How well do you know the Code? Think you can spot violations the original installer either ignored or couldn't identify? Here's your chance to moonlight as an electrical inspector and second-guess someone else's work from the safety of your living room or office. It's your turn to identify the violation.
Hint: Cable guy versus electrician
Find the Answer
Well, it looks like the cable guy won this fight. He took over all of the working space needed for the electrical panel. Thus, the electrician ends up as the loser in this battle. But it might not be the cable guy's fault, since Sec.90.3 of the 2011 NEC tells us that Chapter 8 (Communication Systems) are not subject to the requirements of Chapters 1 through 7, unless specifically referenced in Chapter 8. Nowhere in Chapter 8 will you find any reference to the clear working space requirements outlined in 110.26.
Despite that lack of reference, this is still a violation of 110.26(A).The working space in front of this panel is required to have a depth of at least 3 ft, a width of at least 30 in. and the ability to open hinged covers at least 90°. In addition, the working space shall be clear from the floor and extend to a height of 6 ½ ft or the height of the equipment if it is higher than that. An encroachment of 6 in. is permitted into the working space above or below the panel if the equipment is associated with the electrical panel. In this installation, the CATV installer has placed his cables directly in front of the panel and his CATV box directly below the circuit breaker panel. While this may not violate any sections of Art. 820 it certainly violates the requirements of 110.26.