Code Q&A: Overcurrent Device Limitations

Your most pressing National Electrical Code (NEC) questions answered

Q. What does the NEC have to say with regard to the limitation of locations allowed for the installation of overcurrent devices?

A. Here are four key requirements to keep in mind when choosing the location for overcurrent devices.

As per 240.24(C), overcurrent devices must not be exposed to physical damage [240.24(C)].

Overcurrent devices must not be located near easily ignitable material, such as in clothes closets [240.24(D)]. Note: Electrical equipment must be suitable for the environment, and consideration must be given to the presence of corrosive gases, fumes, vapors, liquids, or chemicals that have a deteriorating effect on conductors or equipment [110.11].

Overcurrent devices aren't permitted to be located in the bathrooms of dwelling units, dormitories, or guest rooms/guest suites of hotels or motels [240.24(E)]. Note: The service disconnecting means must not be located in a bathroom, even in commercial or industrial facilities [230.70(A)(2)].

Overcurrent devices must not be located over the steps of a stairway [240.24(F)]. Note: Clearly, it's difficult for electricians to safely work on electrical equipment that's located on uneven surfaces, such as over stairways.

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