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Electrical Panel Replacement: A Complete Guide

The electric demand in modern homes is constantly increasing. To support all your appliances, replace your old electric panel today. Choose the best location to install your electric panel according to our guidelines.

Modern electrical needs have increased drastically and so has the demand for a higher and more reliable power. Electrical panel replacement becomes especially urgent when there are problems with the wiring. Old electrical panels are a safety hazard for you and your family. To meet the growing electrical needs and ensure your safety electrical panel replacement is necessary. This is where we jump in. As one of the best electrical contractors, Prolectric provides complete electrical services to ensure all your appliances are running smoothly. 

An image showing open electrical panels with fuses and contactors. The wiring is also visible. 

Know About the Electrical Panel Location Restrictions

Learning all about electrical panel location restrictions is the first step of the installation and replacement process. The restrictions and guidelines are set by the National Electrical Code. Electrical panel location restrictions are used as a reference to establish building codes. According to the National Electrical Code guidelines, the electrical panel must be placed in areas with sufficient clearance to allow work. Electrical panel location restrictions also state that the panel should have a minimum 3-feet clearance in front of it. You should always opt for a weatherproof electrical panel when placing it near plumbing. 

Image depicting electrical panel location restrictions that have caused an electrical fire.

The electrical panel must be installed 4 feet above the ground and not higher than 6 feet to ensure accessibility. When opting for electrical panel replacement, make sure the panel door opens at least 90 degrees. 

An electrical panel cannot be placed in any tight space. This requirement is established to provide clear working space. According to the electrical panel installation requirements, breaker boxes must have a 30” clear working space in front. Regardless of the conditions, the minimum required clearance for a nominal voltage of 0-150V is 36” to ground. For higher voltages, the clearance ranges 36” and 48”. A residential electrical panel cannot be installed close to flammable items such as bedding or closets. It is suggested to avoid installing electrical panels in bathrooms. 

3 Important Factors in the Location of Electrical Panels

Choosing the best location for the electrical panel is not an easy task, especially if you only have a basic understanding of electrical panels. It is not essential to know about all the provisions and electrical panel location restrictions, but a bit of knowledge is beneficial for planning and effective decision making. This way, you will be able to save money and increase efficiency in terms of saving electricians’ time. Here are the most important factors you should consider when choosing the best location for an electrical panel:

A Location That Is Easily and Safely Accessible

Safety and accessibility are essential. The best location for electrical panel installation is the one that is safe and easily accessible. You should not be making space and searching for an electrical panel in case of emergencies. According to electrical panel installation requirements, you should never place the electrical box in cramped spaces making it difficult to work. In the case of plumbing nearby, your panel box should be waterproof. On the other hand, you should not install an electrical panel in the bathroom as it’s a huge safety risk.

Efficient Usage

Choosing the appropriate location for the installation of your residential electrical panel allows efficient usage. You can easily minimize the number and length of turns with effective planning. Save your time, make sure you carefully discuss, and then plan the location. Hiring a professionally certified electrician will help you in selecting the best location for the electrical panel.

Utility Company

Ultimately the location of your electrical panel is decided by the utility company. A homeowner or an electrician can request the desired location. With electrical panel installation requirements, the utility company will enforce clearance and height restrictions. Your electrical panel will be installed not below a 4′ height and not above 6′ 7″. From either side, the clearance should be 12″.

The Best Place for the Electrical Panel

We have selected a few options for the best location for the electrical panel based on the considerations and restrictions from the NEC. It is very important to know that electrical panels should be installed in a location that is easily accessible, but most homeowners want their panels installed out of sight. 

Image showing the best location for the electrical panel; sufficient ground clearance and working space. 

Some common electrical panel locations include the following:

Under the Staircases:

Although this isn’t the most popular option, choosing the space under your stairways is very effective. You will have sufficient space and easy access. 

Garages:

The best location for electrical panel installation is your garage, especially if it is attached. It provides a great workspace, ensures safety, and will be hidden. 

Basements:

Following the electrical panel installation requirements, another preferable location for the panel is the basement. You can easily comply with all the requirements as basements provide ample space, whereas the panel box will be completely out of sight. You should have emergency lighting in case there is no power to find the electrical box.

Get In Touch with a Professional Electrician

As a homeowner, at some point, you will need electrical panel replacement, either due to wiring problems or because of an old electrical system. To cater to the growing electricity demand, replace your old electric panels and achieve higher efficiency while saving up on your energy bills. Follow electrical panel installation requirements to prevent the risk of short-circuiting and hazardous electrical fires. In case of any emergency, get in touch with Prolectric. Our staff will reach out to you in time and effectively solve the problem. 

We provide electrical solutions in and around the following areas:

  • Bellevue, CO
  • Wellington, CO
  • Fort Collins, CO

Call us to discuss what we can do for you.

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