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Old 05-02-2008, 11:39 PM   #1
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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

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Old 05-02-2008, 11:45 PM   #2
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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.

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Old 05-02-2008, 11:55 PM   #3
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:57 PM   #4
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


Thanks JBFan ! 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
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by nap View Post
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"
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:16 AM   #6
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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Originally Posted by helpless handyman View Post
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.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:11 AM   #8
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


In Canada we often mount them sideways.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:38 AM   #9
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In Canada we often mount them sideways.

Code violation in the US to mount them Horizontal.
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Old 05-03-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:29 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:04 PM   #12
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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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.
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:39 PM   #13
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
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...
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:54 PM   #15
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Circuit Breaker Panel Height?


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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