National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Electrical Power Panel-Code for space in front of panel, over panel, Plumbing pipes over Electrical panels.

Jeff Teeter



Hey Jeff thanks for your question. Access and working space for electrical equipment operating at 1000 volts or less must be provided and maintained as stated in 110.26. Equipment that is likely to need examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance -while energized, must have working spaces that meets the dimensions in 110.26 (A)(1) through (A)(4). These subdivisions include minimum depth, width and height dimensions based on voltages to ground and specific conditions.

Switchboards, switchgear, panelboards and motor control centers must be provided with dedicated space as stated in 110.26(E). This space applies up to 6 ft above and for any space that exists below the equipment to the floor equal to the depth and width of the equipment for indoor installations as stated in 110.26(E)(1). Foreign equipment such as plumbing piping is not allowed in that space.

ABOUT CQD: NECA’s Code Question of the Day (CQD) is a leading National Electrical Code® forum for NECA and the industry. The CQD generates a lively dialogue and relative practical and Code-based responses to an ever-increasing and interactive audience.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All answers are based on the latest edition of the National Electrical Code®, unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition. This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC®. Any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, or any technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.

ABOUT CHARLIE: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Charlie was also a member of NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting. Charlie’s experienced team of industry experts keep the CQD dialogue and discussions active and informative in the spirit of the man himself, as he wanted.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. Visit for more information. NEISÔ can be purchased in three formats: as paper books, on CD, or as electronic downloads.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS: NECA publishes valuable electrical safety books and CDs for the industry. Visit to view or purchase NECA safety products.

 CONTACT US: To submit a Code question, subscribe, or unsubscribe from this list, please e-mail: