One of the most unpleasant parts of attending a game, concert or other event, is getting into and especially out of the arena. Everyone is of course leaving all at the same time. You shuffle through the building, squished together like sardines in a can. Once you break free from the dense mass of humanity, you feel relieved and unfettered, the giddy high from the event returning.
Being crowded when working is just as unpleasant, actually even more so, than shuffling along with an event crowd. It can also be dangerous.
During a recent home inspection I opened the door to the laundry and found the homes electric panels behind the appliances. The entire basement had been finished into a two bedroom in-law apartment. So I imagine that is how the washer and dryer ended up sharing this room with the electric service.
What you may notice is the washer is in front of the main panel and a wall and shelf partially blocks the sub panel to the right. There is also a waste pipe coming straight in like an arrow from that wall just below.
Seeing this tells me that first off, the work was probably not permitted and almost certainly not inspected.
Electric service panels, as well as other electric equipment, require a certain amount of "working space" around and in front of them. Panels can not be stuffed behind walls or put into tiny closets in order to hide that ugly thing. There should be three feet of free space in front of the panel. As you can see this one comes up a bit short. Add in that pipe below and the shelf and I can tell you it was no picnic removing the cover to inspect this panel. There should also be 30 inches of free space to the sides and six and a half feet of head room.
The clearance requirement doesn't just apply to construction. The same goes for the home owner blocking off this zone with that antiquated barbell set / clothes hanger. An impeded the path to the electric panel could mean the difference between a major event or a close call.
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