When were panels not allowed in clothes closets?

Panels were not permitted to be installed in clothes closets since 1981 :!:


As is usually the case, many localities (and States)and modular manufacturers lag behind by 1 or even two NEC revisions. I inspected a modular last week that was built in 1986 and had one panel in a second floor clotes closet.

It was a LSAP (sub-Panel)that had the grounds and neutrals bonded together but not to the panel.



I see some panels on bedroom walls in duplex type buildings.
Seems to be allowed in some counties at least.

Anyone know where this is not allowed?

Joe, just did a house in Tamarac, FL where just LAST WEEK they passed an electrical inspection for a addition to the home where the corport was turned into a efficiency…and the NEW panel was IN THE CLOSET and SIGNED OFF by the City Inspector.

Whats your take on this?

Oh…just in case it matters…it is a SUB-Panel.


The final inspection may have been performed before the “closet” was built, or ???

Did you note it as a defect? If so, you have CYA!

No Joe…It was passed 4 days before my inspection.

Can you paste a code refrence? Or any other data that would CMA?

240.24(D) Not in Vicinity of Easily Ignitible Material

Overcurrent devices shall not be located in the vicinity of easily ignitible material, such as in clothes closets.

Examples of locations where combustible materials may be stored are linen closets, paper storage closets, and clothes closets.

240.24(E) Not Located in Bathrooms In dwelling units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels, overcurrent devices, other than supplementary overcurrent protection, shall not be located in bathrooms.


Man…Joe that now brings into question one I did on Friday…they had the Main Load Center inside the bathroom vanity (I know 36" clearance) right over the sink…NOW WHAT?

I dont know when that was inspected…but I know that only 1 month ago they had an electrical inspection for a new gas generator…they would have had to have an electrical included…right?

Heres the foto regarding the bathroom panel…

Joe call me crazy…but this code seems to be related to Rental MDU’s, Hotels, and Motels!

Dwelling Unit. A single unit, providing complete and independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking, and sanitation.

Dwelling, One-Family. A building that consists solely of one dwelling unit.
Dwelling, Two-Family. A building that consists solely of two dwelling units.
Dwelling, Multifamily. A building that contains three or more dwelling units.

What about this Joe?


That’s the medicine storage cabinet for bi-polar electric shock therapy.


Inadequate working space in front of the equipment, and the panel is not permitted to be installed in a bathroom.


The verbage used in that Article most certainly refers to standard dwellings in general as Joe stated and would apply to the normal residential dwelling. However, here is where a smart A$$ electrical contractor can play the system…not 100% play it as Joe stated their are many other issues but here is what I have seen presented and caused the AHJ to allow.

1.) Notice the article states " Other than Supplementary Overcurrent Protection " in the verbage…when someone remodels many times they will add a new panel location which is many times at the meter cab setup itself and…re-feed the old panel with a NEW feed (4) wire and it becomes a sub…

So…then the Smart A$$ contractor says…ok now it is simply a supplemental OCPD for the existing electrical circuit application…now we can go into details but now in some areas you have the AHJ’s brain freeze going on…remember not every AHJ is code savy…they may be great plumber inspectors but lack somewhere else…

So they begin the argument of it being a supplimentary OCPD in lue of the main OCPD ahead of it…This may have happened in this case…who knows…Now as Joe stated…their is other issues than that but lets just say a Smart A$$ like myself can fight an AHJ into almost anything…:slight_smile:

Brings me back to one time I did a commerical oriental rug place in rockingham county…I put the panel in the bathroom…why you ask…well 1.) because I wanted to…no bathtub or shower…just a toilet and sink…but large room…and because 150 pound rugs hang on all the walls…

So the local AHJ turned it down…my guys call me…sure enough within 30 minutes I was at the site…code book in hand ( you gotta know me to picture it ) and smiling…:slight_smile: the local AHJ comes up…Mr. Abernathy you can’t have a panel in a bathroom…I said…sure you can…he said I wont pass it…I said Sure you will…( did I mention I am a Smart A$$ )

Ok…I showed him where it said " DWELLING UNIT " in the code much as it does in 240.24(E)…he grinned…this is not a dwelling unit…Then I showed him how the panel would not accessible hidden under 150lb rugs… well guess what…I got my panel in the bathroom…:slight_smile:

**Supplementary Overcurrent Protective Device. **A device
intended to provide limited overcurrent protection for specific
applications and utilization equipment such as luminaires
(lighting fixtures) and appliances. This limited protection is in
addition to the protection provided in the required branch circuit
by the branch circuit overcurrent protective device.

Joe’s point, I believe, is that many municipalities allow things to be approved, via code, even though are clear safety problems and violations.

This is one thing that home inspectors do. We call out things based upon safety, not code.

If a municipality wants to assume liability, that is their choice. I don’t want to, nor do I want my clients to.

Hope this helps.

Yep…EVERY part of that QUOTE from the code is why many local EC can work around what I explained in my previous post. Please RE-READ it again Joe.

[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]From the NECH Commentary:[/size][/FONT]

[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]"There are two levels of overcurrent protection within branch circuits: branch circuit overcurrent protection and supple[/size][/FONT][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]mentary overcurrent protection. [/size][/FONT]

[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]The devices used to provide overcurrent protection are different, and the differences are found in the product standards UL 489, Molded-Case Circuit Breakers, Molded-Case Switches and Circuit-Breaker Enclosures, and UL 1077, Supplementary Protectors for Use in Electrical Equipment. [/size][/FONT]

[size=3][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]Provided as a generalization for unders[/size][/FONT][size=3][FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]tanding, the NEC requires that all branch circuits use only branch circuit ‘‘rated’’ overcurrent protective devices to protect branch circuits, but it permits supplementary overcurrent protection devices for limited use downstream of the branch circuit ‘‘rated’’ overcurrent protective device. [/size][/FONT]

[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]Added for the 2005 Code, the definition of supplementary overcurrent protection device contains two important distinctions between supplementary overcurrent protection devices and branch circuit overcurrent protective devices.[/size][/FONT]

[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]First, the use of a supplementary device is specifically limited to only a few applications.

Second, where it is used, the supplementary device must be in addition to and be protected by the more robust branch circuit overcurrent pro[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]tective device."