Clearance Clarification 110.26

Guys I need to get this one Clarified here's the story......

In 110.26 the code ask for a minimum of 30" of clearance in front of a piece of equipment. 36" to Non Grounded parts and 42' to Grounded.
DWP and other utilities ask for a minimum of Clear and level work space. I have read through the code and have seen nothing about clear and level.

I installed a Inverter that was 42" to a fence. There was 33" of space from the door of the Inverter to the edge of pad. So that left a space between the fence and the pad that was about 9" and 6" deep. This is not a walk space at all so it can't pose a trip hazard.

Now I have to admit that If I had it to do over I would Move the Inverter further back to create more space in front of the Inverter, But I had already improved upon an engineers design and was trying to make the installation look the way it was drawn on the print.

Is the 33" of space on the pad Legal? I have my 42" of clearance to the the fence. ( This fence was an after thought and I was provided a bad design to begin with....) Please provide a clearly stated reference of the code. Every code reference I have seen does not clearly state if this is NEC acceptable...
 

maghazadeh

Senior Member
Guys I need to get this one Clarified here's the story......

In 110.26 the code ask for a minimum of 30" of clearance in front of a piece of equipment. 36" to Non Grounded parts and 42' to Grounded.
DWP and other utilities ask for a minimum of Clear and level work space. I have read through the code and have seen nothing about clear and level.

I installed a Inverter that was 42" to a fence. There was 33" of space from the door of the Inverter to the edge of pad. So that left a space between the fence and the pad that was about 9" and 6" deep. This is not a walk space at all so it can't pose a trip hazard.

Now I have to admit that If I had it to do over I would Move the Inverter further back to create more space in front of the Inverter, But I had already improved upon an engineers design and was trying to make the installation look the way it was drawn on the print.

Is the 33" of space on the pad Legal? I have my 42" of clearance to the the fence. ( This fence was an after thought and I was provided a bad design to begin with....) Please provide a clearly stated reference of the code. Every code reference I have seen does not clearly state if this is NEC acceptable...
I can not visualize the situation you are describing, but let's get this straight.
The 30" rule is for the width (side to side of equipment). the 36"/42" rule is the depth on front of the equipment which extends depth of equipment + 36"/42" on front. Let say if your inverter enclosure is 12" deep, then 12" + 36"/42" is the min. working space.
You most always follow NEC and utility co. rules and following an engineer drawing is not a excuss not to comply.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
I can not visualize the situation you are describing,. . . .
I can, and I am confident the OP intends to comply with the code. The problem is that the code fails to make one particular aspect of the working clearance requirements clear. OK, so you need a space that is 30 inches wide and 42 inches deep. The question is, does that space have to be level? Naturally a poured concrete pad will be level, but does the pad have to extend the entire 30"W x 42"D dimensions? In this example, if I am working on the panel and am standing 32 inches away from its front surface, I am standing on a level pad. But if I step back one more inch, I will still be within the 42" depth of the working clearance, and I will not have bumped into anything behind me, but I will be teetering at the edge of the pad, and I am likely to fall. If perchance I happen to fall backwards, that will be bad. If perchance I happen to fall forward by overcorrecting my balance, that could be much worse.

I vaguely recall this issue being debated on this forum a year or two ago. I think that thread had to do with an outdoor panel or switchboard located on a slightly sloping hill. I do not recall the outcome of that discussion.
 
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Rewire

Senior Member
The height of the working space must be clear and extend from grade,floor, or plateform. I think the plateform would be required to extend the depth of the working space as well as the width.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
I think the plateform would be required to extend the depth of the working space as well as the width.
I agree that this should be a requirement. But the present wording of the code does not make this a requirement.
 

Rewire

Senior Member
I agree that this should be a requirement. But the present wording of the code does not make this a requirement.
I guess it would be up to the inspector to define the three deminsional work space the wording for depth allows for deflection in angle . I think when you look at all three demension requirements you do get a defined plane.
 
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