When it comes to building a closet, there are a lot of things to put into consideration. The very first thing you need to consider is the available space for the closet. Knowing what space you have will allow you to make certain crucial decisions, such as whether or not to put a sliding closet door.
Another important factor to consider when building your closet is the exact location you’re planning to build the wardrobe and the things around it. That said; is it ideal to build a closet around an electrical panel?
According to a section of the National Electric Code, (or NEC), it’s illegal and unsafe to build your closet anywhere close to where there are overcurrent devices, such as your electrical panel. The only exception to this rule is if the closet doesn’t contain any easily ignitable material.
Where exactly are electrical panels not allowed in your home? Is it okay to build my closet around an electrical panel? How much clearance is required around an electrical panel? As you read through the rest of this article, you’ll find answers to the frequently asked questions above.
Where are electrical panels not allowed in your home?
Here’s what you need to know about electrical panels
Electrical panels, which are also called breaker panels, are metal boxes designed with a door. Most times, they are installed inside a wall, in an out-of-the-way corner of your home.
The primary purpose of the breaker panels is to connect the main power line to your home. The panel’s function also includes distributing the right amount of currents (no over-currents) to your home circuits.
When it comes to installing electrical panels around your home, the very first thing you need is to consider the location. That’s so because certain places around your home are restricted areas for breaker panels.
Electrical panels, as earlier mentioned, have doors that protect the contents inside of them. Behind the door, you’ll find several different things, including wires and switches. The switches are the breakers, they actually work when there’s an overload of current.
Where to install breaker panels
Furthermore, as previously stated, out-of-the-way parts of the home are where the electrical panels are best located. Other safe areas to install the electrical panels include basements, storage rooms, laundry rooms, garages, and outside your apartment.
Where exactly are electrical panels not allowed?
You already know the safest place in your home to install your electrical or breaker panels.
According to the National Electric Code, or NEC, certain rooms, such as the bathroom, powder rooms are not safe and allow for the installation of electrical panels. In addition to that, you need to also understand that cloth closets and rooms with little or no room for electricians to work on the panels are restricted areas for the installation of the breaker box.
That’s not all; if the location of the electrical panel is far away from the service entrance, then the location is not ideal for the installation of the electrical panel.
Why the restrictions?
In case you’re wondering why there are restrictions on the placement of your breaker panel, here’s what you need to know; the rules and restrictions are meant to keep your home and the installation safe. You need to also understand that some areas may be okay for the installation but common sense will tell you it’s not normal.
Earlier, I mentioned that clothes closets are not ideal for the installation of electrical panels. Here’s why; the simple reason for that is because the closets will contain dry clothes and contents – these are easily ignitable materials that the NEC code frowns against.
Can I build a closet around my electrical panel?
A closet is an enclosed space, which is usually designed with a door. Its primary function is to help store your valuable items, including clothes, shoes, and jewelry.
As you already know, when it comes to building a closet, one of the factors to put into consideration is the location.
Earlier, in this post, I already mentioned why it’s not ideal to build your closet around an electrical panel. I’ll mention it again; the simple reason for that is that clothes, which make up most of the stuff in a closet, are ignitable materials. They are not recommended, according to Section 240-24(d) of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Here’s what the regulation says regarding the installation of electrical panels;
“Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitable material, such as in clothes closets.”
The only way it’s ideal for you to build your closets around an electrical panel is if the space is not going to be used to store ignitable materials. This way, it’s safe to say that you can build your closets pretty close to your breaker box.
How much clearance is required around an electrical panel?
Here’s a frequently asked question, what amount of clearance is ideal around electrical panels?
Well, according to experts, the standard clearance you should have around your electrical panel is 36 inches deep. The figure should be measured out directly from the front of the breaker box.
As for the width, it should be about 30 inches wide and measured directly from the center of the panel. That’s not all; speaking of the measurement of the ceiling from the floor, where the box is located, it should be about 78 inches high.