Check 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.:
- 110.26 (F) Dedicated Equipment Space. All switchboards, panelboards, distribution boards, and motor control centers shall be located in dedicated spaces and protected from damage.
Exception: Control equipment that by its very nature or because of other rules of the Code must be adjacent to or within sight of its operating machinery shall be permitted in those locations.
- 110.26 (F)(1) Indoor. Indoor installations shall comply with 110.26(F)(1)(a) through (d).
- 110.26 (F)(1)(a) Dedicated Electrical Space. The space equal to the width and depth of the equipment and extending from the floor to a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) above the equipment or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower, shall be dedicated to the electrical installation. No piping, ducts, leak protection apparatus, or other equipment foreign to the electrical installation shall be located in this zone.
Exception: Suspended ceilings with removable panels shall be permitted within the 1.8-m (6-ft) zone.
- 110.26 (F)(1)(b) Foreign Systems. The area above the dedicated space required by 110.26(F)(1)(a) shall be permitted to contain foreign systems, provided protection is installed to avoid damage to the electrical equipment from condensation, leaks, or breaks in such foreign systems.
(Above from 2002 NEC)
While the code states no foriegn equipment may be in the dedicated equipment space, I have worked on jobs where this space was violated in more ways than:
1 - a humongous expansion joint which cut diagonally across 2 seperate 4000A switch gears
2 - Drain pipes (from rooftop and businesses located on the floor above) located directly above load centers/panelboards/distribution panels
3 - Water lines (supply and sprinkler systems) located directly over LC/PB/DP and SGs.
The soloution was to put in a metal drip tray. I did NOT agree with this solution as the drip trays did not have any provisions to drain the tray. The AHJs allowed the engi's "solution".
On a much smaller job (200A resi. service upgrade), the LC was relocated directly under the homes water supply line. The simple solution was to relocate the water line out of the way.
[This message has been edited by Celtic (edited 03-21-2005).]