Local Codes May Determine Electrical Service Panel Locations
Why is the main electric service panel located outside some homes? Your Main Electrical Panel Location may Depend on Local Codes.© By: Dave Rongey
Installing a Main Electrical Panel
Electrical Question: Why is the main electric service panel located outside some homes?
- I live in the Chicago land area. My son bought a home in Phoenix, AZ area. In the mid west, the electrical fuse panels are located inside the home or in the garage.
- In Phoenix, the electrical panels are installed on the outside of the building. What is the reason for this?
- If someone wanted to play a prank on me or I had a neighbor who just did not like me, could turn off the electricity at the main breaker and I could come home from a vacation with a frig or freezer with spoiled food.
- Also, if I had an alarm system on my home, it would be very easy to cut the power to the system if the fuse box is located outside.
- It does not make any sense to me that disabling power to a home would be so easy in Arizona. Please help me understand.
Background: Bruce, a Handyman from Rolling Meadows, Illinois for a job site in Phoenix, Arizona.
Thanks for your electrical panel question Bruce.
How to install a Home Electrical Panel
Your Main Electrical Panel Location may Depend on Local Codes
- I understand the concern of this question, however I believe that the home electrical panels in the mid western states of the USA are there due to extreme weather and that many homes have basements.
- In Arizona the weather is much different. For example; here in California it is required by code that the main electrical disconnect switch is located outside so that in the event of a fire the electrical service can be turned off to prevent hard to the firefighters as well as the structure.
- Keep in mind that all panel covers usually have a tab that will allow a lock to be placed to prevent tampering. This is why are some electrical panels installed on the outside of building when others are located inside.
- Electrical wiring is installed according to the National Electrical Code, NEC, as well as Locally adopted electrical codes.
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