Water and gas over service panel

Had a seller call the office today mad about the fact that I would call the things out after being shown proof of these issues being signed off on by county inspector. Am I in the wrong here. Apparently the county inspector had said it was ok for 2 waterlines that T off to a total of 6 water lines a sink drain and a natural gas line with the joints connecting a 90 degree bend in it all being overtop of 2x200amp service panels. Am I missing something here is this possible it is ok. Please look at the pic and let me know your thoughts. And if I happen to be wrong. Please let me know. Thanks

Was there a leak on any of the lines? Maybe not the best place for a panel but sometimes the home will dictate mechanical locations.

You are correct, all those “foreign” to the electrical system pipes violate the dedicated equipment space of the electrical panel. The dedicated space spans 6 feet above the panel or to the top of the physical ceiling, whichever is lower. Since there is no finished ceiling, all those pipes are foreign and violate the space. I don’t know if the AHJ in your area can overrule the NEC, if adopted in your area. Ask them what code they enforce, if any.

BTW, add your location in your profile so others could help better as things differ with locale.


The thing of it is. The whole home was renovated and the location of these things was intentionally placed there. There were no current leaks. But once one of the gas fittings does have a leak directly over a 200 amp service panel they’re going to really wish they just moved it.

Article E3405.3 of the IRC specifies, a dedicated space ‘must exist’ around the panel and must be kept free of pipes, ducts and any equipment not pertinent to the electrical installation in any direction,
for equipment serving between 120 volts and 250 volts, require a minimum of (3’) three feet of clearance. The width of the working space in front of the panel shall be (30") thirty inches minimum or width of the equipment.
The OSHA standard (29 CFR1910. 305 (d)) requires a dead front on electrical panel boards.

So, does the free space measure 60" inches up from the flooring to the top, in front of each of the 2 panel boards, and can you measure 30" inches ‘in any one direction’ from either of the panel boards?

Breaker handle operational clearance is another subject.

Gas Meter & Piping Clearance Distance Codes & Specifications

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Morning Simon.
It is 6’ feet of head room clearance with 36" inches of front working clearance in any one direction if I am not mistaken. You do not have to measure from the floor.

If you have to use a ladder to get on a landing or base, as long as there is 6’ feet of head room clearance with 36" inches working clearance in front for electricians or electrical technicians to work safely it meets electrical panel board safe working clearances. Again, you do not have to measure from the floor up. As long as there is the required free space. That’s my take on it.

This is what I use during my inspections.

Folks, a working space is not the same as a dedicated space:

NEC 2005:


Looks like a good call for the OP. Thanks for posting. I never run into this in my area.

As Simon stated the issue is with the dedicated equipment space not the working space. The dedicated equipment space it the footprint of the panel.

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Evening, Simon.
The area above the dedicated space(1)(a)%5D.), required by 110.26 ( E)(1)( a), shall be permitted to contain foreign systems, provided protection is installed to avoid damage to the electrical equipment from condensation, leaks, or breaks in such foreign systems.

As well, if the flooring is leveled, as I have inspected in old construction, the upper flooring/level meets rules 110.26** ( E)(1)( a) for dedicated space. An AHJ stateside comment that it was code as long as flooring grade met working space requirements but he did not know in Canada.
Sorry for the edit.

Sorry, I have no idea what you are telling me. Try to stay on topic, look at OP’s pics and look at what I wrote.

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Thank you for that picture. If you don’t mind I’d like to download it and use it in my reports

Go for it. I think that it comes from the NECH.

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Nope, not okay. Nothing within dedicated space measure 6’6" from the floor

Dedicated space is 6’ above the equipment, I think that you meant working space.