- Q.In a new
house I am building, I would like to locate the electrical
service panel under a counter. This would put the top of the
panel at a height of about 34 inches. Is there a reason this
shouldn’t be done?
Rex Cauldwell responds: There are more reasons not to do
this than I can cover in this limited space. First of all, you
cannot put the panel under anything. You cannot put it over
anything. You cannot put it next to anything. There must a
clear space in front of the panel for an electrician to stand.
The space must be kept clear for at least 3 feet in front of
the panel, and for 30 inches left to right in front of the
panel. There must be at least 6 feet 7 inches of headroom,
measured from the floor to the ceiling. The main breaker can be
no higher than 6 feet 7 inches above the floor.
In your case, locating the panel
under a counter would require an electrician to work on his or
her knees when working in the panel. For this reason alone, the
inspector would probably fail you.