What is "near" in the NEC?

Merry Christmas


Senior Member
Northern illinois
One explanation is that quantifying the distance depends on the size, scale, mfr, and model, since not all units would require the same clearance.

For instance, a realistic amount of clear space needed around a multi-MVA transformer for effective cooling, is a lot different than the clearance of a 1kVA transformer that you can lift with just one hand. This is a clear space that is better suited for the manufacturer to advise upon, than for the NEC to have a one-size-fits-all dimension, since all transformers have different thermal footprints and cooling methods.
These kinds of things should not be in the code anyway. They should be left up to the manufacturer and/or UL to decide how much clear space is needed for ventilation purposes.


Senior Member
New Jersey
Electrical Contractor
Start writing your PIs for the 2026 code...clarifying all of the subjective rules in the NEC to rules that are not subjective should only add a 1000 or so pages to the code.
Excellent idea. I'm having some difficulty in determining the proper format to do this on the NFPA website. The instructions in the back of the 2020 Code book don't seem to get me to the right place. What I'm looking for is a sample of the PI's that were submitted and how they were written for the 2020 or 2023 Code cycles. If anyone has a sample or samples would you please post it/them here ? Tnx.