Jump to content

Minimum allowable height for panels


hausdok
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay,

Here's one for the ex-electricians among you - what's the minimum allowable height for a service entrance panelboard above the interior floor of a home.

I ask because I had one yesterday where the bottom of the enclosure is 18 inches off the floor and the top is at 4'4". It meets the minimum clearance requirements for working space but I can't find anything in my references - not even in Douglas Hansen's book - that specifically addresses minimum height.

Has anyone ever run into this before and is it even a concern. It certainly seems like it would be, since this one is where a toddler can reach out, pull the door open and start throwing switches anytime.

What say the masses?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I researched this recently for the opposite reason. A panel was installed nearly six feet above a basement floor. I phoned a master-electrician friend and he explained that the panel merely must be "accessible," the definition of which could vary dramatically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here the maximum height of the highest throw is 6'. That is set by the utility company, however there is no minimum height. I had an exterior panel where they backfilled the area next to the foundation, when they were done there was a 8" space between the bottom of the panel and the grade. We searched all over and even called the utility company, their response was "the code is silent on this issue".[:-banghea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I inspected a home last week where the top of the panel and the main breaker were at least 8 feet off of the ground. I am 6' tall and had to break out the Little Giant to inspect the panel. Needless to say I wrote it up as a safety hazard.

Lucky for me the homowner was an electrician.

Which brings me to my next question...

If you install a stoop or step in front of the panel to reach it, does this violate the 3' rule?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a step to provide access to a panel would be a no-no: it doesn't provide adequate working space. A stoop(big fat step) seems like it wouldn't be a problem.

I learned that the max height of a breaker is 6'7". The max height of a Jesse, however, is only 5'9". That's with boots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ages ago, I was involved with converting apartment buildings for the disabled that received State and Federal funding. The requirement at that time for panelboards was 48" max and 15" min height from the floor.

Other than the above, I have never found a minimum height requirement. I've looked because of the occasional panels I find in crawlspaces.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mmmmm,

Jerry Peck is down your way. It might be at his eye level. Seriously though, Jerry used to (probably still does) go on and on about how everything down Florida way has to be above flood stage. I suppose where you are they have a designated flood stage height and it's supposed to be above that. However, this particular house was placed well above any water high on a hillside. The only flood that will ever reach it will be a 2000 ft. high tidal wave caused by the planet killer that one day smacks this rock.

OT - OF!!!

M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, there is no height requirement for the box here. Now, dont go pickin on Jerry - I have known him for five years and have a lot of respect for him. He can be a little harsh sometimes, but he is the most generous person I know and is always wiling to help. BTW, he moved to the middle of the state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...