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Old 12-17-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
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Electrical panel code question


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.
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Last edited by rap4rent; 12-17-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: pictures wrong
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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Electrical panel code question


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

However, in this case what the heck happened to common sense?
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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Electrical panel code question


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.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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Electrical panel code question


Call the building department or fire department.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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Electrical panel code question


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
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...
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #6
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Electrical panel code question


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.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:44 PM   #7
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Electrical panel code question


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
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?
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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Electrical panel code question


Quote:
Originally Posted by rap4rent View Post
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.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
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However, in this case what the heck happened to common sense?
No kidding...
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:48 PM   #10
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Electrical panel code question


It's sort of like putting a toilet in a hallway...
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:49 AM   #11
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Electrical panel code question


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