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  1. #1
    Tyler Jones's Avatar
    Tyler Jones Guest

    Default Electrical panel clearance from floor

    We're having work done in our basement and it requires another electrical panel in addition to our existing panel. I'd like to have the second panel placed below our first panel instead of next to it to free up more space for shelving. I understand some of the electrical panel clearance rules like 3 feet clearance in front, 6.5 feet minimum height, and 30 inches workspace left to right (so 15" left and 15" right from centerline). But I haven't been able to find anything stating if there is a minimum clearance from the floor required.

    If I were to put the second panel under the first, there would be about 33 to 35 inches of clearance from the bottom of the panel to the floor. Is there any issue with that or other rules I need to be aware of?

    Thanks,

    Tyler

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Jones View Post
    We're having work done in our basement and it requires another electrical panel in addition to our existing panel. I'd like to have the second panel placed below our first panel instead of next to it to free up more space for shelving. I understand some of the electrical panel clearance rules like 3 feet clearance in front, 6.5 feet minimum height, and 30 inches workspace left to right (so 15" left and 15" right from centerline). But I haven't been able to find anything stating if there is a minimum clearance from the floor required.

    If I were to put the second panel under the first, there would be about 33 to 35 inches of clearance from the bottom of the panel to the floor. Is there any issue with that or other rules I need to be aware of?

    Thanks,

    Tyler
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    NEC 110.26 covers work space around electrical panels. All clearance specs are horizontal. The only vertical spec referenced is that 6 1/2 ft of vertical space from the floor to the ceiling is required for the panel area.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    The 30" width does not need to be centered on the panel. As long as the panel falls within the 30" width you are fine. The door also needs to open at least 90 degrees.

    Based on your description there should be no issues.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Jones View Post
    If I were to put the second panel under the first, there would be about 33 to 35 inches of clearance from the bottom of the panel to the floor. Is there any issue with that or other rules I need to be aware of?
    The electric cables are not allowed to pass through the other cabinet.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    Care to expand on that Rick?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Care to expand on that Rick?

    SECTION E3807
    CABINETS AND PANELBOARDS
    E3807.1 Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices.
    Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be
    used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors
    feeding through or tapping off to other switches or
    overcurrent devices, except where adequate space for this purpose
    is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space
    at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional
    area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps
    shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than
    75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    It is very hard to reach those percentages of fill. Additional conductors and splices are allowed. In the NEC that is 312.8.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    It is very hard to reach those percentages of fill. Additional conductors and splices are allowed. In the NEC that is 312.8.
    I do not have the NEC, perhaps you will post it.
    But anyhow

    Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be
    used as
    junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors
    feeding through
    or tapping off to other switches or
    overcurrent devices, except where adequate space for this purpose is provided.

    Having space is not the same as having space for this purpose.
    Having space is like saying:
    Is there available room for additional wires.

    Having space for this purpose is more like:
    A space in the panel box the manufacturer has intended to be used for the purpose of being a gutter, raceway, or...

    If the code intended to allow this, they would not need to include "for this purpose". They could easily have said "except where adequate space".

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 04-24-2012 at 12:32 PM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    There are too many variables to be considered to have a panel listed with a designated area.

    The wording "for this purpose" has also been dropped from the NEC.

    Here is the 2011 Article

    312.8 Switch and Overcurrent Device Enclosures with
    Splices, Taps, and Feed-Through Conductors. The wiring
    space of enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices
    shall be permitted for conductors feeding through, spliced,
    or tapping off to other enclosures, switches, or overcurrent
    devices where all of the following conditions are met:
    (1) The total of all conductors installed at any cross section
    of the wiring space does not exceed 40 percent of the
    cross-sectional area of that space.
    (2) The total area of all conductors, splices, and taps installed
    at any cross section of the wiring space does not
    exceed 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that
    space.
    (3) A warning label is applied to the enclosure that identifies
    the closest disconnecting means for any feedthrough
    conductors.

    The revised wording seems to reinforce that the space did not need to be identified or dedicated, but the capacity does need to exist before you can install more in it. Kind of like 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound sack.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    There are too many variables to be considered to have a panel listed with a designated area.

    The wording "for this purpose" has also been dropped from the NEC.

    Here is the 2011 Article

    312.8 Switch and Overcurrent Device Enclosures with
    Splices, Taps, and Feed-Through Conductors. The wiring
    space of enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices
    shall be permitted for conductors feeding through, spliced,
    or tapping off to other enclosures, switches, or overcurrent
    devices where all of the following conditions are met:
    (1) The total of all conductors installed at any cross section
    of the wiring space does not exceed 40 percent of the
    cross-sectional area of that space.
    (2) The total area of all conductors, splices, and taps installed
    at any cross section of the wiring space does not
    exceed 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that
    space.
    (3) A warning label is applied to the enclosure that identifies
    the closest disconnecting means for any feedthrough
    conductors.

    The revised wording seems to reinforce that the space did not need to be identified or dedicated, but the capacity does need to exist before you can install more in it. Kind of like 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound sack.
    What you posted from the NEC certainly has a different meaning and outcome than the (2006) IRC.
    The one that has been adopted for that (or any) area governs.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Electrical panel clearance from floor

    Even with what you posted it looks that it is limited to feeding through of wiring to switches, over-current devices, and other enclosures.
    Not to:
    Receptacles, stoves/ ovens, dryers,...
    Just a thought

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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