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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always been real unclear on the working space 'Around' a panel as described in 110.26(A)(1). The required room in front (depth), and overhead (height) is fairly clear - the dedicated space from the sides (width) is what confuses my. I know ive installed or worked in tons of panels that did not have 3' clearance to either side. Ive never had an inspector say anything about it either, except on one occasion, and it was not explained very clearly.

Im not sure if im misunderstanding, or if im confused on what "is" or "is not" allowed in this space. Does this mean there is not allowed to be anything in 3' of either side? Does this mean it needs 3' of open space (no walls or doors) on either side? Or is there a more defined explanation?

Im pretty unclear here, I know of many Many existing panels that do not have this 3' clearance, some of which I have even installed according to prints. Could someone explain this one to me please.
 

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I have always been real unclear on the working space 'Around' a panel as described in 110.26(A)(1). The required room in front (depth), and overhead (height) is fairly clear - the dedicated space from the sides (width) is what confuses my. I know ive installed or worked in tons of panels that did not have 3' clearance to either side. Ive never had an inspector say anything about it either, except on one occasion, and it was not explained very clearly.

Im not sure if im misunderstanding, or if im confused on what "is" or "is not" allowed in this space. Does this mean there is not allowed to be anything in 3' of either side? Does this mean it needs 3' of open space (no walls or doors) on either side? Or is there a more defined explanation?

Im pretty unclear here, I know of many Many existing panels that do not have this 3' clearance, some of which I have even installed according to prints. Could someone explain this one to me please.

You've got to look at Table 110.26(A)(1) 

Condition #4. 'The Real World'.....

The code can make the rules as strict as they want,But,when it's all said and done the inspector makes the call passes the job the electrician gets paid and the carpenter builds a wall around the panel so you can't ever open the door.:no:
 

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i interpret it as 3' wide, period, not on both sides.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is the definition of this 3' area?
-open space?
-nothing allowed in this area?
- all the above?

What about doors and walls? What if a wall is within that 3' area, Is that ok? I always thought it meant there couldn't be any other equipment (HVAC & plumbing) in this space, but im not certain now.
 

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110.26(2) says the width of working space needs only be the width of the equipment or 30", whichever is greater. You don't need side access unless it's got an accessible removable panel - like certain transfer switches, etc.
 

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Take an old refrigerator box. If you can push that box up tight against the panel and completely cover that panel, you got your working space (with some caveats).
 

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Deep Cover said:
Take an old refrigerator box. If you can push that box up tight against the panel and completely cover that panel, you got your working space (with some caveats).
. How about a lineup of standard 20" wide panel boards along a wall ? I've always tried to maintain 6" between cans , but I've seen them a lot closer or touching on some instances to fit in the room .
 

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I'm not exactly sure what you are getting at, but if you had 3 20" cans spaced 6" apart, that would give you 72" of space. You could have a washing machine tight to one (end) panel and a dryer tight to the other (end) panel and still meet the working space requirements.
 

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Deep Cover said:
I'm not exactly sure what you are getting at, but if you had 3 20" cans spaced 6" apart, that would give you 72" of space. You could have a washing machine tight to one (end) panel and a dryer tight to the other (end) panel and still meet the working space requirements.
. What if the 3 cans touched one another ? I've seen it done a lot , but always questioned it ?
 

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Methinks HB exhibit 110.13 explains this best, just haven't the ability to post it, sorry MH


~CS~
 

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I have always been real unclear on the working space 'Around' a panel as described in 110.26(A)(1). The required room in front (depth), and overhead (height) is fairly clear - the dedicated space from the sides (width) is what confuses my. I know ive installed or worked in tons of panels that did not have 3' clearance to either side. Ive never had an inspector say anything about it either, except on one occasion, and it was not explained very clearly.

Im not sure if im misunderstanding, or if im confused on what "is" or "is not" allowed in this space. Does this mean there is not allowed to be anything in 3' of either side? Does this mean it needs 3' of open space (no walls or doors) on either side? Or is there a more defined explanation?

Im pretty unclear here, I know of many Many existing panels that do not have this 3' clearance, some of which I have even installed according to prints. Could someone explain this one to me please.
Does this help?:blink::laughing:






 

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Surprisingly, that installation may not violate 110.26. Depends where the chimney and pipe are, though - can't tell exactly from those pics. You should take one facing the panels, say from 4 or 5 feet back.
 

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:(
Surprisingly, that installation may not violate 110.26. Depends where the chimney and pipe are, though - can't tell exactly from those pics. You should take one facing the panels, say from 4 or 5 feet back.
It's right in front of the panels you have 16" and that's it,also the sink is one foot to the right of the panels.
 

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The sink isn't a problem. But assuming the panel is 120 volts to ground, you need a minimum of 36" from the outer edge of the left panel to the outer edge of the right panel outward. If that chimney is only 16" in front, it's a Code violation. Especially if you can't open the panel cover.
 
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