Access panel in garage with circuit wiring exposed

This home had an access panel in the garage that was near the main service panel that was mounted at exterior wall of home. Is this allowed? See photo?


I don’t see why not. It’s sometimes referred to as a “doggy door”, and they are used a lot in commercial buildings to allow access to water shut offs or electrical junction boxes, etc. I don’t remember seeing anything in any code book that says you can’t use them in a residential setting. It’s actually pretty smart if you are going to be adding circuits down the road.

The access panel shouldn’t be a problem unless there is a specific fire rating required for that garage wall. The way that those NM cables enter the panel is not code compliant.

As long as there are NO SPLICES OR TERMINATIONS it should be okay, from an NEC perspective. If there are some NFPA or other local or regional building code concerns regarding fire and or smoke ratings, and even then, I cannot see the access panel door well enough to ascertain if it is fire rated and what the fire rating is. It beats leaving that spaghetti hanging out of an unfinished wall. If I were an electrician needing to add a circuit, that would make life easier for me. My main concerns would be abrasion, cutting or other physical damage risks to the NM cables, from the OSB or whatever that sheeting is, if it gets ragged around the edges, & future misuse. The conduit chases appear to have bushing on them, which is a good thing. Again, no splicing any wiring or terminating old abandoned runs behind that access door, unless there is a listed & approved junction box installed behind that access door, with approved fittings, or NM cable entrances, and it is accessible as per the NEC’s requirements. Unfortunately, little things like this are a little too tempting to DIYers, handymen and even some hack electricians to be misused, as a junction box.