Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Poor position for service panels
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DougLanglois
Poor position for service panels

My 2x200A service panels are in a crap position.

Two waste water pipes run down between them, a couple of inches out from the wall.

Water pipes run down about 2 inches to the side of the panels, terminating in hose bibs (still next to the panels), which connect up to the laundry sink about 18 inches away.

The faucets for the washer are on an adjacent wall, about 4 feet from the panels.

You don't need to be a professional electrician to know that this is not a good setup...

I'm having my panels replaced, and I'm wondering -

1. Will a competent electrician even agree to install new panels so close to water sources?

2. Even if he does, is the inspector likely to blow his lid? Or maybe let any code violations slide on account of it being a replacement for existing work?

Recommendations? Ideas to discuss with my electrician?

Timothy Miller
Re: Poor position for service panels

Hi consider calling and asking the inspector first. Would it not be easier to re rout the plumbing then change out 2 panels?

DougLanglois
Re: Poor position for service panels
Timothy Miller wrote:

Hi consider calling and asking the inspector first. Would it not be easier to re rout the plumbing then change out 2 panels?

I need to change the panels - they are old Zinsco/Sylvania panels that are considered dangerous. That is the instigator of the problem.

Your idea of calling the inspector in advance is a good one - except our inspector is an a-hole. "My job is to inspect and pass/fail - not prescribe or consult on solutions". So basically you have to fix the problem as best you can and hope like hell he passes it.

DougLanglois
Re: Poor position for service panels

Oh and to further compound the problem, the washing machine and a wall cabinet are on the adjacent wall, about 6 inches in front of the panel...

The previous owner really abused this poor house.

DougLanglois
Re: Poor position for service panels
deadshort wrote:

You bought it there big boy........... Deal with it and whine with cheese and crackers.

Oh for sure, though I reserve the right to complain to all who'll listen, and many who won't. It's therapeutic ;)

I presume that I am in trouble with this panel replacement? I'm going to have to have either panel or plumbing moved, right?

Or could an inspector choose to 'grandfather' in the old installation?

This is my first home and I think I'm about to learn the hard way that the sins of previous owners fall on the head of the first person in the chain to have an inspector in....

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Poor position for service panels

Dough,
While having water lines close to the panel seems counterintuitive I don't believe it's a code violation.

Jack

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