Sub panel need cover?

at a friends pre-listing inspection i saw they had a small sub panel that was installed when a new glam bath was put in the upstairs master. the sub panel is in a closet peeking thru a cutout in the wall accessable from the crawlspace behind it. (secured properly) hope this makes sense?

there is no cover on the panel and they asked me if it needed one befause a realtor told them it did. i told them that it didnt. any comments?


It needs one.

Depends on its listing. Also, if it’s in a **clothes **closet, it’s improper.

When would a panel not need a cover?

Are you referring to a dead front cover or a breaker cover?

Most panels have two covers - interior (dead front) and exterior. Several models have only a dead front cover and no exterior, hinged cover.

So it depends on its listing - indoor use or outdoor use.

By today’s standards.

I think it’s Home Depot here that sells a small security bar device to install over the panel so that flammable clothes don’t come into contact with it. After all, it’s going to be the rare individual who pays thousands of dollars to have the electric panel re-located from the closet to a bedroom wall or somewhere, especially in these older apartment-to-condo conversions.

I’ve always been curious, though, as to why the AHJ here will allow a complete make-over of an old apartment and allow it to be sold as a new condominium with the only thing not being brought up to date is the location of the electric panel. Doesn’t make sense to me.

I took that statement as no cover… or exposed breakers.

Russel…they are doing the same thing here…last month it was a $750.00 a month dump apartment…this month it has new interior paint with a slightly upgraded kitchen and bath for $300,000.00

You can still hear the neighbors upstairs walking across the ceiling and the people next door talking through the walls.

sorry for the confusion. first, this is a cloths closet. and it has a dead cover, just no hinged cover… actually there is no way to attach a hinged cover on it, didnt appear to be made that way.

imagine a panel fixed to the studs behind a wall with a square cut out so the panel (breakers) can peek out. you can open the crawlspace and look in and see the soffits, wiring and the back of the panel.


If it has a deadfront and location is out of reach for children I would not write it up.

Sorry if the manufacture made a cover and it is not there write it up just like you would write up a junction box with no cover .
Remember CYA miss it and you are wrong write it up and if they do nothing you have Coverd your A$$.
Roy sr

Except for the fact that it’s in a clothes closet.

I think it was '96 or '99 when clothes closet was specified, but location near combustibles and working clearance has been addressed for many years.

I think the biggest concern in this type of thing is the ARC issue that can cause a fire in the event of such a thing happening.

I see a few of panels in closets and basically it was pre-1996 mentality…but again was allowed at one point…just not so ALLOWED today…:slight_smile:

I think it is one of those things…if it is older and in the 1980’s and earlier era which obviously will cover most all of them since the panels should not be in the cloths closets today…lol…so I would not call if a defect I guess but more a ’ Safety Awareness " posting…

This is what i talk about when I say…“TACTFUL” explanation…you are making notice…not causing alarm…" ie: covering your A$$" and stating it for the record in the report…JUST IN CASE…

But by no means is it something a SELLER should upgrade just to agree to sell the house…this is why you do not make it so alarming…just state it if you MUST…as a safety point and let THEM make the choice…

While I DONT LIKE IT…calling anything like this a defect could slam ya in the eyes of that seller and the agents involved…

Solution…tell them to take out the closet hangers…relabel the room a storage room…provided their is proper clearance as Jeff pointed out and be done with it…

RR…I think alot of older places also that have upgrades tend to want to spend less on the electrical…so what they do it upgrade some of the branch…then relocate the closet area…and then relabel the room the panel is in…thus getting around the code requirement upon upgrade.

thanks for the thoughts guys!