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Electric Service Panel In attic


pestguy22
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Main Service Panel or a sub-panel?

If the former, I'd say no, but that might depend on the attic. Code requires a "readily accessible location". You might get away with that if the attic was a loft with permanent stairs (ladder) but a normal attic, accessible through a hatch, I'd say no, definitely not good.

On the other end of the spectrum would be a sub-panel only feeding equipment in the attic. That, I think is OK.

In between would be panels that don't serve as service disconnects but serve circuits throughout the house. It's not clear on whether those would be allowed in an attic although there is the bit about damp or wet locations. I'm not sure that would apply. You would also need adequate working space which, it seems, would be difficult in the typical attic.

Have a photo?

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Can a Electric Service Panel be located in attic space?

How far is it from where the service cable enters the home?

A basic need for main panels is that a fireman must be able to find it quickly and remove all power to a dwelling from one location. I doubt an attic location would meet that need.

Around here, most firefighters are instructed to not attempt to disconnect any power. They contact the utility co. (often this is done automatically). If they can't shut it off remotely, they just pull the meter. No one enters a dwelling to disconnect the power.
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It is a walk in and it does have required clearances, I have just never seen one located in attic.

If that's the case, and it's near the point of entrance of the service conductors, then there's nothing wrong with putting it in an attic.

From your description, it sounds like one of those bonus spaces that could be converted to a living space without much trouble anyway.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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A basic need for main panels is that a fireman must be able to find it quickly and remove all power to a dwelling from one location. I doubt an attic location would meet that need.

We typically pulled the meter socket , unless it was the overhead service lines that burned through from the fire. The only time I cut power at a panel was when I was the duty officer, and someone called about arcing downstream of the panel (I think it was a Zinnsco, and nothing was tripping).

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Can a Electric Service Panel be located in attic space?

How far is it from where the service cable enters the home?

A basic need for main panels is that a fireman must be able to find it quickly and remove all power to a dwelling from one location. I doubt an attic location would meet that need.

Around here, most firefighters are instructed to not attempt to disconnect any power. They contact the utility co. (often this is done automatically). If they can't shut it off remotely, they just pull the meter. No one enters a dwelling to disconnect the power.

I'm also a full time firefighter. In my area, we don't pull meters anymore, but do kill power at the main disconnect if it can be located, usually by one of the interior crews at the main panel. If the meter is farther than 10' away we kill it at the main disconnect usually next to the meter. We do still call the power company out if it's a significant fire to kill it from the service end permanently until the home can be restored, and to kill it if we can't locate the main.

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