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#113742 - 09/21/02 08:11 PM Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
Webmaster Offline

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Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
This is an example of something we see all too much of. There was plenty of room to put this Boiler somewhere else but this was the spot chosen. There is roughly 12 inches between the piping and panelboard cover. Why is this bad?


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#113743 - 09/21/02 10:27 PM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
Joule-E Offline
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Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 23
boiling hot copper pipe could burn ya....

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#113744 - 09/21/02 10:27 PM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
Bjarney Offline
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Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Grossly inadequate working clearances are not always simple black-and-white situations. Code clearances have evolved over decades through injury and death, but there may be times when it’s difficult to flatly walk away from such a situation.

If there’s no fixing the root problem, insuring adequate workspace lighting, clearing all things practically movable, thoroughly covering all foreign components that encroach the code-mandated workspace with 600V-rated insulating material, and in particular, having a ready, qualified, experienced emergency-trained observer present during the work may be in order.

Although possibly seen as punitive by some, the effort and cost of such measures should be somewhat immaterial, say, when compared to a potential insurance payout.

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#113745 - 09/22/02 08:27 AM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
sparky66wv Offline
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Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
I said along time ago in a similar thread:

To guarantee working clearances aren't violated, you'd have to post an armed guard 24-7 until final punch-out.

Don't have a pix, but they even got me on the Greenbrier Spring House 9... (A 1200 sq ft basement and they put a workbench in front of my panel...)



My idea, which still won't be fool-proof, is to make a 30" x 36" "un-welcome" mat with the following words printed on it:

This space dedicated to electrical equipment as per National Electrical Code 110.16(A). Any violation will result in back-charge!

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 09-22-2002).]
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-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
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#113746 - 09/22/02 09:25 AM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
'wv66 — Maybe make the mat (and curtains!) with low-voltage Salisbury matting .

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#113747 - 09/22/02 05:46 PM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Great Idea! Offer a dielectric barrier to ground... I like it! On final punch-out, sparky takes it with him for the next job...

Hmmmm...

Market potential? Would y'all buy one?
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#113748 - 09/22/02 06:20 PM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
arseegee Offline
Member

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 321
Loc: Statesboro, GA USA
On a job right now having issues about clearances. 1200A MDP with three 200A panels and 125A computer panel. Have told the stuper...oops I mean super that I have to have 36" in front of MDP and clear to structural ceiling. They have tried to frame over me twice for a storage area. Finally I told them to frame a seperate room just for electrical equipment and leave it open to the ceiling. Well they framed it about 2 foot from the front of the MDP. I'm tired of arguing with em so I'll let the inspector bust em on it.

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#113749 - 09/23/02 08:51 AM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
arseegee, you present another problem that is at least as—if not more—critical. Attempting to do your work within panels or boards, with less-than-Code clearances, heavier circuits and increased short-circuit currents, {typically electrically closer to utility-owned gear} presents a significant personnel arc-blast/flash hazard. Although this has been studied and documented as a danger for decades, it is now newly added, formally enforceable language in US maintenance-oriented codes like NFPA 70E. It is referenced and enforceable by default by many state industrial-safety departments for all places of employment in their jurisdiction.

It may be difficult to withhold suggestion to the person responsible for plant facilities, {super or ?} that you would hate to see a governmental inspector and electric-utility representative show up unannounced at the same time, for they may choose to make an unscheduled service disconnection based on an “Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health” [IDLH] condition, where potentially expensive and time-consuming procedures may be required for restoration.

[Locate your portable generator (with full fuel can) and light stands now.]

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#113750 - 09/23/02 04:13 PM Re: Topic: >> No Clearance in Front of panel
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
On a recent job on an old house we had to move a 200 amp service due to the fact that it would be in the new shower otherwise. The builder told us where to put it, so we did. Came back 2 weeks later to finish the rough and found all the HVAC ducts running across the front of the panel(You couldn't even see the panel). That panel is now a very large j-box. It ticked me off, but if they don't mind paying twice I guess I can't complain.

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