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Breaker panel in coat closet

Discussion in 'Electrical Codes' started by Pcinspector1, May 1, 2012.

  1. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    R2 group apartment, plans have the breaker boxes inside the coat closets. If they meet the required height, width and depth would it be allowed?

    pc1
     
  2. Dennis

    Dennis Gold Member

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    Many believe it is fine if it is not near flammable stuff. For instance if the box were behind the door in a closet with no clothing around it it would be ok. Most inspectors literally interpret art. 240.24(D) to mean it is a violation. I have never done it and will not as long as the code stays ambiguous on the issue.

     
  3. Architect1281

    Architect1281 Gold Member

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    Electric panels require clear work and access areas we enforce that as i "At all times" as the code requires the area to be clear.

    Electrical Bob makes them put up a barrier or fence in the covered malls cause they stack crap to the ceiling as soon as we leave
     
  4. Gregg Harris

    Gregg Harris Saw Horse

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    Violation 240.24 makes it clear with an example of " such as close closets"
     
  5. jim baird

    jim baird Silver Member

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    PC,

    I can't imagine a licensed DP issuing plans for such arrangement.

    I actually saw one of these in a new SFD a cpl of years ago. Sparky flipped the panel in the wall and it worked out fine. It was supposedly one of those "customer wanted it this way" settings.

    I have run into the customer preference claim many times. Seems a lot of builders think that codes are consistent with the burger place's dictum, "have it your way."
     
  6. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    That's where the RDP has them, it will be on the plan review letter.

    Thanks for the code section help.

    pc1
     
  7. Dennis

    Dennis Gold Member

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    Gregg I quoted that section also but I gotta tell you it is not clear. It states such as clothes closets but it doesn't say they cannot be in a clothes closet if there are no combustibles around the panel.

    FWIW, this question was asked a few years ago to a member of the cmp- code making panel- and his response was that it did not exclude clothes closets and specifically stated if it were on an adjacent wall to the door where the door would swing up against it or on the other adjacent wall then he saw no issues with it. I think it was Jeff Sargent - one of the authors of the NEC handbook.
     
  8. Gregg Harris

    Gregg Harris Saw Horse

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    2008 NEC is when Clothes Closet was added to the definitions to help clarify 240.24(D) and by looking at 410.2 under the storage section of a closet helps to clarify if there is dedicated space for a panel.
     
  9. raider1

    raider1 Silver Member

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    410.2 has no bearing what so ever on 240.24(D). The definitions that are located in a .2 section of a specific article only apply to the article in which they are referenced.

    Also the definition of clothes closet does not affect 240.24(D) directly, as Dennis has pointed out 240.24(D) does not specifically state that a panel can't be installed within a clothes closet just that it can't be installed in the vicinity of easily ignitable material.

    Chris
     
  10. raider1

    raider1 Silver Member

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    Just to clarify, I don't believe Jeff Sargent is a code panel member but is employed by NFPA as a staff engineer and author of the NEC Handbook.

    Chris
     
  11. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    I don't think that there will be a space available in a coat closet that is not within the vicinity of coats. It has been pointed out that there are ways to place a panel in a closet but that is limited to a closet that has a wall that will not be in the vicinity easily ignitable material such as behind a door. That's not going to happen often without prior planning.
     
  12. Dennis

    Dennis Gold Member

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    I believe you are correct. He is on the engineering technical staff of the NFPA.
     
  13. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Now that is funny!!
     
  14. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    ICE brings up a good point, in that if the clothes closet is, lets say a big walk-in closet and the panel is in located in this closet and the shelving is far enough away meeting all the clearances, would this then meet the intent of the code requirements?

    pc1
     
  15. globe trekker

    globe trekker Sawhorse

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    A lot of variables to consider in placing a panel in a clothes closet.

    While the letter of the NEC does not prohibit the installation in a

    closet, most AHJ's (and inspectors) do not allow it, because a (typical)

    clothes closet is going to have combustibles stored/stacked

    everywhere. It IS designed to store stuff in there, ..combustible stuff!

    Even the (typical) shelving is combustible.

    In the larger sized (atypical) walk in closets, there is usually more

    room to potentially install a panel.

    So that an AHJ can state that the panel has been installed in a

    compliant manner, how would (the AHJ) meet that compliance?

    If the AHJ knows/thinks/believes that combustibles will be

    stored in the closets, how can we ensure the "proximity to

    combustibles factor"?

    FWIW, in the hundreds of of clothes closets that I have inspected

    and looked at otherwise; including the walk-ins, they have all

    been stuffed with combustibles, ..everywhere!
     
  16. Dennis

    Dennis Gold Member

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    Here is a scenario that may be okay on the wall adjacent to the door. I have seen this arrangement but most inspectors find it hard to allow a [anel in the clothes closet.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    Dennis, that's where I hang my silk and cloth ties! and the other side is where I hang my robe, everybody knows that!

    ;) Thanks for thinking out of the box, no pun intended.

    pc1
     
  18. codeworks

    codeworks Gold Member

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    as. a licensed electriciain and inspector, the example is quite clear (240-24 (E) shall not be located.........in clothes closets.
     
  19. pwood

    pwood Platinum Member

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    raider,'"

    what do you use as a definitive distance for" vicinity"? 1',2',3',4',5'?, i find it easier to not allow them in the vicinity of a clothes closet.:mrgreen:
     
  20. Dennis

    Dennis Gold Member

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    It does not say that at all. It can be taken many ways. It simple states that overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitable material, such as in clothes closets. The easily ignitable materials are in clothes clothes but not all areas of the closet have this material in the vicinity.

    I have no problem with your interpretation as that is how it is interpreted here. I am just saying it is not black and white. I think it is a rather odd rule as switches are allowed near the clothing. A panel with a cover generally is not a safety issue. I have seen switch boxes and receptacle blow more smoke then panels and yet we can have them in closets.
     

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