W/H Clearance from Main Panel

Just want to get your thoughts, Am I correct that the water heater should be moved for proper Main panel clearances. I believe that the the 30 inch clearance is not from the center of the panel is that correct ? Thanks for your input !!

Working space.


Looks okay with what I can see from here, John…


Correct, the 30" minimum is not determined from center of panel. It can start at either side, as long as there is 30" width and 36" depth.

So if there is adequate space to right of this panel it should be OK, hard to tell from angle of photo.

Hmmm…alot of images so I will just use my “verbiage” approach…lol

I can’t tell via the image but if you have a minimum of 30 inches left to right…and that panel enclosure is within that 30 inches…then you are ok. If anything protrudes into that 30 inch wide( up to 36 inches out from that 30inch area as well) area then it would be a concern. Obviously you are not quoting codes so I won’t go down that road. However, not having a proper working space is a serious issue many inspectors overlook.

Now look at the images and it may be just a little clearer for you since i set the stage.

No wait…Mr. Currins set the stage…I was too slow…:wink:

It does have the 30 inches to the right of the panel !!

So if if from the LEFT side of the panel you measure 30 inches to the right and you have nothing in the way then you are all good. As Mr. Currins stated, as long as you have 30 inches the panel enclosure can be located anywhere in those 30 inches…to the left of it, the right of it or slam jam in the middle of it.

You just don’t want anything else in that 30 inche space…other than your panel. This 30 inch space also extends out 36 inches as well…think of it as if you created this 30" x 36" box…it must sit in front of the panel and nothing else can be within it’s domain…Does that explain it a little better?

How about if it’s protected inside a cabinet?:p:p

Hays Inspection 066.JPG

Hays Inspection 070.JPG

Yes it does, And thank you all for the comments it just surprises me that plumbing lines can be that close to the panel and be aceptable under the current guide lines.

The cabinet encroachs on the work space and is creaating a violation.


That’s a safety enhancement for a Stab-Lok. :smiley:

John at least you can get the panel cover off.

Yesterdays wasn’t so easy.

I hear you up hear there in cabinets and in the bathrooms, They just dont care LOL !!

I have a related question…

Have an inspection scheduled next week, and my client states that he noticed that the electrical panel is positioned above the stove top.

Before even looking at it, this does not sound correct. Even if the clearances on the sides and directly in front are within the 30" and 36" range, does this seem like a safe practice?

I would think not and even before doing the inspection, I am prepared to call that out as such.

Please…provide some input and relative standards that I may not be aware of.



You cannot have the depth clearance if the range is in front of the panel. You probably also have a range hood impinging on the workspace.

I would inspect the electrical panel before I tested the stove elements :slight_smile:

Code says no way no how, no counters, appliances, etc., etc… under the panel.
I often see washers or dryers under a panel, and I call it out, but truthfully, if they are easily shifted…
But a stovetop? A person is standing in front of a stovetop with a panel above it frying bacon? Boiling soup? Where is the range hood mounted ? :slight_smile:

Overcurrent protection devices are required to be *readily accessible *which wouldn’t allow them behind a stove by the NEC definition of readily accessible.