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  • Cabinets around the panel

    I want to install some utility cabinets in my garage and the electrical panel is in the middle of the wall. How much clearance do I need to leave around the panel (sides/top/bottom)?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Cabinets around the panel

    Needs 36 inch clearance in front of panel -- no obstructions, not even temporary are allowed in front of the panel. I'd keep it clear above and 6-12 inches of clearance below and on each side in case you ever have to add cable later on for another circuit.
    Jim Don

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    • #3
      Re: Cabinets around the panel

      can you put a raised panel door over the pannel so if is in a finished space it doesnt have to be so intrusive?

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      • #4
        Re: Cabinets around the panel

        But as base cabinet below the panel would be okay as long as you stay 6-12 inches below the panel?

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        • #5
          Re: Cabinets around the panel

          Yes, you can put base cab beneath. The only thing NEC says is 36 inches in front. The other dimensions are just what I prefer so I have a little working room around the sides and top and such. And there's no problem enclosing a panel in a cabinet as long as the cabinet opens up and allows adequate work space ( and the 36" requirement). Inspectors just don't want to see a bunch of rakes or shovels or some such stacked up in front of a panel which makes it difficult to access it for work or to re-set a breaker.
          Jim Don

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          • #6
            Re: Cabinets around the panel

            The panel must be clear in front from floor to ceiling, and clear on the sides of 30", measured from the left side, right side, or center of the panel. The clearance in front of the panel must be 36".

            I can't post the picture, but here is a link.
            http://www.electriciantalk.com/showthread.php?t=3528

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            • #7
              Re: Cabinets around the panel

              This is true, a base cabinet is not allowed in the clear space in front of the panel. I was always taught to think of it like a refridgerator box, set it in front of the panel and nothing goes in that box. Also above the panel has to be clear to the structural ceiling.

              Jeff

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              • #8
                Re: Cabinets around the panel

                What was I thinking yesterday? No, you can't have base cabinets beneath the panel, will interfere with the working space and ability to get close to the panel. What Jeff and JBFan said is correct. Excuse my brain slip.
                Jim Don

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                • #9
                  Re: Cabinets around the panel

                  Thanks for the link with the pictures!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cabinets around the panel

                    Think of if you ever had an emergency and had to shut off the MAIN breaker or another breaker real fast. Also, think of it you ever wanted to install a sub-panel and/or a transfer switch for standby generator use. You want to have a nice clear wall on each side and as others have stated nothing under or above it. Where I am they have a new county addition to the code saying it has to be a straight line walk through the room to the panel. That means nothing blocking the path to it. If you can see it on the wall, there can't be anything from any doorway that you have to dodge while walking to it.

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