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rap4rent 12-17-2012 05:32 PM

Electrical panel code question
 
3 Attachment(s)
I'm new here, but it looks like there are experts to answer my question.

I had the old fuse panel in my rental unit (triplex) upgraded and the electrician needed to install a new meter box, which included relocating it. (Note, there were multiple places to relocate it to.)

The work was done a few months ago without me being able to see it since I'm not in the area. It was signed off by the city and I thought things were good. Now, I had a tenant want to move out and found that where they placed the new meter box significantly blocks the entrance to the unit.

The doorway wasn't terribly wide before, but with the meter box there is only about 14-15 in. to pass through. My tenant found she is trapped as she can't move any furniture or larger items through the 14-15 in. gap.

First, I called the electrician and they said to get lost because the city signed off on it. I then called the city and they claim it's fully to code and there is nothing they will do. He said it needs 36" in front and 36" to the left of the box and the fact that it's right there in a doorway doesn't matter.

I'd like to get input from some online experts if possible. It doesn't seem reasonable that they could sign off on blocking the only entrance to a building in such a manner.

I've included some pics of the issue. Sorry for the quality, but I had someone living there with a cell phone send them to me.

TTW 12-17-2012 05:40 PM

What is your location?
In Maine the power Co. specifies the location.

However, in this case what the heck happened to common sense?

rap4rent 12-17-2012 05:45 PM

Sorry, I should have specified that this is in South Dakota. The city guy claimed he and the electrician talked about it and that was the only place they could think to put it. It didn't sound like the city mandated where it was placed.

I also just talked to another electrician to get his input. He went over and checked it out and said there were at least two other good options where it could have been relocated, although they would have probably been more expensive.

k_buz 12-17-2012 05:46 PM

Call the building department or fire department.

TTW 12-17-2012 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k_buz (Post 1074770)
Call the building department or fire department.

There you go, if it blocks a proper fire egress, the inspector should have known that.

Could open up a bag of worms though...:(

TTW 12-17-2012 05:52 PM

Could be pretty bad if someone is moving a refrigerator and it breaks one of those meters and someone gets killed or maimed....
Just sayn'
That's when the lawyers get involved.

rap4rent 12-17-2012 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k_buz (Post 1074770)
Call the building department or fire department.

Thanks for the recommendation. I hadn't considered calling them in on it.

Any idea if an electrician is responsible for getting sign-off from the building department in a case like this, or do they only ever deal with the electrical inspector?

TTW 12-17-2012 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rap4rent (Post 1074806)
Thanks for the recommendation. I hadn't considered calling them in on it.

Any idea if an electrician is responsible for getting sign-off from the building department in a case like this, or do they only ever deal with the electrical inspector?

Varies widely depending on the area. You might check with whoever issues permits in your area.

diystephen 12-17-2012 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TTW (Post 1074765)
However, in this case what the heck happened to common sense?

No kidding...

TTW 12-18-2012 12:48 AM

It's sort of like putting a toilet in a hallway...

joed 12-18-2012 08:49 AM

Rotate your picture and put them right side up. It looks strange to see meters on the ceiling and floor.


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