Laundry tub in front of electrical panel.

What is your opinion of this?

Is this dangerous and illegal?

Is this legal, but still dangerous?

Is this not really a big deal at all?

Write it up as limited workspace in front of electrical service panel and move on.

It will never get changed anyway but you will have made our client aware of the potential problem and your reason for concern.


Please go and edit your profile to include your location.

It will help all of us to give you the best answer.

I see you are in Ontario but I had to reverse look your phone number to find that out.

Thanks Michael. I will do that.

As for the picture.
My concern is not of the limited space. My concern is that the electrical panel is directly in front of water.

I agree this is NOT the best place to place a washtub. When I see this I usually recommend that there be a cabinet door installed over the top of the panel, to limit “spraying”

With the panel and enclosure door in place I don’t see the issue.

The code violation is workspace requirements but I never site code as I am not an AHJ.

Perhaps another Ontario inspector can give you a more local flavored opinion. :wink:

Had one 2 weeks ago, almost exactly the same and wrote it up just as Mr Larson stated,

Would you take the dead front off this panel or would you say it was unsafe or in an inaccessible location?

I’ve taken them off with less clearance than the one shown but it’s a judgment call.

Put your personal safety first when deciding.

It doesn’t meet requirements for accessiblilty. Don’t quote code until pressed on the issue, but I think the rquirements are 15" clearance to either side and nothing to floor and 36 of nothing in front. Don’t make reccommendations regarding cabinetry installations as has been suggested that would violate the code too. As for the safety issue with regard to the sink, I don’t think it matters as the only way to correct the other issue is to remove it or move the panel.

Here ya go…

I believe Brian is correct here as well as Mike, but as HI’s, I also believe we are diligently expected to point out the safety issue in this installation.
There is no safe way to work and repair this panel, and could pose a hazard to either the occupant or a licensed electrician.
Although not our job to cite codes, it can be mentioned that it does not meet the existing standards for a safe useable, accessible, and repairable installation, and may pose a danger to all that need access to this panel.
This installation might not even have been acceptable at the time it was installed.
Safe workable clearances around electrical panels have been around for a long time.
AHJ’ are not always privy to some of these safety issues and code standards in a lot of jurisdictions, and are exempt of being held liable for their mistakes.

We are not.

Make your concern in black and white.

Good find.


Marcel :):smiley:

I could just stand in the tub and take the dead front off, :smiley:

:mrgreen:Just make sure to fix the dripping faucet first.

Marcel :):wink:

Micheal is right, it won’t get changed, but it might need repair. I would definitely try to see inside the panel. The problem can be corrosion, steam rising from the sink and condensing on the cold metal. Even worse if there’s a dryer below the panel.

John Kogel

Inspected a new construction today and there was a slop sink installed in a garage just to the left of twin 200 AMP service panels. Approximate distance from the edge of the slop sink to the closest edge of the electrical panel was about 26".

The builder took out the sink and capped the supply and waste stubs just prior to the final village inspection, then afterwards re-installed the sink. According to IRC 3305.2 the clearance should be 30" wide. Technically this does not mean 30" from the sides of the panels. Still the installation and location of the sink bothers the hell out of me.

Does this meet code? Since I’m not a code enforcement official and just a lowly home inspector how would you all report on this?


That’s the diagram I was referencing as well. Clearance should be 30" wide, which could also be construed as 15" to either side from the center of the panel…

I do not think however when they came up with this that they ever intended or thought of someone installing a functional wet sink 2 ft away from the panel. There is “workspace” and then there is idiot space!

Again, how do you all interpret this as meeting or violating code and how would you report it? Or would you report it at all? Of course using language that does not quote or mention code…

John…what town is that in?


Northbrook, IL