Replacement/updated panel questions

If a panel gets updated (and assuming permits were pulled) and say it’s improperly located by today’s standards, like in a bathroom, can you normally just replace the panel in the current location or would it have to be moved to an appropriate location by today’s standards? TIA.
Additionally, does the electrician have to verify circuits when updating panel? e.g. the old panel had a circuit for the refrigerator, entire kitchen, and living room on one 20 amp breaker. Obviously wouldn’t fly by today’s standards, but does an electrician have to do anything about it when updating/replacing a panel? Again, TIA.


There will be a different answer depending on how things are enforced in a jurisdiction. The NEC had only a few instances where things need to actually be upgraded like GFCI and AFCI protection. Here in NJ we have a separate rehab code where most things can be replaced without the need to (using your example) move the panel to a code complaint location.

For a service upgrade branch circuits do not require upgrade.

Since you are in Ohio I will give you a short answer. No.

Also since you are in Ohio you may contact me and I will try to help you if you can provide me more info.

The AHJ normally will only look at the work being performed. In Ohio, unless there is a hazard, one that will happen in the next 5 minutes, the AHJ can not make you change anything.

If approvals (permits) were obtained then you most likely will have to comply with:

**"314.2.2 Alterations, repairs and additions. **Where alterations, repairs or

additions requiring an approval occur, smoke alarms shall be installed, as[FONT=Times New Roman]

required for new construction, as follows:


  1. When alterations or repairs are made to spaces described in items 1 and[FONT=Times New Roman]

2 of Section 314.3, smoke alarms shall be provided in those areas.

2. When one or more sleeping rooms are added to or created in existing[FONT=Times New Roman]

dwelling units, the new sleeping rooms and the immediate vicinity outside

each sleeping room shall be equipped with smoke alarms.


**1. Work involving the exterior surfaces of dwellings, such as the

replacement of roofing or siding, the addition or replacement of

windows or doors, or the addition of a porch or deck.

  1. Installation, alteration or repairs of plumbing or mechanical


This may or may not require AFCI breakers depending on how the smoke detectors are installed.

Can you see how complicated this is becoming? Do you want to go down that path?

Please try to report on what you know to be a DEFECT. If you are unsure then tell your client that further investigation is required.

Please read this:

(B) The “practice of electrical inspection” includes any ascertainment of compliance with the Ohio building code, or the electrical code of a political subdivision of this state by a person, who, for compensation, inspects the construction and installation of electrical conductors, fittings, devices, and fixtures for light, heat or power services equipment, or the installation, alteration, replacement, maintenance, or repair of any electrical wiring and equipment that is subject to any of the aforementioned codes.

Lawriter - ORC

Like I said if you need help I am willing to help any Ohio Home Inspector. Just send me an email, and please watch what you say. Its your @$$ on the line not mine.

I am going to make as many meetings on Ohio’s new law as I can. I want you to be able to inform clients on electrical issues. But be prepared that you will no longer be permitted to inspect the inside of an electrical panel or comment on its proper installation.

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