When the kitchen pantry is turned into a "laundry room," and someone suggests you leave enough access for the electric panel box, I can just hear the "pro" doing the work say something like, "What do you mean? There's access! That's a full six inches!"
I guess, perhaps, someone forgot to define what ACCESS means!
Being familiar with these houses, from the outside of the house I knew exactly where I would find the electric panel box. It had been moved from its original installation in a rear, corner bedroom, to the front corner of the house. Right at the kitchen. And I knew that was where the pantry was located.
I was all set for having to take apart a pantry a bit to get to the panel box.
And then we walked in and I glanced at the kitchen I saw the stackable washer/dryer sticking out of the pantry!
That's when I said, "Uh oh..."
Sure, I'm going to move the stackable to get into the panel box.
And then put it back when done. Easy peasy.
Well, to be fair, there was just as much "access" on the other side of the stackable as on the panel box side. The stackable was centered very nicely.
Still, there was not enough room for the picky, curmudgeon home inspector to even open the door! I couldn't even get my head in there to look up from below to count the number of circuit breakers!
What would happen if there had been an electrical emergency and the breaker(s) had to be turned off?
My recommendation: often it is obvious that no permit was pulled to do this or that. In this case the electric company had to be called to move the service point of entrance on the house. That would have required a permit. But was it closed when the County saw what this "pro" was doing? No way. The County would have required proper access. And may not have wanted it 5' from the range, and humidity created during cooking! The house is the house. We inspectors observe and report. And sometimes blog...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560