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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am planning to install a new subpanel in the basement. The basement is "somewhat" finished though with studs and wood paneling covering all the walls (no visible studs). This is a wall to the garage, there is no insulation in the cavity. Due to nearby drain pipes the framing with the studs is done so that the cavity at that location is about 9" deep (between front surface of masonry and back surface of wood paneling; lots of wasted space, I know). If I installed the panel framed within the studs I can have it flush mounted relative to the woodpaneling and I believe that it would be up to code. However I am likely to redo the finishes of the whole area some time in the future, so I would prefer to have the panel be on 3/4 plywood on the masonry wall. In that case I cannot have the current finish be flush with the panel -- the front of the panel ends up about 4" recessed into the wall finish.

Will it be up to code if I make a second wooden door that is flush with the existing wood finish? When one needs access to the panel one will need to open the wooden door and then open the metal panel door to access the breakers. This will not be a cabinet, just an access door on the wall. I know I am OK for required clearances and dedicated electrical space -- I will be able to place a fridge in front of the subpanel. The wooden door will likely be at least 3-4" wider and taller than the panel itself, so that if later I add more circuits I can actually access the sides of the panel to pull the cable and place the fittings.

Second question: are cables behind such a door considered subject to damage? E.g. can there be exposed NM cable behind the wooden door -- I know that if the wall was not finished anything below 6 1/2' would need to be inside conduit or something.

The attached photo show what I have in mind. The only difference is that my walls are finished with wood paneling instead of drywall and the easiest material to work with to make the door is also wood. In other words not fire resistant material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just cannot wrap my head around NEC312.2
312.3 Position in Wall. In walls of concrete, tile, or other
noncombustible material, cabinets shall be installed so that
the front edge of the cabinet is not set back of the finished
surface more than 6 mm ( 1 ⁄ 4 in.). In walls constructed of
wood or other combustible material, cabinets shall be flush
with the finished surface or project therefrom.
Does it apply to my case? If it does regardless of what the wall is made of I will be in violation as my setback from the surface is 4 in.
 

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They are talking about a flush mount panel that is cut into a flat wall surface. In the pic you posted, it is the inner wall surface where the panels are, not the wall where the doors are mounted.
 

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epsilone you are digging way too deep into this subject. If you place a fridge in front of the panel and it is not easy to move, so that you can get to the panel, it can be considered a violation.

The NEC which is published by the NFPA, is to protect people from their or someone else's mistakes, if they follow it to a T. You have to understand the Lawyer-speak they put into it.

Unless the structure is 100% Concrete, wiring is made in a way that it will never overheat or catch on fire. Someone is always going to question what they meanin a particular area.

Just make sure that you place it so that the Dead Front is easy to remove when you open that cover.

The panel can be inside what appeared to be a in-wall Ironing Board door, but when opened, the panel is the only thing there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Uh, sorry about the confusion, I am not placing a fridge in front of the panel. There is space for a fridge -- it is a "methaphor" I have seen used when people describe whether there is enough space in front of the electrical equipment to satisfy the working space requirements of the NEC.

What you see in the picture is what I am planning to do, but given that it is a random picture from the internet, I was not sure whether what it depicted was up to code or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
They are talking about a flush mount panel that is cut into a flat wall surface. In the pic you posted, it is the inner wall surface where the panels are, not the wall where the doors are mounted.
That makes me feel good that the setup in the picture which is what I plan to mimic is not a violation even if the front wall it not drywall, but wood panel (the back wall where the panel will be is masonry(with 3/4 inch plywood to hang the panel and provide location for the first staple)).

Thank you.
 

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If there is space for a fridge, it can be taken out of context. That is why it is best to leave out the really microscopic details and just put down the meat and potatoes of the job that you are wanting to do.

Get into too much about the hows and whys. You will find that these threads will drag on for days and get twisted around to where some start changing what you are actually wanting to do.

Do it right, do it correct, make sure that it is safe and within the local jurisdiction code enforcement.

Regardless what you see in the NEC. You have to read everything in that Bible to understand.

It is like someone picking out passages from the Bible, but never actually reading the whole book to understand what the meaning behind them are.
 

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If there is space for a fridge, it can be taken out of context. That is why it is best to leave out the really microscopic details and just put down the meat and potatoes of the job that you are wanting to do.

Get into too much about the hows and whys. You will find that these threads will drag on for days and get twisted around to where some start changing what you are actually wanting to do.

Do it right, do it correct, make sure that it is safe and within the local jurisdiction code enforcement.

Regardless what you see in the NEC. You have to read everything in that Bible to understand.

It is like someone picking out passages from the Bible, but never actually reading the whole book to understand what the meaning behind them are.
Says the one that was confused by the refrigerator visualization.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have completed my project, but decided to post three pictures for critique before calling the town to schedule the inspection. Note that the images are rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise -- I am nor sure how to upload them with correct orientation. So please critique my work.

I the first photo you see the outside view of the wood panel which I cut to get access to the masonry wall behind. The cut out piece was mounted on hinges and serves as access door. The panel is installed on a white piece of thick plywood. The permit was for the panel only, so no circuits at this time. The dark gray object parallel to the panel is a galvanized drain pipe from the kitchen that will eventually be relocated, but that is a few years away. I hope I did not violate the code locating the panel 2inches from it. The most I could have gone to the left of it is another 2 inches as there is a door with a curtain on the left of the whole assembly.

Also what should I do about that white romex visible on top? While I physically touched that romex in order to secure the plywood to the masonry behind, I did not add or remove any staples holding it (there are none) or detached/reatach it at the ends. That romex was probably "fished". Should I do anything about it or let the inspector flag anything he does not like?
 

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