National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, May 9, 2023


Hello Charlie. We are working on an upgrade of an existing bank in, where the janitor closet was installed inside the Electrical room. The architect is asking if this configuration is approved by the Electrical Code or if we need to move the janitor sink to a new different location/janitor closet. I look forward to your response, Erguin Capote


Erguin, thank you for participating in the CQD. In general, the NEC® does not prohinit this, but there are some factors to consider before deeming the installation code compliant:

  • Deteriorating Agents – Section 110.17 prohibits conductors and equipment (unless identified for use in the operating environment), to be located in damp or wet location; where exposed to gases, fumes, vapors, liquids, or other agents that have deteriorating effects. It is fairly common for cleaning chemical dispensers to be installed in or at the janitor’s closet/sink. Some of these cleaning chemicals may have deteriorating effects.


  • Working Space – Section 110.26 requires working space about electrical equipment. The sink or anything the janitor may store in that closet/room cannot impede on this required space.


  • Overcurrent Devices (OCPDs)Section 240.24(C) prohibits the installation of OCPDs in locations where exposed to physical damage, this would include deteriorating effects. Section 240.24(D) prohibits the installation of OCPDs in the vicinity of easily ignitable matrials, like paper products commonly stored in janitors closets.

ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.

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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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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC® and any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, the NEC Correlating Committee any Code-making panel or other electrical technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services. 

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