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A residential electrical panel installation must be carefully considered. The National Electrical Code determines where to place this panel, and the requirements provide the highest level of electrical safety. Call Safe Electric if you are constructing a new home or need to move or replace an existing breaker panel. We are well versed in these requirements to ensure your breaker panel box fully complies. However, we also feel you should know the basic requirements, as it is your home.

Factors to Consider When Installing or Moving an Electrical Panel

When determining the best location for electrical panel installation, safety must be the top priority. Consult with the utility provider to learn where they feel you should install this panel. Often, this location is the closest attachment point to the utility lines. Ensure our electrician can reach the panel without difficulty if they need to work on it in the future. Doing so saves you time and money. 

NEC Code Requirements for Electrical Panel Locations

Current National Electrical Codes dictate where a homeowner or electrician can install new electric panel boxes and where they can move them if relocating a residential electrical panel becomes necessary. A homeowner must know the best location for the electrical panel to ensure it doesn’t need to be moved once the electrician installs it. 

Our electricians at Safe Electric know the answer to “where should electrical panels be placed?”, to comply with the NEC. Every job they complete fulfills the requirements for these panels because we don’t want our customers to have any problems in the future. 

Prohibited Locations for Electrical Panels

In the past, electricians would often install breaker panels in closets, behind refrigerators, in cabinets, and in other hidden locations throughout the home. This is no longer permitted. In addition, the code prohibits electricians from installing an electrical panel in a pantry, small storage room, or greenhouse. You cannot place the panels in a cubby or behind large appliances. If the panel is to be installed under stairs, the area must offer at least 6’5” of clearance. The homeowner needs to know all installation requirements for the panel, such as the clearance requirements. We are available to answer questions regarding permitted locations for electrical panels. The requirements can be confusing, but we know exactly where to install the panels. We love what we do and will happily share our knowledge with you. 

Electrical Panel Clearance Requirements

To comply with the National Electrical Codes, this panel must be four feet off the ground. The center grip handle of the highest circuit breaker must be 6’7” from the ground or lower. Otherwise, the panel isn’t compliant. 

In addition, a breaker panel is only compliant when it has a minimum of 30” clearance around the panel. There must be at least three feet of workspace clearance in front of the panel, and the homeowner needs to be able to open the door at least 90 degrees. 

If the panel installation doesn’t meet these clearance requirements, it does not comply with the NEC. We can also help if it is determined your current installation isn’t in compliance. This may be an issue in older homes, and the panel will need to be moved if renovations are being done to the home. 

Where are Electrical Panels Located? 

Electricians today believe the best location for electrical panel installation is in a garage or an unfinished basement. Any room, however, that meets local building codes and NEC requirements is ideal for this project. Once in place, the service panel must be accessible. If the occupants of the building cannot get into the panel when needed, authorities won’t approve the installation project. 

This panel must remain safe from physical damage, and it cannot be anywhere near flammable materials. Our electricians will never install the panel in a bathroom or at the top of stairs, as the NEC prohibits installation of an electrical panel in these locations. 

The Best Location for Electrical Panel Installation

Our electricians often find the best location for electrical panel installation is in a garage, basement, hallways, entryway, or large storage room. When choosing this location, they look for an area that isn’t exposed to high humidity levels or excessive moisture. In addition, they ensure there are no obstructions that could interfere with access to the panel. 

The proper installation of the electrical panel is of great importance. This device controls the flow of electricity in the home. For this reason, it is best to leave all breaker panel work to a professional. Our team at Safe Electric is here to help with this or any task related to your electric system. Call us today to schedule your project.