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Code for clearance around Breaker Box

Posted by bsspewer (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 28, 11 at 9:59

I'm in the early stages of putting up cabinets and countertops into my garage to turn it into a workspace. I've only just begun to plan it.

Before I go to deep into planning, I wanted to know how much clearance am I required to have in front and around the breaker box here in California (Hayward actually)?

Can it be between the upper and lower cabinets? In the backsplash area? Or am I not allowed to put anything in front of it at all?

I've tried doing Google searches and looking at my local city's website for code restrictions, but I must be typing in wrong keywords because I can't find a damn thing that's legible.. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Code for clearance around Breaker Box

Well, I shouldn't speak up so quick. I found this link: Panel Clearance

If I read that right, I don't need 30" to the left AND right, just a space that is 30" wide with the panel in the middle. I also shouldn't have anything in the vertical space of the panel, above or below.


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RE: Code for clearance around Breaker Box

30" wide total or the width of the panel whichever is greater.

Your clear area must extend to 6 1/2' or the height of the panel whichever is higher.

You can mount related stuff on the wall as long as it doesn't protrude more than 6"


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RE: Code for clearance around Breaker Box

You've got a link to the specifics, so follow that. As a general rule for planning, a full grown man needs to be able to walk up to the panel, not his his head on anything, not knock his knees into anything, and be able to service the panel without banging his elbows on anything. If you have to stretch, bend, reach, duck or anything similar, it isn't an appropriate spot for the panel.


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RE: Code for clearance around Breaker Box

We have a 'Michigan' basement. The total usable height of the wall is 30" and that is where the breaker box sits. The rest of the wall sticks out 18" all the way to the floor. So we have a ledge all around the basement 40" high. Is this acceptable?


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