Meter Box Location

Hi to all,

This was from an inspection yesterday. The things people do huh? I called this out for improper clearance, i.e. there should clearance from any permanent surface. Thing is, the last inspector that inspected this house ( when it sold just a year ago) didn’t call this out. I think a few good accidental hits with someones foot could loosen this box. It is just 30" away from the stairs.

Just thought it may be one for my “photo album” of defects :shock:


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I know the main PANEL has to have clearance but not sure about the meter. If it does, maybe someone can explain why as the homeowner shouldn’t ever need access to the meter other than to read it. Was the main shutoff in the meter box?

It is certainly ugly and you might say this exposes the meter to physical damage but I am not sure it is illegal. The PoCo might have the “damage” concern. Actually I am not even sure there is a lower height limitation on a breaker panel as long as you have headroom.

This is the best site I can find for now that has the best picture. I know a lot on this site does not apply and it is a NH site, but it gives a good pic.

That’s probably a POCO prohibited location for the meter, and even a dumb location in my estimation, but it appears to be completely legal as far as the NEC is concerned.


Got your PM greg but I am not sure I will be any additional assistance here…

Basically the height of the Meter Can ( we will deal with that first ) is not governed under the NEC in terms of electrically…it is subject to damage but again is the POCO’s concern probably and chances are if they have an issue with it they will hear about it on a meter reading…unless it is electronic.

As for panel heights....the only height issue is on the main breaker height.....6' 7" but as being too low......not really covered as Greg so correctly the only height issue I am aware of is with mobil homes and so on.....which has a 2' minimum height issue on the exterior panels.....which is not an issue here.

I would most certainly have it in your report, have an image of it just in case someone does break it and look to see if you said anything about it but while it is wrong in execution…it was probably right before they installed that deck…which then made it a poor choice…

So since HI’s deal in safety issues and prediction of future issues that are obvious…note it, remark to it and make them aware of this and that the power company could have issues with it but the way it stands now it is still complaint…

The only potential possible issue is the 30" and and 36" workspace clearance issue in the case of working on the system or servic change possibly…so it can be broad…

But you need to document it if for anything…to protect the possible!!! but not as a GLARING defect…

Thanks for your input guys. It wasn’t the original meter install that has me bugged, because as you stated, it is fine. Just the “after the fact deck”. I had put in my report that it was a safety concern due to the direct path of foot traffic.
As far as the clearance, I assumed that once you had a “new” permanent structural clearance issue(the deck) that it was a concern. Thanks for your thoughts on this guys! Just another one of those “what were they thinking” when they built this items?!

If I had an HI hat on I would be looking at that deck a lot closer since I doubt it was permitted and inspected.

GREAT POINT Greg…I doubt it as well…


I called the deck out as well…no flashing and insufficient lag bolts.

So what was it Greg? Sounds like you called out the meter can location to me.

Are you confusing yourself with meter cans and electric service panels?

What lag bolt schedule are you using?

Is that stair system >/= 3’ wide?