing items) by the new homeowners (high). Plus if the sellers are using it as storage, the buyers are going to assume that they can also use it as storage until we tell them different during the home inspection. Now that little part of the house should not be used as built unless the panel or closet is relocated.

    Around here, they don't care too much about the panels located in closets. I inspected a house built in the 50's that just upgraded the panel to a 100 amp service and they left in the closet. The city inspector informed the buyers, sellers and Realtors that it's fine. I had another house in a different town that was 2 years old and the panel was placed in a small walk in closet. The buyers husband was an electrician and knew about the code but the town said it was fine.

    I still cover myself when writing up the report.

    Last edited by Kevin Luce; 03-26-2008 at 10:37 AM. Reason: corrected a few spelling errors

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    Around here, they don't care too much about the panels located in closets. I inspected a house built in the 50's that just upgraded the panel to a 100 amp service and they left in the closet. The city inspector informed the buyers, sellers and Realtors that it's fine. I had another house in a different town that was 2 years old and the panel was placed in a small walk in closet. The buyers husband was an electrician and new about the code but the town said it was fine.

    Kevin,

    Those are the types of places (towns) where it would be in your interest to not only 'get to know' the Building Official but the Fire Chief as well, then, ask the Fire Chief 'I'm a little concerned about something I keep finding, I find electrical panels in clothes closets, and, here in the NEC (bring your code book and show him) it says that they should not be in clothes closets or in the vicinity of easily ignitable material. I write them up but real estate agents keep saying 'it's no big deal' ... I'm wondering what your thoughts on it are?'

    After he answers (presuming he will answer to the effect that those panels should not be there), you ask a few more questions to 'clarify' (baiting the hook more), then finally say 'Would you talk to XXX, the Building Official / Chief Electrical Inspector because they keep allowing it and saying it is fine, and, like you, I am concerned with the fire aspect.'

    Bingo! You've got him nailed, on your side, and he will likely talk to the Building Official / Chief Electrical Inspector - if for no other reason than the say 'Hey man, I know we need to stay busy, but you don't have to go around starting fires for us.', to which the Building Official / Chief Electrical Inspectors says 'What? What are you talking about?' Therein starts a discussion for which I would love to be a fly on the wall listening to what is said, why, and the explanations given.

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

  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    The only problem with all this discussion and code stuff is,,,,,,,,,, When have you inspected almost anyhome whether it be in a closet, garage etc. where people don't store goods all around it. At least out of the closet it is easier to move things from in front of it.

    HVAC and or gas water heater closet or combo. Same thing, they use it for storage and pack everything in around it.

    All our good work inspecting gone to hell.


  18. #18
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
    Randy Clayton Guest

    Default Re: Electrical service box located in closet

    you can only report on whats there;you can not report on ones habits or doings!!!!


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