Toilet in front of panel

Hoping someone can clarify this for me. When my son purchased his house, there was a toilet located in front of the panel. You are still able to access panel. The inspection at time of purchase didn’t mention the toilet. In fact it checked that there was access to panel. On selling the house, the different inspector pointed out toilet and listed it as a safety hazard and defect. House was built in 1974. Was this acceptable practice in 74 and grandfathered? What is the proper way to report this situation? Thanks for you help.

Under the current NEC the toilet would be in the required working space for the panel. If it’s been there for 45 years then IMO it is what it is. You are probably not legally compelled to move either the toilet or the panel but then the buyer might not buy the house either. I don’t have access to my 1972 NEC at the moment.

1 Like

Not the safety hazard your thinking. It’s an electrical code issue about panel clearance.

Call your AHJ. They are the only one that can answer this question. None of us here, are there.

Where is your Son’s house located?

Beside clearance, NEC [230.70(A)(2)] doesn’t permit the service disconnecting means to be installed in a bathroom.
NEC 240.24(E) prohibits overcurrent devices, other than supplementary overcurrent protection, from being located in bathrooms in dwelling units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels.

Hope that helps.

I took a look at the 1965, 1968, and 1971 NEC version and yes in all three versions the working clearances were required by the code. Back then it was 30" of depth and 30" of width in front of the panel. Unfortunately the fact that the first inspector missed this issue when your son bought the home it does not make it a non-issue for the current buyer.

Robert brings up a good point about the bathroom, although it would need a toilet and a sink to qualify as a bathroom.

NE Wisconsin

That is not and never has been acceptable.