Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Electrical panel

fartherhome's picture

Electrical panel (post #207111)

Is it ok to build a shallow closet in fron of the panel boxas long as the door is wide enough to access everything comfortably?

Said closet may only be about a foot deep and will have a door directly across from the panel box.



As long as the door has a 30" (post #207111, reply #1 of 9)

As long as the door has a 30" clear opening, it is OK. That can be hard to do with a 32" bifold door tho unless you lift the door out.  A 34" bifold works well if you can find one or use a 36.


Is that really code? (post #207111, reply #2 of 9)

I thought it was not permissible to have a panel box in a closet.  The idea being people would hang coat or clothes or build shelves in fornt of the box.  Of course a walk in closet would be different.  So is it really code to put it in closet?  I guess that is what you are saying. NO? 


You are talking about (post #207111, reply #3 of 9)

You are talking about 240.24(D)

(D) Not in Vicinity of Easily Ignitible Material. Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets.

If this is a dedicated equipment closet it is OK. We can't try to guess what the user might do in the future.



I actually did this in my (post #207111, reply #4 of 9)

I actually did this in my house. The interior of the closet is more like 40" wide with pegboard on both sides so I can hang things in there without encroaching on the 30" clear space required for the panel. We use it for storing batteries, electrical tools and extension cords.

I have my Christmas light timer, TV cable amp and phone punch down block in there too. 


To keep the inspector happy (post #207111, reply #5 of 9)

To keep the inspector happy you should make the closet very shallow, so that there's no realistic chance of storing stuff in front of the panel -- this is what the code is mainly concerned about.  A foot deep is probably fine.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Mine wanted it shallow, but (post #207111, reply #7 of 9)

Mine wanted it shallow, but also with vents in the bottom to allow convection. I think he was just messing with me (as he had done many times in the past), but like a good little homeowner I went along.

Electrical panel (post #207111, reply #6 of 9)

I've done it many times when the panel could not be located in an inconspicuous location.   I alway just made it 3-1/2" deep so there was never any question about it being considered a functioning closet..  Juct make sure the finished opening is a min. of 30".  I generally used a standard double 1'6" door unit

I lived in at least one town (post #207111, reply #8 of 9)

I lived in at least one town where it wasn't code to cover the pannel with anything, including having it in a closet - if it was permitted you'd fail and our inspector wouldn't care if it was on the final when he caught it - you'd have to either move the pannel or get rid of the closet.

If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)

That was certainly a rule the (post #207111, reply #9 of 9)

That was certainly a rule the AHJ came up with on his own. It is not part of the NEC.