We All Need Our Space

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

You ever feel crowded, boxed in, no room to breathe?  We all need some space around us or a comfort zone. Sometimes we want more, like when you're steaming mad because some just cut us off on the highway. Then there are times we like to very close and intimate.

With homes there are no emotions involved, instead we have rules or codes that define much of how components should be built or installed. The rules often state specific parameters for an installation.

One rule is how much space is required around electric panels. A specified amount of space is necessary to allow for a safe and unimpeded work area. It's no fun to remove the cover from and work inside a live electric panel in very close quarters. Feeling crowded, boxed in with no room to breathe in an intimate situation with electricity is no one's idea of a good time.

Looking at the electric panel here you can see it's in a some what confined area. The door juuuuust squeaked by the board to open fully. I was able to remove the cover because of the good foresight of the installer.  He drilled a hole through the bottom of the shelf (bottom photo).

In addition to the panel being confined, it's in a closet. The rules are very specific on closets; you can't put an electric panel in one. Clothes yes, electric panels NO!

Everything and everyone needs a certain amount of space, too bad someone didn't consider that before they put this electric panel in the closet.

James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services click on the links below:

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Ambassador
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

James besides that old fuse panel being in a clothes closet it is also in the doghouse anyway:)

Jun 18, 2009 01:26 AM #1
Rainer
125,121
Sandra White
John L Scott Real Estate - Port Townsend, WA
Experienced Residential Resale Broker

Thanks for the information.  I have never seen that situation before.  You must see a lot of weird stuff in people's homes. 

Jun 18, 2009 01:29 AM #2
Rainer
154,195
Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate
RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. - Windsor, ON

Hi James, Good post. Thanks for sharing.

Best - Sash

Jun 18, 2009 01:57 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,244,485
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Frankly, I would have no problem inspecting that. And I like closets.

 

Nutsy

 

Jun 18, 2009 03:39 AM #4
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Charlie, I believe this panel was reused. The home had a newer 200 Amp panel and another sub panel in the basement. It was a 1500 sq ft. 1940 cape.

Sandra, Yes I do see a lot of unusual stuff.

Sasha, Glad to share.

Nutsy, You should be locked in a closet.

Jun 18, 2009 04:05 AM #5
Rainmaker
382,620
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi James - Sorry to be a NOOB - but - is that a "knob and tube" panel?  I have never actually seen one.

:)

Jun 18, 2009 02:34 PM #6
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Matt, Don't be sorry, you never learn if you don't ask. It's a fuse panel, not breakers. Knob & tube would describe the wire used for the house circuits. Knob & tube wire would most certainly have originally been attached to a fuse panel. You can see the wire in the picture here. The knobs are porcelain cylinders nailed to the boards and the tubes, there's just one, are put through the joists. That is at the top of the photo.

Jun 18, 2009 10:57 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,839,854
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I had a fuse box the other day in a bedroom closet.  That is not uncommon around here in older construction.  What was uncommon was the shoe shelf built around it, attached to the wall, with shoes in front.  The cubbies were so small the door to the panel could not be opened!

Jun 19, 2009 09:08 PM #8
Ambassador
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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

I still see fused panels in closets from time to time in older construction. Sometimes, older houses are what they are...

Your building consultant for life in Nashville, TN 

Jun 20, 2009 09:31 PM #9
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, This panel was not originally in the closet or was it the main. The biggest issue was it was wire incorrectly.

Michael, Agreed, except when it becomes a hazard.

Jun 21, 2009 09:51 AM #10
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James Quarello

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