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Residential: 3ft in front of panel

Residential: 3ft in front of panel

(OP)
This is an issue we have in our home. We have a condo in a 6 unit building. Condo was built in 1910 and it looks like the units were rebuilt in late 1970s, possibly early 80s. The electrical panel was placed in the same space as the laundry closet, so the panel is above one side of the dryer...close enough to the front to have access to it. The closet is only big enough for the washer and dryer...they can't be moved.

I'm sure the 3ft rule in front of panels was in the NEC code in the late 70s and early 80s...and all of these condo units are the same.

We are having an electrical replace the panel...the existing one is a Federal Pacific Stabloc (the kind that have failed). One of the things he stated was when the inspector comes by, be sure the washer and dryer are not in place because of the 3 ft rule.

My questions are:
How would this have been approved to begin with?
Is there a grandfather clause for this somewhere (I can't believe there is)?
Is it allowable because the washer/dryer can be moved to allow for 'working space'?
What other options are there? The wall behind this panel is in the dining room...so really don't want a panel there.

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This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

RE: Residential: 3ft in front of panel

Well if they did submit plans and not just get a permit for a change out, the plans might not have shown a washer dryer in front of the panel.

I am also guessing this was the original set up and washer dryer connections have been there since it was built. If that is the case the city might allow it to exist as is.

You can call the city not give them your name,and ask the question.

RE: Residential: 3ft in front of panel

(OP)
Inspector showed up...we didn't have the washer/dryer in place, so it was an empty closet even though it was clear all the washer/dryer connections were there.

He looked at the panel, said they did good work. Looked over at the washer/dryer connections. Said that's all he needed to see and he would get back to the contractor to say everything passed....

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This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

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