Main Panel - Residential Home?

Can the Main Electrical be Panel be locked ?


I believe there’s some code about occupants having access to the disconnect so I’d say generally no but it’s not as if the police are running around arresting people for it.

I know in crappy parts of town the disconnects located outside will sometimes be locked. The best compromise I’ve seen is a big thick zip-tie through the lock hole. Keeps most kids and idiots without tools out but the fire dept. etc. would have no trouble getting in.

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I don’t recall anything in the NEC forbidding it, and last time I spoke with an electrician he didn’t have a problem with it. The fire department wont have a problem getting in there in an emergency.


Thanks …for the info

Thanks you …

If by main electrical panel you are referring to the service then the answer is no it cannot be locked unless there is another set of OCPD’s that are readily accessible. This is typical of apartment buildings where the service disconnect is adjacent to the meter but in a locked room and the panel is in the apartment.

230.92 Locked Service Overcurrent Devices. Where the service overcurrent devices are locked or sealed or are not readily accessible to the occupant, branch-circuit or feeder overcurrent devices shall be installed on the load side, shall be mounted in a readily accessible location, and shall be of lower ampere rating than the service overcurrent device.

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Can it be Locked? Yes, I know this because I have seen it on many inspections and then had to call a listing agent to get a hold of the seller to unlock it. (it sucks) Usually at panels mounted outside and they have had kids run around and shut of the power…(usually the next night after Summer Vacation Starts)

Should they be? No, although the fire department would have no problem quickly breaking in…The homeowner would probably still need to go grab the key and or large hammer/cutter in an emergency (when seconds count) Not wise…to lock them.


Thank you Larry

Thank you Robert