National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Question:

Is working clearance in accordance with NEC Section 110.26 (A) required for a simple home breaker panel? The only internal access is when it is deenergized.

Thanks,

Tony Armendariz
A

Answer:

Hey Tony thanks for your question. Yes, the words "likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance while energized" in 110.26(A) are used to describe the conditions for requiring the specific working space dimensions. There is room for some judgment by the AHJ based on those words but panelboards need that working space.

You are correct, removing the cover should only be done while the panelboard is in an electrically safe work condition as described in NFPA 70E. Unfortunately, that is not always what happens.

It can also be demonstrated that certain tasks, such as testing or some troubleshooting might need to done while the panelboard is energized. See NFPA 70E, 130.2 for more information.

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