A functional, up to date electrical panel in your Tampa home is one of the most important aspects of strong electrical access. You could call the electrical panel (also known as the breaker panel, electrical access box, etc.) the heart of your home’s electricity. Or the brain. Neither is far off. And when a new one is installed or you get a heavy-up, there are some very specific requirements that will come into play.
Looking to learn a little bit more about electrical code and breaker panel installation requirements? Then you’ve come to the right place! Follow along with the certified professionals at Hoffman Electrical and we’ll soon have you NEC savvy.
Why the Strict Requirements?
As with any part of your home’s electrical, things need to be really, really exact in order to reduce risks. A bad installation or something that falls outside of the guidelines opens you up to risks of electrical fire, poorly functioning electrical, appliance loss, and even bodily harm. As electricians, we learn in very great detail how vital safety and procedure are, so when it comes to something as critical as a breaker panel installation in Tampa, things need to be handled with precision.
What Is NEC Code?
The NEC (National Electrical Code) is a series of regularly updated guidelines offered up by the National Fire Protection Association. You can basically look at it as a sort of play book, detailing the best, safest, and latest methods of installation, upgrades, and service regarding electrical. NEC guidelines aren’t necessarily law, since that’s handled state and local level, but NEC codes often become law.
The Guidelines for Breaker Panel Installation
So, now on to what these requirements actually are, and how they pertain to/are important to you.
- The working space or area around the breaker panel must be completely free of other installations. This is to ensure safe access and no interruptions of service or interference. Working space must be 6′ 6” high and 3 feet square away from the wall, with 30” width. By following this guideline, we can ensure that when the panel needs service, the area is safe, secure, and unobstructed.
- The handle of the highest grip can’t be more than six feet and seven inches from the floor. Again, this is mostly related to providing safe access to the panel.
- Breaker panels cannot be installed in small rooms or utility spaces. Something like a closet, utility room, laundry room, or bathroom is frowned upon. Not only for functional reasons, but because installing it in these places would interfere with the working space.
- Panels must not be blocked, either by additional home installations, furniture, or otherwise. Again, it’s all about access and safety, which could honestly be the working title for NEC.
- The NEC stipulates that a light be present in the room the breaker panel is located in, however doesn’t really dictate where the light is. We, however, would recommend a light be located near or at the panel, so you can see it when you need to access the panel.
Breaker Panel Services in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota & More!
When our specialists provide breaker panel installation or a heavy-up, we’ll work right with you to ensure code is followed, keeping your home both safe and optimally functional. Contact us online today to learn more!