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Stairwell Panel


Brandon Whitmore
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Is there anything in the code book that says you can not install a panel in a stairwell. This morning's 1940 house had the panel installed in the stairwell on an outside wall. Picture a basement stairwell, with the top 4 steps being winders (panel between winders and straight run), turning and heading to the basement. There is no landing in front of the panel.

Allowed or not, I say this is a stupid installation. I thought the intent of the code for working clearances was so a person working on the panel had room to jump clear in case of emergency. I would not want to see someone fall backwards down the steps while working on the panel.

The panel was updated in '00 with permits pulled, and the installation was signed off by the city.

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Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Is there anything in the code book that says you can not install a panel in a stairwell. This morning's 1940 house had the panel installed in the stairwell on an outside wall. Picture a basement stairwell, with the top 4 steps being winders (panel between winders and straight run), turning and heading to the basement. There is no landing in front of the panel.

Allowed or not, I say this is a stupid installation. I thought the intent of the code for working clearances was so a person working on the panel had room to jump clear in case of emergency. I would not want to see someone fall backwards down the steps while working on the panel.

The panel was updated in '00 with permits pulled, and the installation was signed off by the city.

There's no rule against it.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Joe Tedesco

Here's a new rule that was added in the 2008 NEC, that will cover this situation when this edition is adopted by the jurisdiction.

"240.24(F) Not Located over Steps. Overcurrent devices shall not

be located over steps of a stairway."

There's a nice addition. Brandon's right, that's a lousy place to put a panel.

Brian G.

Kudos to the NEC on 240.24(F) [:-angel]

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Indeed a stupid location for panel location.. may follow the letter of the code, but common sense was not abided to.

Doesn't the code stipulate that panelboards must be installed with specific clearances and level footing for safe access? I would think the level footing would be contradictory to staircases.

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Originally posted by msteger

Doesn't the code stipulate that panelboards must be installed with specific clearances and level footing for safe access? I would think the level footing would be contradictory to staircases.

What I have is the 2005, and I can't find any mention of footing in it (so far).

110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment talks about a lot of different stuff, but no sign of "level" or "footing". It may not have previously occurred to them that some joker would mount one over stairs (or it could be somewhere else). [:-headach

Brian G.

A Foolish Assumption of Common Sense, Perhaps? [:-paperba

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Hi,

For years I've heard people talk about how this space in front of the panel is a safety issue and it's meant to provide someone a means of getting away from the panel. I'm starting to think that's just folklore; it seems more likely that electricians stuck that requirement in the code to ensure that someone working on the panel can do so easily. They might claim that it was put in there for safety but I think the bottom line is they don't want to have to be an acrobat to work on a panel, so they write a requirement into the law that mandates a space big enough for a man to stand in in front of the panel. Sure, the stairs is a dumb location, but all this talk about someone being electrocuted and then falling down the stairs and breaking his or her neck? I think some imaginations are running wild with speculation, here.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Originally posted by msteger

Indeed a stupid location for panel location.. may follow the letter of the code, but common sense was not abided to.

Doesn't the code stipulate that panelboards must be installed with specific clearances and level footing for safe access? I would think the level footing would be contradictory to staircases.

There has never been any such rule.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Joe Tedesco

Here's a new rule that was added in the 2008 NEC, that will cover this situation when this edition is adopted by the jurisdiction.

"240.24(F) Not Located over Steps. Overcurrent devices shall not

be located over steps of a stairway."

Thanks, Joe. Oregon will be adopting the '08 NEC as of April 1.

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by Joe Tedesco

Here's a new rule that was added in the 2008 NEC, that will cover this situation when this edition is adopted by the jurisdiction.

"240.24(F) Not Located over Steps. Overcurrent devices shall not

be located over steps of a stairway."

Thanks, Joe. Oregon will be adopting the '08 NEC as of April 1.

You are welcome! When push comes to shove I would use 110.3(a)(8) ...

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