obstructed panelboard in a store

What’s Wrong Here? Hint: Out of Sight. Out of Mind. Out of Reach.

Sept. 28, 2023
Think you know how this installation violates the NEC?

Hint: Out of sight. Out of mind. Out of reach.

With the storage shelves and all the sale items impeding access to the panelboard and all the circuit breakers inside of it, hopefully this shop owner never needs to access those circuit breakers in an emergency. Section 240.24(A) requires overcurrent devices to be readily accessible. That is certainly questionable for this installation. Section 240.24(D) prohibits overcurrent devices from being installed near easily ignitable materials. There is clothing hanging right in front of this panelboard! Performing maintenance, inspections, and troubleshooting in this energized equipment could also pose some risks too. Section 110.26(A) requires clear space to be maintained in front of this equipment to provide a safe working area for service personnel working on this energized equipment. Unfortunately, violations of these working space requirements are an all-too-common problem that I regularly see. 

About the Author

Russ LeBlanc | Owner

Russ started in the electrical trade as an apprentice in 1985. He worked his way up to become a Journeyman Electrician and then eventually became a Master Electrician and Licensed Construction Supervisor. In 1999 Russ become an Electrical Instructor for The Peterson School of Engineering in Massachusetts where he developed his passion for teaching, and quickly became Department Head of Electrical Instruction. Russ has taught thousands of apprentices, electricians, engineers, inspectors, and other electrical professionals during his career as an instructor. He continues to provide electrical professionals with Electrical Code seminars, Arc-Flash Awareness training seminars and educational material through his LeBlanc Consulting Services in North Reading, MA whose specialty is educating electricians. He has been an active member of the NFPA Electrical Section and has authored hundreds of National Electrical Code proposals and comments which have become Code rules to improve the safety for the electrical industry. Russ is also an IAEI certified Electrical Inspector.

Please visit www.russleblanc.net for more information.

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