Tips, Tricks & Resources For MEP Detailers

NEC Panel Clearance

Posted by Rob W on August 17, 2010

The National Electric Code requires min. 3’0″

there are several rules defined in section 110.26 of the NEC; for 600 volts or less it is:

  • left to right the minimum clearance is 30″ or the width of the equipment, whichever is larger
  • in height, there should be 6′ 6” minimum height to stand in front of the equipment (exception for dwelling units for panels 200 amps or less)
  • the depth in front of the equipment varies depending on the voltage and surfaces of the opposite wall behind you: if the voltage is 150 volts to ground or less the depth of clearance is 30″: as stated above; if the voltage is higher it depends of whether the opposite wall is insulated or not: if insulated the depth is 3′ 6″, if not insulated (such as cement block) the depth is 48″

I refer to these rules as the “refrigerator rule”: the clearance in front of the equipment in question requires a dedicated clear space roughly the size of a large refrigerator.

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