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helpless handyman 05-02-2008 10:39 PM

Circuit Breaker Panel Height?
 
Hi everyone,

I am getting my panel changed, the electrician came by with the new panel, and to me it seem king of large, or should I say long in length. Due to a pipe running above the ceiling, the new panel has to be lower. The older panel was much smaller, but less breakers of course. He placed the panel up against the wall where it would be just to see, and the bottom of the panel was about 3' feet from the ground. The panel box is about 32" long, to me it look as if a kid will be able to open the panel. Now that I am thinking, if it were to be for a handicapped person it would probably have to be this height. What is the NEC on the box height? I have searched and seen that panel cannot exceed 7'6", but what is the lowest it can be? I don't like how its going to look, but going from 20 breakers, to a 40 breaker panel is better.

Thanks

jbfan 05-02-2008 10:45 PM

It could sit on the floor. I try to install my panels so that the main breaker is just above my eyes, so a 30 inch tall panel would be close to 3 foot from the floor.

nap 05-02-2008 10:55 PM

not sure what you got going with the 7' 6" measurement. The limitiation is 6'7" to the highest handle on a breaker when in the "up" position. I set my panels at 6' to the top of the panel typically.

helpless handyman 05-02-2008 10:57 PM

Thanks JBFan :thumbup:! He will be back tomorrow, I was a little skeptic and was deciding to keep the old one, and told him I would call him in the morning. The old one is on the concrete basement wall, the new one is going to be on the new basement framed wall which sticks out about 12 inc. I didn't want to keep the old one, for reasons like not enough circuits, and too many tandens breakers being used. Also I would have to build like a door to get to the old panel that is sunk in to the old wall. Thanks, I will be able to sleep tonight. Just thought man this thing looks low, my kids could open the panel, but my kids are trained well. They don't touch the stove, so this won't be a problem. Thanks:thumbsup:

helpless handyman 05-02-2008 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nap (Post 120702)
not sure what you got going with the 7' 6" measurement. The limitiation is 6'7" to the highest handle on a breaker when in the "up" position. I set my panels at 6' to the top of the panel typically.

Okay, I mixed it up I meant 6'7"

chris75 05-03-2008 06:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by helpless handyman (Post 120699)
Hi everyone,
Due to a pipe running above the ceiling, the new panel has to be lower.

Thanks

What type of pipe is this? If it's not electrical related, than your panel cannot go under it.


You need 6' of dedicated electrical space above the equipment or the structural ceiling, whichever is lower.

jrclen 05-03-2008 09:23 AM

A panel is not a dangerous thing even with the door open. The worse the kids could do is turn off the breakers just before the winning touchdown. :laughing:

joed 05-03-2008 10:11 AM

In Canada we often mount them sideways.

chris75 05-03-2008 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 120739)
In Canada we often mount them sideways.


Code violation in the US to mount them Horizontal.

joed 05-03-2008 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 120744)
Code violation in the US to mount them Horizontal.

Actually from what I understand the mounting not a violation. You just can't use half the breaker slots because the switches up upside down.

chris75 05-03-2008 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 120775)
Actually from what I understand the mounting not a violation. You just can't use half the breaker slots because the switches up upside down.

Yes, that is correct, figured I just keep it simple. :)

Speedy Petey 05-03-2008 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 120715)
What type of pipe is this? If it's not electrical related, than your panel cannot go under it.

It seems both the panels and the pipe were existing.
Unless it is a literally dangerous situation, if the panel is being replaced it can go right back where it was.

nap 05-03-2008 05:39 PM

there are allowed allowances for items such as pipes and the like for being in the dedicated space above a panel.

It has to meet code requirements is all.

chris75 05-03-2008 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 120788)
It seems both the panels and the pipe were existing.
Unless it is a literally dangerous situation, if the panel is being replaced it can go right back where it was.


I dont see in the code where you can keep violations... :wink:

nap 05-03-2008 09:54 PM

pre-existing conditions are often grandfathered in. If they are not altering the pre-existing condition, it will fall under the original code, not the current code, generally.


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