Electrical Equipment Access and Clearances

Clearances Around Electrical Panel Enclosures and Energized Equipment
1. Provide a clear working space in front of electrical panel cabinets and other equipment and enclosures that require access while interior parts are energized. Examples of other enclosures include air conditioner and furnace service disconnect boxes.
2. Make the clear working space at least (≥) 36 inches deep, and at least (≥) 30 inches wide (or as wide as the enclosure if it is wider than 30 inches), and at least (≥) 78 inches high (or as high as the enclosure if it is higher than 78 inches). Measure the clear working space from any exposed energized parts or from the cover in front of covered energized parts.
3. You may install service equipment and panelboards rated not more than (≤) 200 amps in existing buildings where the working space height is less than (<) 78 inches.
4. Provide enough clearance so that the enclosure door can be opened at least (≥) 90 degrees.
5. Do not allow any objects located above or below the electrical enclosures to extend into the clear working space more than (>) 6 inches beyond the front of the electrical enclosure.
6. Provide access to the clear working space. Do not block access with shelves, workbenches, or other difficult to move objects.

Clear Space Above and Below Electrical Panel Enclosures
1. Provide a clear space directly above and below electrical panel enclosures that is free from any components not associated with the electrical system. This space is intended for wires entering and leaving the electrical panel. Do not install plumbing pipes, HVAC ducts, and similar components in this space.
2. Provide a clear space that is at least (≥) the width and depth of the electrical panel enclosure and extend the clear space from the floor to the structural ceiling or at least (≥) 6 feet above the enclosure, whichever is lower.

Electrical Panel Prohibited Locations and Access
1. Do not locate electrical panels and circuit breakers and fuses in clothes closets, bathrooms, over stairway steps, or in spaces designated for storage.
2. Install electrical panels circuit breakers and fuses where they are readily accessible. Readily accessible means not moving objects or using ladders.
3. Install electrical panels and circuit breakers or fuses so that the circuit breaker handle or fuse is not more than (≤) 79 inches above the floor or ground when the center of the handle is in its highest position.

Electrical Panel Lighting
1. Provide an artificial light for service equipment and electrical panels installed indoors. The IRC does not specify how close the light should be to the equipment.