Article 110-26(e) -vs- 110-26(f)

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My question deals with both of these articles. There is a plumbers p-trap that runs over the head of the user of a 277/480 volt panel, the p-trap is approximately 7 feet above finish floor.
The p-trap is not directly over the panel where it may violate the Dedicated Equipment Space required by code. However my question is does this violate the Headroom Space required by code since it is over the head of the user? I have been told by our Electrical Engineer that if this p-trap leaks that maintenance will be aware of a problem and that caution should be taken when working or servicing this panel until the leak is fixed and that the Dedicated Space for this panel has not been violated and this is a good installation.
This is a new 20 story building and I would like your opinion and input or references to use as feed back since this installation is critical.
Thanks, Richard Ortega

charlie b

Staff member
Seattle, WA
Electrical Engineer
Re: Article 110-26(e) -vs- 110-26(f)

In my opinion, the installation does not violate the NEC. As to the appropriate references, you have already cited them in the topic title. The mechanical line does not violate 110.26(E), because the worker has more than 6 feet of clear working space (floor to p-trap). It does not violate 110.26(F) either, for two reasons. First, the ?dedicated equipment space? only extends 6 feet above the floor. Secondly, per 110.26(F)(1)(b), it is acceptable for ?foreign systems? to be located more than 6 feet above floor level, ?provided protection is installed to avoid damage to the electrical equipment from condensation, leaks, or breaks in such foreign systems.? So the next question is, ?Does this room require the installation of a protective shield (e.g., drip pan or spray shield), in order to provide that ?protection??

I spoke with two mechanical engineers in my office about a ?p-trap.? They were of the opinion that a pipe that contains a p-trap would most likely be a condensation drain line operating at atmospheric pressure. But whatever the fluid system, a hole in the p-trap or loose fitting would not result in water spraying onto an electrical panel that is not directly underneath the pipe. Both were aware that a pipe over a panel would have been a code violation, and I told them that this pipe was not over the panel. Therefore, both agreed that this installation would not require a drip pan or spray shield, in order to provide the ?protection? mentioned in 110.26(F)(1)(b).
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