Where Can I Install My Breaker Box?
December 10, 2007
Can the electrical panel be installed in the bathroom of a residence?
The short answer is no. The National Electrical Code® (NEC®) does not permit the installation of a breaker box in bathrooms, linen closets, paper storage closets or clothes closets. A breaker box shall be readily accessible and shall be installed so that the center of the grip of the operating handle of circuit breaker, when in its highest position, is not more than 6 ft 7 in. above the floor or working platform. A breaker box is also required to be installed in a location where it is not subject to physical damage.
A NEC® violation that I see a lot is people storing "stuff" in front of their breaker boxes. You are required to have 3 feet of working clearance in front of your breaker box at all times.
I typically install my breaker boxes in a garage, mechanical room or unfinished basement. I have also see them installed in bedrooms, hallways, laundry rooms, pantrys and under stairs. You are also permitted to install a breaker box in your living room, dining room and kitchen.
It is usually preferred to have the breaker box blend into the room when installing one in a hallway, living room, dining room, kitchen or bedroom. Your are permitted to paint the cover to match the wall. I have also seen several people cover a breaker box with a picture. If you do this, be sure the picture can be removed quickly in a emergency. I went to a house one time and I had to remove 6 screws to take down a picture that was covering a breaker box.
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