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Egress from electrical equipment

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  • Egress from electrical equipment

    Many large service panels have hinged doors that lock open perpendicular to the gear. With minimal working space provided, these doors can prevent escape from arching equipment.
    I recall a requirement for a minimum 24" clearance around such doors but I can not find the code section.
    Am I looking in the wrong book?
    Help!!

  • #2
    Both the NEC and the IBC require that equipment rated at greater than 1200 amps have doors serving the room at least 24 inches in width that swing in the direction of travel as well as have panic hardware. Is this what you're looking for?
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    • #3
      No. I'm looking for a requirement to have a minimum of 24" clearance to get around a metal door attached to the service equipment and held open without having to touch that door which may be energized.
      If the equipment is aching and you have a door open on each side of you blocking your escape, what do you do?
      If you can't get away from the gear without touching it, you can't get away.

      Comment


      • #4
        110.26 (C) (2) 2008 nec

        Comment


        • #5
          = =
          The depth of the working space(s) around these electrical components is
          in Article 110.26(A)(1) & Table 110.26(A)(1), ...`08 NEC.

          * *
          Last edited by north star; January 20th, 2012, 13:44.

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          • #6
            Do you feel these code sections clearly include the distance around an open door?

            Comment


            • #7
              = =
              "Do you feel these code sections clearly include the distance around an open door?"
              Yes!.......The minimum distance is 3 ft. from the front of the electrical equipment......Also, Article 110.26(A)(2)
              provides for a minimum of 30 inches of working space from each panel.......They can always have more working
              clearance space, but in no case should there be any less than these listed minimums.

              = =

              Comment


              • #8
                My question is this:
                The required clearance is 3 ft from the front of the equipment.
                If the gear has a 3 ft door that latches in the open position perpendicular to the front of the equipment, is the working clearance now 6 ft from the front of the equipment? Is the front of the equipment now the edge of the open door?
                I fully agree with this application and interpretation, but I do not feel these code sections clearly express that requirement.

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                • #9
                  Excelent point retire09.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    = =

                    From the `08 NEC, Article 110.26(A)(2): " ...In all cases, the working space must be
                    of sufficient width, depth and height to permit all equipment doors to open 90
                    degrees......
                    I agree that the wording in ambiguous [ in the NEC ].

                    The working space is measured [ typically ] to the front of the equipment and not
                    to an open panel door [
                    <--- from Article 110.26(A)(1) ].

                    = =

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                    • #11
                      I think it would be a stretch to call the working space from the front edge of the open door. I understand your concern, but don't think you can get the from working clearances. JMHO
                      Arguing with an inspector is like wrestling with a pig in mud, pretty soon you realize that the pig is enjoying it!

                      This response brought to you by one of the paying members of the Building Code Forum.
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                      • #12
                        Greetings all,
                        In all of my years as a master electrician I have never heard of requiring measuring the clearance from the front of the door swing. I wouldn't go to the witness stand with that interpretation of the NEC or IBC.

                        BS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is this egress clearance around the open door not an obvious safety need that should be required regardless of how the code actually reads?
                          I feel that requiring this will absolutely meet the purpose and intent of the code and not to require it would fail to meet the intent.
                          Do we make it safe and functional or just compliant to the book as written?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            = =
                            Absolutely, ..."safe and functional" !

                            From [ `08 NEC ] Article 90.1 - Purpose: The purpose of this Code is the practical
                            safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of
                            electricity.

                            Are you the AHJ, ...designer, ...other?.....Your scenario seems like a no-brainer to me...
                            increase the working clearance.....Width & depth!

                            & &

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Article 110 Part II addresses the means of entrance and egress for an electrical room. In electrical rooms more than 6 ft wide with equipment rated 1,200 amps and above, there must be one means of egress at each end of the room. The doors must be a minimum of 2 ft wide and 6.5 ft high. The doors should swing out of the room and have panic hardware

                              “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”― Mark Twain

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