new panel wired from old

Inspected a house yesterday. Old house from the late 70’s but a remodel addition done within the last 10 years. The new panel is in the attic, the old downstairs. The breaker in the old panel from which they ran the new panel is 125 amp breaker, but the new panel main disconnect breakers are labeled 200 amps. So it appears this new panel is 125 amps. Is there any issue with this setup? Sorry if my description isn’t that clear. The old panel is a cluster so I kinda got lost while looking at it.

No problem other than the “new” panel is a sub panel, which requires isolated neutrals, and egc’s bonded to the enclosure.

I don’t know when it came about, but today’s code prohibits panel boxes in attic and crawl spaces.

Joe I was thinking along those lines while reading the original post. Would love to hear others feed back on this. It may make a difference if the attic was a finished space.

Not a finished space. Here it is.

attic panel.jpg

Just called my AHJ and he said it is allowed as long as clearances around the panel are met and it is illuminated. That’s here in Shreveport, La. HE said he doesn’t prefer them there but they are allowed.

Thanks for the info Colton.

The “Sub” panel in attic still needs to have the grounds bonded to the panel, and neutrals isolated from ground/panel, like Jeff P. mentioned.

He is wrong.

E3705.7 Location of overcurrent devices in or on premises.
Overcurrent devices shall:1. Be readily accessible.
2. Not be located where they will be exposed to physical
3. Not be located where they will be in the vicinity of easily
ignitible material such as in clothes closets.
4. Not be located in bathrooms.
5. Not be located over steps of a stairway.
6. Be installed so that the center of the grip of the operating
handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest
position, is not more than 6 feet 7 inches (2007 mm) above
the floor or working platform.


  1. This section shall not apply to supplementary
    overcurrent protection that is integral to utilization
  2. Overcurrent devices installed adjacent to the utilization
    equipment that they supply shall be permitted to
    be accessible by portable means.

E3705.8 Ready access for occupants. Each occupant shall
have ready access to all overcurrent devices protecting the conductors
supplying that occupancy.


ACCESSIBLE, READILY. Capable of being reached quickly
for operation, renewal or inspections, without requiring those
to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove
obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, etc.

Commentary: A student of or person experienced in using the International
Building Code® (IBC®) may automatically
think of accessible and readily accessible in terms of
something being accessible to physically disabled persons.
The definition in the IRC as it pertains to equipment
has not been a part of building codes in the past
but has been peculiar to electrical code requirements
and also more recently included in mechanical and
plumbing codes. The difference between accessible
and readily accessible is very important in applying
code rules.

The definition here is also in Section R202 of this
code. Where the code states that equipment must be
readily accessible, it means that a person can walk up
to the equipment or device and work on it or operate it
without climbing or removing any obstacles. Disconnect
switches and panelboards containing overcurrent
devices must be readily accessible. They should be located
where it is not likely that someone will store materials
nearby that could block access (see commentary,
Section E3405.4).

I agree, that panel is not accessible.

One more thing: insufficient clearance. It does not appear to have 6’6" of vertical clearance immediately in front of the panelboard.

Good point Joe. The only debatable issue is that it is a walk in attic door accessible from the second floor hallway, full size door. Does that represent accessible?

I don’t see a problem with the panel in the attic. For existing installations the 6.5’ height requirement is waived.

Why wouldn’t this be readily accessible if there is a permanent walk in entrance leading to the attic?

From the NEC:

Perhaps not inspection report worthy since it’s a walk-through door. I didn’t realize that. I wouldn’t allow it in new construction as an AHJ because of the possibility of it being blocked by storage.

When was the clearance requirement of 6’6" 1st adopted? I understood that this addition was done within the past 10 years.

I couldn’t see the floor on my tablet, but with the floor and a walk-through door, I would call it accessible.

The access to the panel could be blocked just as easily in a basement with the proper clearances. Potential lack of access is no reason to fail a panel.

The clearance requirement is violated by the duct on the walkway in front of the panel.

Why would you want the electrical panel in a oven? In La the attic temps must reach 140+ if not properly ventilated Just asking:shock:

Not sure but if I remember correctly it has been in the NEC for more than 10 years.

I see a few problems with the subpanel. The 200 amp main is fine if the lugs are listed for use with the smaller 125 amp conductors. There are two neutrals terminated on the EGC bus on the left side which should be moved to the neutral bus on the right (the jumper between the two bus bars has been removed and the EGC bus is bonded to the enclosure by the green screw). Same for the EGC’s on the neutral bus. The feeder neutral lacks re-identification as well as the feeder EGC. Anyone see anything else?