can I hang a picture over the breaker panel door?

talley_sue_nycFebruary 23, 2014

I have my circuit-breaker box in the hallway outside the bathroom. You don't really look at it until you're exiting the bathroom, so it's not -that- obtrusive.

But I was wondering: Can I hang an artwork canvas over it to cover it, if I wanted to? Or is that against code, to have the box obscured like that?

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Look up the code requirements for where you live - state, county and/or city. They are usually available on-line.

They may say OK, they may require it be exposed.

Paint it the same color as the wall and it will vanish.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:11PM
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I'm in NYC (as my user name indicates). Is there any chance someone knows the code? I can't imagine how long it would take me to look through it and recognize that one little point.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:42PM
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So long as the picture can be lifted and removed without tools, I can find no violation of the NEC. NYC codes?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:57PM
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I think NYC is full-on NEC.

Thanks, bus_driver.

If I wanted to look myself to check, can you suggest what section of the code I should look in? Or a term to search on?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Realistically, as long as you have ready access to it, I don't see the problem. You know where the panel is, and, in case of a fire, the firemen are not going to be running around inside looking for a breaker box anyway. I'm very safety conscious, but I've got mine covered with a picture and I don't consider it a risk. It's not like the code folks are going to be knocking on my door to make sure that my panel is in plain sight.

It's a problem when people do stuff like put a cabinet or a freezer in front of it so that there's not ready access. If you do decide to hang a picture, just make sure you don't drive a nail into one of the many cables that are in the wall and may be in close proximity to the back of the sheetrock.

If you are still not comfortable doing this, call your local permitting authority.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:30PM
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Good reminder about the nail--thanks! If I do this, I think I'll stick w/ a Command hook--or maybe Command velcro-like picture-handing strips, so that the canvas isn't dangling.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:08PM
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How can there be anything in building code about temporary coverings? I don't understand the question. You are not permanently covering something.

Building code can for example preclude an outlet from being in a shower, but it can't stop you from running an extension cord into the shower if you're stupid enough to do so....

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:47AM
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