Multiple utilities entering into same area. Is this okay?

Hello, I am still doing my training, but have been doing some strictly visual practice at some friends houses who have volunteered. I know there are a few obvious defects, but my questions are more about the safety of utilities being so close to eachother.

This closet housed the water meter, two electrical panels, the sump pump and natural gas lines.

Like I said, I am starting out, but feel like this is not common. Is this considered safe and why is it considered safe?
My instinct was to defer to an electrician, but would love feedback on what you think.

I apologize in advance for the blurry pictures.

not knowing your location
my wag

electrical workspace clearance appears compromised
panels appear improperly installed
over current protection device (OCPD), common lingo circuit breakers, shouldn’t have to operate against gravity to open

i’d write these & blur possibly others
with no expectation of any corrections occurring

The NEC (National Electric Code) does allow an electric panel to be mounted horizontally, but only if vertical mounting is not possible due to space limitations or otherwise impractical (NEC 240.33).
just my wag :wink:

Hope you are your loved ones are well.
Be safe.

No worries. Seen many utility rooms like the one you posted.
Johnathan, think safe working clearances per component or system, one at a time.

Thanks for your feedback. I will look further into the safe workspace clearances.

A little back story. As a child while playing hide and seek I sat on a water meter and it burst, giving the area a good power washing. I thought of this while inspecting this. It jumped out to me as a potential hazard. It makes sense that this would be ok, seeing as water pipes often run near panels. I guess these rooms are not meant for hide and seek though. Best wishes. Thanks all.

240.33 goes on to refer to 240.81 explained midpage

i’ll let those with a better understanding & more knowledge enlighten me or hash this out further

JD could go back & get the OCPD mfr info (he’d have to if those images were intended for a report) & look up their instruction or contact tech support for clarification

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Here is my take on this situation.
Given that there may be some work space issues, what is the possibility that any alterations would or COULD be done?
Think in realistic terms before going overboard with imaginary “could or might happen” situations.



Your advice is much appreciated!

doesn’t look like there was a reason to go all horizontal, looks like plenty of room to have gone vertical.


May fall into the “Dedicated Space” category as RM referenced in another thread.


You could be right but Alan. I just posted in reference to code.

Just to be clear. Circuit-breaker enclosures can be mounted horizontally if the circuit breaker is installed in accordance with 240.81. Section 240.81 specifies that ‘where circuit breaker handles are operated vertically’, the “up” position of the handle must be in the ON position.

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