National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Friday, January 5, 2024


Hello Charlie, I recently had a customer that said their inspector flagged them for not having hinged doors on most of their panels. The panels never had any hinged doors from the factory. These are Square[D] - I Line distribution panels. Basically, anyone in their warehouse could walk up and switch the breakers on/off. Our customer is asking for some more clarification and wants to know if this is a valid code violation. Note there are no gaps or missing breaker covers on these panels. The panels are a standard design that I see all the time. The panels are just out in the open and accessible for anyone to switch the breakers (i.e. no locked door or lockable panel cover). Wondering if you could shed some more light on this if possible. I see distribution panels like this all the time that are located on warehouse walls etc. – i.e., not behind locked doors, no missing covers/no hinged panel door. Just the breaker faces (open mounted). Your input would be much appreciated. If you need more clarification or would like pictures, please feel free to email. Thank you in advance, Levi S.


Hi Levi, thank you for participating in the CQD. Part III. Enclosures of Article 240 provides guidance on this topic. Specifically, Section 240.30(A) requires overcurrent devices to be protected from physical damage, with (A)(1) permitting the use of an enclosure to provide the protection required. (B) of this same Section permits the operating handle of an overcurrent device to be accessible without opening a door or cover.

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CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

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